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I weighed myself a few days ago, and to my surprise:
Despite my recent rants about a growing gut and disappearing jawline, I am five pounds lighter than I was two months ago.
Not bad. Though I'm not sure from where the five pounds were shed. I can't tell by looking in the mirror.
And I am not even sure I can credit the gym. I have been on the road in small towns most of April, staying in motels along two-lane highways, where the restaurants' best menu items aren't exactly high in beta carotene or probiotics.
Maybe this is a delayed reaction from my regular gym schedule up until the end of March.
Or maybe I have a tapeworm gobbling all those bacon cheeseburgers I have been stuffing in my mouth with greasy fingers the last two weeks.
Whatever the cause, I had better get back in the gym before April's excesses catch up with a weighty wallop.
And I am also thinking about going more often. Two to three times a week isn't enough, I don't think.
I am not sure I have the dedication to do the full routine of treadmill/weights/treadmill every other day. But it could be that going more regularly is what counts, even if on some days I only do cardio.
I recently updated my mugshot, the picture the Toronto Star uses on my blog and occasionally in the paper.
A few generous readers complimented me on the photo.
I'll say this for it ... it's a more accurate image. Until the change, my mug was as photographed in 2004.
A lot has happened since then.
The most consequential to my face, and the fat on it, was quitting smoking, and the compulsive McDonald's eating and beer drinking that occupied most of my nights.
I was not interested in seeing my jawline softening. And I was pretty sure I was growing a little pouch under my chin. Happy not to measure that kind of development daily in the mirror, I kept a beard for most of the year since I quit.
It's a coarse, red-in-patches beard that at one point a few weeks ago was so long I could not avoid chewing on moustache hairs when biting into a sandwich. It was so long that when I was in Morocco last month for a friend's wedding, the local Berbers called me Ali Baba.
But my wife could only tolerate the ratty pelt for so long.
I shaved it off a few weeks ago, and what I saw in the mirror was as feared.
So when I was told to do a new mugshot for the Star, I beamed a higher-than-normal-wattage smile in an effort to pull my slack face skin as tight as possible. And I pushed my chin out and down to hide the pouch.
I may have to start smoking again so I can tone up.