It was a sad day indeed.
I remember it vividly: the angst, the sorrow, the disappointment.
It was a day where I sat back and took stock of my life: the decisions I made to get me to this point; the paths I should have taken; the paths I did take.
Yup, it was the day I could no longer suck in my gut to make it look like I didn't really have a gut.
Like I said, it was a dark day indeed.
I knew my gut was getting bigger.
Hell, it was right there in front of me, so how could I miss it?
It seemed like every day my middle section became more prominent.
For a while, I could clench my abdominal muscles and make it look like I had a flat belly.
However, this could only be done for a short period of time before my face turned red and I passed out from lack of oxygen.
A small price to pay for beauty, though.
However, as Father Time continued to slap me around, sucking in the flab became harder to do until one day I woke up, looked in the mirror and realized no matter how hard I tried, my gut would remain out there for the world to see.
So I did the only logical thing: I bought larger shirts that would seem baggy on me and make me look thinner.
And it worked great – in my mind anyway, but at the end of the day, my abdominal shame was on display for all to see.
I had a shirt full of belly and I knew it.
And the stupid mirror knew it too.
Every time I would walk past the blasted device, my shame was there for me to see — protruding like some sort of carnival side show freak.
Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it was noticeable.
I was hardly Gutzilla; that would be my neighbour who looks like he is 18 months pregnant with triplets, but I was hardly the svelte lad of yesteryear.
But then again, neither are my friends.
When I go a period of time without seeing them, the first thing I do is compare abdominal regions to see if they have outpaced me in the getting flabby competition.
Some of my friends have, some haven't.
Now, I just spend more time with the ones who are more abdominally enhanced than I am. Not necessarily because they are better friends, but because it makes me feel better about myself.
This works at the beach as well. The key is not to find the best spot with the best view, but to find the fattest person or people.
By dropping your towel next to a weight-enhanced individual, you automatically take a couple steps down the flab-o-metre.
The problem is when someone does the same thing to you to make themselves look good. Eventually, there is a line of people from XXL to XL to L to M. all in a row along the beach.
But packing on the protruding pounds is part of getting older I suppose.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. I worked with one gentleman who was several years older than I was who was in fantastic shape. Flat belly, outstanding cardio – the guy was as fit as someone half, or even a third his age.
Yup, I really hated that guy.
There was a day when I could eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry about gaining so much as a pound.
Scrumming down a bacon cheeseburger with fries, gravy and Coke at 3 a.m.after a hard night of clubbing was not unheard of.
And I would not gain an ounce of flab.
Now, just writing about the mouth-watering, late-night treat I put on three pounds.
So, if you will excuse me, I have some really baggy shirts to buy.
Copyright 2017, Darren Handschuh