Tuesday, January 24, 2006

To Di For!

I'm kind of sore today, and I'm blaming my friend Di! You see, she asked me a question this past weekend...a question that I feel should never be asked. She asked me: "Are you still working out?"
We were at a wine tasting party this past Saturday night hosted by our friends Henry and Susan at their home in Ferrette, France. Well into the evening, Di, who was seated directly across the table from me, asked me the question that should never be asked. Not only did she ask the question, but she also told me that my shoulders looked small and implied that my diet had eaten away muscle along with fat. Her comments were strangely reminiscent of comments Mrs. TBF made in August, 2004 when she told me that my biceps could be looking bigger (I'm paraphrasing here!).
Now, I'd like to point out that I was absolutely "wailing" on my biceps at the gym for months. Every few days, the following conversation would take place:

TBF: (flexing biceps) Whadya' think? Huh? HUH???

Mrs. TBF: (rolling her eyes up into her head...) Yeah...really great!


I seem to recall that I eventually coached Mrs. TBF into spontaneously saying something like "...GEEEZ! You're biceps are looking HUGE!" just for purposes of stroking my male ego.
I continued punishing my biceps at the gym until this past August when we were at the gym at our hotel in Capri, and Mrs. TBF saw me doing my arm workout in person for the first time.

Mrs. TBF: "I don't like what I'm seeing!!! You're straining WAY TOO HARD!!!

TBF: "But...how else can I maintain the guns?"


Mrs. TBF won (as usual), and I eased up on my workout, so that she'd "ease up off my back about it!" I decided to go on a diet, ease up a little on my workout, and go for a lean, wiry, and lanky look instead of the man-beast look.
Overall, I'm happy with the decision to lose weight. I'm not getting any younger, and I think I can stave off things like diabetes, knee replacement surgery, etc. by being lighter. But, I will miss the "BIG" days. Especially random comments like when I was standing at the urinals peeing at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu in 1998 during a Northwestern vs. U. of Hawaii football game (when I was pretty close to my largest) and some Hawai'ian dude came in and said, "DAMN!!! You are one big Mother F-----!!!" Moments like that make me wish I had a video camera!
I just can't win! When I weighed 250 lbs. (I've been as high as 275 lbs.!), nobody said boo about my weight. Now, I'm down 32 lbs., and all I hear is "...you're losing weight too quickly!", "...when are you going to stop dieting?", "...are you sick?", "...we're not going to be able to call you The BIG Finn anymore!", "...you didn't need to lose weight to begin with", "...are you still working out?"!!!

EVERYBODY: EASE UP!!!


If you need to reach me, I'll be at the gym...wailing on my biceps AND my shoulders!

8 comments:

CanadianSwiss said...

Next time we see you, I'll make sure to look fascinated by your biceps. Make sure to wear short sleeves ;-)

cncz said...

yeah but how tall are you? (ignore my tall envy)
my husband doesn't have bicep issues, but pecs issues. the things women tell men for their egos.

The Big Finn said...

DP...
I'm either 6'4" or 6'5" depending on which doctor has done the measuring. That comes out to something like 193 - 195 cm. BTW...Mrs. TBF is 5'0", which comes out to 152.5 cm.

Expat Traveler said...

TBF - I've got a bit of advice for ya! Basically I'm a certified trainer without the cert. I lifted for at least 14 years of my 30 that I've been alive and have been coached well. So here goes...

I'm not sure how you work your biceps, but contracting up and down can help get more definition. As well, start with a pyramid in weight. Say start with 30's at 3X20, then 35's at 3X15, then 40's at 3X12, then 50's at 3X8. I'm using this as an example weight but really it helped me reach great heights a few years back.

You really don't have to go to high, but by giving your muscles a different kick, just like you do with eating, you can actually gain more definition. (I'm sure you've done this with your eating on WW.) Apply it to lifting and there ya go...

As well, if you have the cables in your gym, you can really use those for some exercises, again super light but with contractions. This is kind of following plyometrics and medicine ball techniques which all olympic level athletes do...

:) Jen....

The Big Finn said...

Dear Expatraveler...
Thanks for the advice, but you're kind of in danger of falling into the same category as Di by giving me this advice. I too was on the swim team in high school (200 and 500 freestyle), and I've been lifting weights and working out since 1978. Oh...my...God! It doesn't show!!! Why am I wasting my time??? ;-)

Expat Traveler said...

Um - ok... At least your healthy. :)

Expat Traveler said...

By the way in your pic down below, you've got some good muscle in your arms. I think that is sexy on a guy... I can tell you lift, if that makes ya feel better...

Kirk said...

If a Hawaiian said you looked big, you must have really been enormous--they don't grow 'em small on the islands.