Operation: 160

I dunno, man. I'm not really a goal-oriented person.

All the same, I think want to get fat.

Most of the people I've told this to haven't been able to de-contextualize it from their own situations and react with something akin to distaste. "Oh my god, I need to lose weight, what's wrong with you?!" That kind of thing.

I have a weird relationship with food. I don't like it. If I didn't have to eat it, I wouldn't. I'm almost never hungry. Everybody I know seems to love food. They get hungry, and they eat, and they have this wonderful symbiotic thing going with sustenance. Sometimes they eat even when they're not hungry! But I can't figure it out. I can't stand spending money on food, because it's money that I can't spend on stuff that's awesome, like books or guitar pedals. I can't stand eating food, because it's either bad for you or ethically indefensible or pretty fucking gross.

I have the palette of a moderately sophisticated 12 year old. I want fucking fried meat on buttery bread, fried potatoes, and a 64 oz. travel mug of Dr. Pepper. But I want there to be some thyme and rosemary in there somewhere. Please deep-fry the chicken with buttermilk and make sure you rub it with cayenne before it goes in the vat of 60 butter /40 first-press olive oil. It's not that I can't do and even like risotto and bruschetta and prosciutto or whatever. It's fine. It's rice and bread and ham, respectively. But I can't fucking stand food snobs, who are to my mind the last prominent cult of meaningless, irrelevant academes who haven't been taken down a necessary peg or two... other than possibly those in the fashion industry. Because look, there's nothing in the Bible that says people are supposed to like truffles above all other foods. Truffles are gross, yo.

Hey, I dare you to eat that monkey brain looking thing growing off that tree.

OK, dude, but only if you eat that giant portobello sprouting off that pile of shit over there like a steak and pretend it's just as good.

And thus The Cult of Fungus was born.

I had been trying to trick myself into thinking a different way. When I was working, and I didn't have much else going on in my life, I would spend a hundred bucks on groceries and endeavor to create elaborate, multi-course meals from recipe books, just because cooking is funner than shit. I nearly always failed, but I nearly always ate it all. It was a good thing for me.

But then I got all fucked up. Last winter, I herniated a disc in my neck, and I tripped and fell into depression. So I stopped working out, and I stopped eating. Since I relied almost purely on weightlifting to stimulate my appetite, and hurting my neck put me in a stupid spiral of inactivity since I was in pain all the time, I stopped being hungry. And since I didn't see the point of eating, I dropped a bunch of weight. I didn't actually know I was dropping weight until I went to the doctor and he grilled me about it. I was down to 140 lbs., around 15 less than I was at my weightliftingest.

These days I'm hovering a shade over a buck forty five. Which is fine. I'm a slight person, I have a slim frame. But I have almost no body fat, and I almost never have. Last time I had it checked it was in the mid-single digits. Like, 7%. Which would be terrific if I were a professional athlete. But I'm not. I'm in what is probably the worst shape I've ever been.

So the experiment I'm considering -- call it Operation: 160 -- is to get myself up to 160 lbs. this (academic) year without really hitting the gym. It's like my freshman 15, six years later. I'm going to try to forge myself into better shape via a little running and a lot of walking and a regular routine of yogafied calisthenics (I do wish calisthenics wasn't such a girly word). But mostly I'm just going to try to eat a lot more food, and drink a lot more pop and beer. Or at least, less lite beer.

Because I get picked on all the time for being skinny. It's always good-natured ribbing. But I don't like it. And I've always wondered what I would look like recast as a normal human being with 15% body fat. Part of it is that I come from a family with some weird body issues. Lots of very skinny people who think they aren't skinny enough. And I don't like that way of thinking. And I'm not sure if I like this way of thinking any better, since I'm pretty sure you're not being indulgent if you're not having any fun. But I don't know, and that's the point. The point is, I know I don't like that other way of thinking, so I'm going to try to gain some weight.

Here's the weird part, though. I don't really know how. For one thing, I don't want to get diabetes. And I don't want to be one of those gross people whose diet consists of nothing but partially hydrogenateds and high fructoses and white flours and processed cheeses. And I've never done anything like this before -- eaten like a normal Midwestern American human being, I mean, calorically. I mean, I have the metabolism of Thumper Rabbit, and sort of a limited budget, and I don't feel great about eating things that mooed, lowed, bahed, or oinked, which, near as I can tell, is the most cost-effective way to get Authentic Wisconsin Fat.

Since I only really eat meat when I go out -- and then I try to stick with animals that clucked, squawked, quacked, or flapped -- I don't know how to go about eating enough at home.

I did recently discover that you can feed yourself spaghetti and sauce for a week for like 3 dollars. I think that was something of a breakthrough. But there's only so much you can eat peanut butter and cereal and eggs and toast and chips.

I need a way to vastly expand my repertoire of easily-prepared consumables. And they all need to have a million billion calories.

The hunt begins. Good thing I bought all that butter.


CircleGetSquare said...

i feel like our discussion of DPS is going tragically unmentioned here.

nickbujak said...

you're going to be so depressed when you realize you'll never have the eating disorder you want.

But why not hit the gym? I could use a work out partner, especially since I'm definitely going to be the scrawniest guy in there and it's always nice to have someone to buffer between scrawny and meat-head. Oh, and uh, it's the best way to gain weight without going on a fast food diet.