I’m not in the best of shape.  I carry about forty pounds extra from where I should probably be.  According to the Wii, I should weigh under 150 lbs, but that seems low to me.  Maybe it’s not, but I think with a little muscle, for my height, it’s probably more likely 160-165.

I suspect at 150, my ribs would stick out, which I don’t care for.

That said, I’m not ashamed of my body.  While I’m no male model, I’m not grotesquely obese.  If this were 1897, I’d be considered a healthy man.  They seemed to like a bit of a gut on a man back then; it showed affluence, I think.

I lived a year in Finland during my teenage years.  We regularly hit the sauna in the evening, a tradition that I enjoyed so much, it would be my greatest joy to have one of those puppies here, leaf beatings included.

In case anyone’s not aware, the rest of the world outside our Puritan English-speaking sensibilities give way less of a shit about nudity than we do.  It’s a matter of objective fact that our obsession with sex and nudity as sins is insane compared to our relative sanction of violence in media.  Personally, I love the Victorian concept of murder as a truly awful thing; we think little of blowing people away in our books and movies and TV shows.  We generally only care when it’s a main character we’ve grown attached to.  I don’t live in the United States, but I suspect that and their insane lack of gun laws has created a social psychosis around the subject.  A movie can show multiple people getting killed and get a PG-13 rating, but a tit comes out and we’re flirting with R.

I don’t mind being naked.  It doesn’t bother me.  Most of the time, regardless of temperature, I’d rather be barefoot and minimally clothed.  It’s my preferred mode.  I spent enough time naked around others in Finland to mostly do away with that phobia.  Admittedly, I was much skinnier then, but still, the best way to break any fear is to face it.

I don’t see anything wrong with the human body.  I agree with body positivity, but I hate that it has a tendency to backlash against the concept of being fit.

Objectively, it’s better to be in good shape than it is to be obese.  You’re healthier, you have more energy, you’re more attractive to others, these are all facts.

That said, I don’t think we need to conform to anyone else’s standard of beauty.  We can look however we feel like looking; it’s understood that this look will not be everyone’s cup of tea.  It may not even be a majority’s cup of tea.  That’s reality.  Some people don’t like purple hair and tattoos.  Some don’t like rippling muscles and extreme definition.

Should we judge on that?  Not primarily, obviously.  That the person is someone we can connect with is infinitely more important.  However, physical attraction is a part of it; without it, there’s just a very close friendship.

Hence, the idea that I get in shape.  It’s important to me, not only for my physical health and not, you know, dying at an early age, but to be attractive to my wife.  It’s part of it.

That doesn’t mean there needs to be a particular ideal.  You’re into what you’re into.  Some women may actually like dad bods; I suspect many more would prefer Ryan Gosling’s chiseled abs, no matter what they tell their significant other.  It’s understandable.

We don’t need to hold ourselves to unattainable standards or an appearance we don’t enjoy, but we’d be fools to think that just because we’re happy with the way we look that everyone should be automatically attracted to us.  That’s not the way it works, either way.  We should be happy with how we look, because we are happy with it.  Body positivity has nothing to do with other people.

And it’s not even not about being comfortable naked.  I’m fine with that.  I just don’t want to die young.  I like the look on my wife’s face when she’s into me.  And I’ve got a long way to go still with the goals I’ve set, and I started way too late to run out of time now.

That means eating healthier, losing weight and getting into shape.

Because for me to get what I need out of life, I can’t be 200 lbs plus anymore.

The last thing I want is to fall into George R.R. Martin territory where people wonder if I’m going to make it to the end of my novels because of my obesity.  I have a lot left to give; I’m just getting started.

And sure, I might get hit by a bus tomorrow.  The point is, if this is all we get, why hasten the end, if we can avoid it?

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