B. Ivey, Real Southern Dad – Attack of the Doughboy

Billy isn't angry with you. We swear.

I’m getting fat. Not like obese or disgusting-big. More like “doughy.” A little flabby and plump. I just look lazy, I think. You know, I used to look active, even when I wasn’t. Now? Not so much. Not that a Real Southern Man should worry about such things.

I’m 38 years old, and I look like a sixty-two-year-old truck driver when I’m shirtless. There’s hair now where there used to be “shine.” I have what can only be described as boobs. I used to have bustling pecs under my t-shirt. Now, it looks like I have dollops of something dropping from my man-breasts.

Gross, right? Don’t I know it.

My wife just sort of glances over and smirks when I’m getting dressed in the mornings. Arms crossed. Hand to the side of her face. Mouth gaping. There she goes again with the combo: exhale-head shake. It makes me want to throw a shoe at her.

But I’m not mad at her, really. I’m frustrated at myself. With myself. Both.

It’s hard, though, to eat right, exercise … and not drink beer. My wife says all I need to do is practice a little more self-control, and I’d probably lose 10 or 12 pounds. My internal response to that is, “Yeah? Well, you try living with you and five, spoiled rotten kids and see if you don’t gluttonize a little, too!”

She likes to smock baby clothes and scrapbook. I like to Tap the Rockies and dip Nilla Wafers in peanut butter. To each his own.

I guess I could start getting up early and jogging. I could stop watching re-runs of The West Wing at Midnight; stop playing Mario Kart until 2 AM; hit the sack an hour early, get up and get outside and run.

I could also dress up like a gorilla and prounce about my office every day singing show tunes, but it ain’t happenin’. My filter tells me where to draw the line.

How’s that for self control, sweetheart!

I really do need to do something about my waistline and He-teats, though. I want my kids to be proud of their dad. I want them to want me to be the guy who takes them to the swimming pool or who plays with them on the beach. I want to not feel obligated to put on a shirt before walking into my kitchen for a glass of water. I want for my 2-year-old to not feel compelled to stick his pointer finger in my belly button because it’s fun to watch it “disappear.”

I want to be able to see my whole … you know… feet when I look straight down. I want my wife to sleep facing me and not turned, clinging to the edge of her side of the bed for fear I might get a “big idea.”

I want to be healthy and vibrant and less … doughy. I also want a heaping scoop of Jif, chocolate chip cookies and a bag of Twizzlers for lunch.

You know what? I’ve seen tonight’s West Wing rerun no fewer than thirteen times. Maybe I’ll go to bed early and start over in the morning. Maybe.

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