A: I have a theory.
B: Let’s hear it.
A: I think I’ve been suffering from a mild testosterone deficiency of sorts.
B: What makes you say that?
A: Well, I remember in the few weeks right before I finally hit the gym, I was feeling very edgy and anxious– I know, I know I always describe myself as edgy and anxious, but this one was slightly different. This one… I started having weird thoughts. I felt like I wanted to fuck something– I don’t mean that in a particularly sexual sense. I felt like I needed to break something, maybe.
B: And that’s new?
A: Well… I feel like it has something to do with me sitting at a desk at work all day, and then going on a very depressing, crushed-like-sardines commute every single day, almost 3 hours worth of that. Every day. And I come home and I’m in this little box of a house. I take some walks, and sometimes I go for a run, but I felt like I was getting really stifled. I know this is really bro-sciency, but I started feeling rather whiny and lethargic.
And then I hit the gym– I did some big, compound movements with the barbell– just a few short, powerful sets. I could feel it in my spine. I found myself thinking about Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about how he felt like he was cumming in the gym, and how he was in heaven.
It’s so hard to talk about this in ordinary language, it almost feels like ordinary language is a little neutered. But I’ve been feeling like I really wanted to fuck something, and somehow lifting a heavy ass weight (relative to what I normally lift– probably a puny weight to people who lift regularly) felt like it hit the spot for me.
B: Hm. Well… you know that you don’t actually have any idea what you’re talking about, phenomenologically.
A: Yeah, which is annoying. I’m no scientist. I’m not fitness expert. I’m no nutrition expert. I don’t know shit about hormones. Everything I know is just random stuff that I’ve read from magazines and the Internet. But what I do know for a fact is that I felt a very real, physical change– and not just physical, it felt like a change in the mind. It felt like I was washing my brain, in a good way.
B: So what are you going to do about it?
A: Well, for starters, I really feel like now is the time for me to start working out regularly. I don’t want to overwork myself, but I’m going to go roughly every 3 days. Once this crazy soreness subsides, I’m going to do it again. And then I’m going to eat heavy and put on some bloody weight.
B: Tell me more about your weight stuff.
A: Have I written about this before? I’m sure I have, but here it is again. I’ve always felt really weak and skinny, and I never really knew very much to do about it. I would go to the gym from time to time, and lift some weights. But I was always nervous about squats, because I was so weak and so unsure about how to do them. And I’d typically be afraid of lifting too heavy, in case somebody scolded me or something. I don’t know. I would spend too long in the gym, for some reason.
And then I wouldn’t eat very much. I’ve always had bad eating habits, and back then I felt broke and I didn’t feel like I could spend a lot of money on food. And I also suppose I didn’t know how to prepare food, either. Now I could theoretically bulk up just eating lots of eggs and drinking lots of milk. I used to hate white milk, and chocolate milk leaves that chalky aftertaste that makes it hard to drink tonnes of it of… and now I’m consuming a lot more. I think.
B: So what’s changed?
A: I think I’ve gotten older and I’ve realized that I don’t want to go on like this. I don’t want to be a 25 year old skinny guy who doesn’t eat enough. I don’t want to continue to be self conscious. I want to have big muscular legs and arms and shoulders. I want people to get out of my way when I’m trying to get somewhere. I want to feel like I can stand tall and not have to fold myself up into a tiny space– something I always do. I always feel like I’m “apologizing” for being tall and skinny, and I feel like if I had more meat on my bones, if I literally took up more mass as a human being, then I would be justified in taking up the space that my frame needs in order for me to feel comfortable. And I’d get rid of all my Medium sized t-shirts once and for all, and permanently be a Large, maybe even an XL some day. And I’d be happy and eager to buy me some proper shirts that fit.
B: It bothers you that you don’t fit in?
A: I’m happy to be a deviant person intellectually, even socially. But I don’t like it when I feel like my very proportions as a person are out of wack. I don’t like how it affects my social interactions. I don’t like being that oddly lanky guy, you know? A big guy is fine if he’s well proportioned. But the person who’s oddly lanky (or oddly short– I feel so bad for oddly short guys, because there’s really not very much they can do about it– and it seems like the solution for them is to get buff too, because everybody can respect a healthy amount of powerful muscle).
B: So you want to get fit so that people will like you more?
A: In a sense yes, but I think more fundamentally it’s so that I’ll be more comfortable in my skin around people. I don’t mind if people don’t like me, I just don’t want it to be because I look like an awkward gangly guy. If somebody says “Why are you so buff,” (what a fantasy), I can smile and shake it off easily. When they go “Eh, you’re very skinny”, I don’t know what to say.
B: That’s cute. You have body issues.
A: An unfortunate side effect of living in meatspace as a meatbag. See, if we all lived in a virtual reality this would be a non-issue.
B: I’m sure people are working on that.