Weight just a minute

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

There comes a time in every young man's life when he must decide whether taking supplements will really enhance his physique in such a way that women will turn their heads Exorcist-style just to catch a glimpse of his steroid-induced buttocks.

And it seems as though my friends have hit that vanity-crazed point in their lives where nothing is more important than having the body fat count equivalent of a piece of dental floss.

During track season in high school, I too became the victim of such body enhancements with names like Body X-plode, Protein X-plode and You Will X-plode. I didn't care what it took to make me bigger. All I knew is that I was sick of looking like a crazed, sun-bleached skeleton running around the track.

Sure enough, I began X-ploding, going from 145 pounds to 165 pounds I went to the gym outside of practice, ate the healthiest things I could find at Taco Bell and drank enough water to fill a pool. However, by the time I reached my peak physical condition, track season had come to an end, and the image of my bones covered in a thin layer of albino had already been burned into the minds of spectators.

After graduation, I gave up and so did my metabolism. Even without supplements, my body continued exploding (not X-ploding) until I reached 185 pounds. At this kind of weight, I perfected a new talent in which I stuck my stomach out for extended periods of time and pretended to be pregnant. I even began doing it at parties just to get a few cheap laughs. However, the pregnant-man bit only lasted about a week, and by the end of its run, even the crickets had ceased being amused.

Now my friends are getting caught up in this never-ending protein-shake way of life, all just to gain a few pounds. They wonder why they never have any money, and it's because they're throwing anywhere from $30 to $80 out the window every month so they can eat these big buckets of powder that taste like regurgitated dirt.

Hearing them always talk about the progress they're making in the gym makes me wonder if Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds constantly compared how much they could bench press or, after making sure their phone lines weren't tapped, argued over who X-ploded the most during the week. Of course, what they were using was a little more potent than what I used during my track days. They most likely used XXX-plode or even a step up to the onomatopoeic brand BOOOOOM.

Luckily, no one I know has gone that far off the deep end, and if they do, I'll hold an intervention where all we'll discuss are the disadvantages of steroid use, such as a lowered sperm count, increased risk of heart attack and liver disease.

But then they'd counter-argue by pulling out a picture of me running track, and those attending the intervention would most likely side with them, saying that perhaps steroids are worth the risk.

So I guess what I've been asking myself these past couple of years is if I really care what my physique looks like as long as I'm healthy. I suppose I don't really, but since the whole pregnant man thing isn't working out for me, I've ordered a month's supply of M-plode to get rid of these few extra pounds.

Sam DeReign is a student at Southeast Missouri State University.

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