Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005
Dear Diary:

The spousal unit came in the door last night with a huge box addressed to me under his arm.

"Popeye's Supplements," he read off the return address. He fixed me with that bemused expression that a long married man gives his wife when said wife yet again does something that makes said long married man think to himself, "How well do I really know this woman?"

Out loud he dryly said, "The very name Popeye's Supplements inspires such confidence."

I made that dismissive little sniff sound I make when I feel that it would simply be too much work to explain the intricacies of on-line shopping for the best price for things.

I opened the box and hauled out the most enormous, most purple container of protein powder you have ever seen in your life. Six freaking pounds of protein powder. It came with a poster meant to inspire the target demographic, the folks who usually buy protein powder on this scale.

The poster read: The Mass Stack. WICKED HUGE. There was a photograph of a man with biceps about the size of my thighs.

Fear me.

The spousal unit blinked.

I rummaged in the box for the free samples of assorted weightlifting geegaws the company always sends. There was a new brand of protein powder. There was something called No-Xplode, which billed itself as An Extreme Nitric Oxide & Creatine Surge with the tag line "TRAIN LIKE A FREAK".

"Train like a Freak," I chortled. I love the world of weightlifting supplements, how earnestly over the top everything is. I flipped the package over, read its ingredients and how it was to be taken, came to the conclusion it's some sort of stimulant. Um, no thanks. That I pitched into the trash.

The spousal unit was still looking at the poster. He made that little sound he makes just before he's going to say something to me he's afraid I won't like. It's a very endearing little tic of his.

"What do you need that stuff for?"

"I've decided to put a major push on for the next month and to build as much muscle as I can," I told him. "To do that I need to really up my protein. My trainer and I are both concerned that taking too much soy protein might jack up my estrogen levels."

I gave him the rundown on studies linking some post-menopause cancers to estrogen. Soy is a significant source of estrogen. I'm confident that the three times a week I've been using soy protein is fine, but now I want to boost my protein seven days a week.

The spousal unit processed this. He studied the poster of MR. WICKED HUGE. There was another blink.

"Is this going to happen to you?" As in, would I bulk out?

There are moments when I want to smack the guy with an enormous clue stick. I mean, I have been lifting weights since 2001 and I have been consistently shrinking. Has he not noticed this?

To build the sort of muscle he's thinking of I would have to mainline protein, work out for five or six hours a day in the gym, and you'd almost certainly have to throw steroids into the pot.

So I rolled my eyes, sighed, and said no, he did not have to worry, no one would ever be calling me Arnolda.

Then came the question I was dreading. "So why are you doing this?"

"My ass," I said tersely, hoping that the tone of voice would be enough, that he would just let the subject drop right there, because surely after 30 years of marriage the spousal unit has finally realized that a woman's unhealthy fixation relationship with her buttal region is a complex, nuanced thing, something best kept between the woman and said buttal region.

But, of course, he could not let the subject drop.

"Your ass?"

"Ratcheting up the running is giving me pancake ass," I confessed. There. I said it out loud. The man was probably completely unaware of how much I hated saying that.

The spousal unit tried to be surreptitious about it, but I could see he was scoping out my, uh, back porch. The fact that he did not instantly and loudly proclaim, "Woman, you're dreaming! You have the butt that launched a thousand ships!" confirmed my darkest fears.


Most people, when they run, develop beautiful, round, firm derrières. I think of these derrières as peach butts. I admire the aesthetics of the peach butt.

I, on the other hand, when I run I develop pancake ass. This is the way the universe unfolds for me.

Is pancake ass in any way debilitating?


Is doing a whole series of exercises designed solely to build up my buttal muscles and wipe out my raging case of pancake ass basically an act of senseless vanity?

Why yes, yes it is.

Thank you so very, very much for forcing me to say this out loud.

So yes, I am running to improve my heart, my stamina, my immune system and to prove to myself that I am up to the physical challenge of doing something I'm not particularly good at. I am weight lifting to give me better posture, to strengthen my bones, and to give me the physical strength to keep doing the things I love, such as landscaping.

And now I'm going to start gulping down a disgusting tasting protein beverage AND do a series of very tiring and boring exercises which serve no purpose beyond vanity.

It's no wonder the spousal unit looks at me sometimes as if he wonders just exactly who this woman is he married.

Frankly, there are times when I wonder the same thing myself.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 814.92 miles. 10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duckhalf way smooch10 per cent rubber duck Over half way there. Oh, man, please let this be over

Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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