With the advent of springtime here in the Northeast, you’ve undoubtedly begun to think about developing the base tan and rippling hard body needed for success at the beach.
Unfortunately, if you’re like most of your peers—an estimated 96 percent of them, according to always-authoritative Wikipedia—you’ve spent the previous 365 days gaining the dreaded freshman 15. This annual form of bulking is now so ubiquitous it extends beyond high school and college freshmen to all of the rest of you, “kids at heart” who are part of a millennial youth movement grown old and stout.
Now, far from being able to concentrate your precious energies on the selection of a suitable swimsuit for TikTok twerking, you’re left figuring out how to stave off or reverse the meat-suit bloat and decay that resulted from one too many pancake breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
You may believe the best thing to do now is to undertake a program of intense physical exercise. Perhaps you’ve even contemplated buying one of those $50,000 Peloton online bicycles or joining some other sort of elaborate scam or multi-level marketing scheme.
Friend, let me tell you something: Dropping barbells filled end-to-end with 15-pound bumper plates, performing muscle-ups, doing air squats in weighted vests, swinging kettlebells, and riding a computer bike for $199.99 a month isn’t the answer.
All that program would do is cost you hard-wasted time and hard-earned money better applied to doing nothing. You see, getting back in shape is just another way of hiding from the truth.
Consider this: your latest bout with the freshman 15 is who you are.
There are plenty of do-gooders and try-harders writing for America’s top checkout-line fitness magazines who’ll tell you that you deserve some other kind of body, but a beefier physique has lots to recommend it.
First, now that you look different from the way you did in high school or college or grad school or whenever you weren’t so big, you’ve got an appropriate frame of reference for your glory days.
Knee injuries sustained during junior year of high school football—when you were certainly going to be all-state or at least all-county—aside, getting out of shape is an awesome way to develop a usable past you can exaggerate and idealize.
Prom queen? Abercrombie & Fitch model? Splice Today columnist? Now is the time to relive the dreams that never came true.
Second, you can embrace a new supporting role. Ever watch one of those hot college comedies? There’s always a choice part in those for a fat, obnoxious roommate.
These people might not land the partners of their dreams, but their frolicsome antics never fail to steal the show. So answer this: Why wouldn’t you want to be a show-stealer, friend?
Finally, the freshman 15 is a rite of passage, akin to catching your best bro flirting on Grindr with your dad or watching The Boondock Saints for the 50th time. It marks the boundary that separates exciting adulthood—with its 9-to-5 workdays, Netflix binges, tearful visits to the bathroom, and assorted pairs of pleated khaki pants that are uncomfortably tight in the waist yet curiously loose in the ass—from the marathon sleeping sessions and drunken bacchanalia of dreary adolescence.
Now that you’ve packed on the avoirdupois like nobody’s business, aren’t you ready for the big time? Aren’t you ready to be a grown-up able to do the work of size?
As always, you can thank me later, true believers.