My Fatness Is Preventing Righteous Basketball Justice

A few months ago I wrote about how I was determined to get in shape after regaining some of the weight I lost a year ago. In that post, I promised to be more accountable and share my experiences via this blog. I was going to post recipes and workouts and comical anecdotes about my frustrations. I was going to conquer this weight-loss shit once and for all. It was a compelling, funny, and honest read that was thoroughly convincing. And since then, I’ve done none of that shit. I’ve lost a little bit of weight since then (and by a little, I mean about 10 pounds, 20 if you count the dehydration I’ve experienced courtesy of being sick this past week). Yet I’ve posted nothing. Not a recipe, or a workout, or frustratingly honest humorous reflection. I’ve thought many times about penning something here or there only to envelope myself in some other competing priority. Like work. Or sleep. Or delicious sandwiches from Blunch and Flour.

I also haven’t had much motivation to workout. In the abstract, I want to lose weight. Because that’s apparently what you’re supposed to do if your body type is more Anthony Anderson and less Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But if I’m being brutally honest, I haven’t found the necessary motivation to follow through. For one, I’m not a paid athlete, or a personal trainer, or a model, or any other profession that requires me to maintain peak physical fitness. My current job consists of finding fun ways to sell shit. Although I hoop regularly and play golf occasionally, I’m not chasing endorsement deals or max contracts. I get buckets and birdies with a belly intact.

Additionally, my rotund stomach hasn’t gotten in the way of garnering attention from the opposite sex. I may not be melting hearts like Idris Elba or Michael B. Jordan, but if I really tried I don’t think I’d have trouble finding someone’s daughter to cuddle with on a Friday night. You can credit that to my impressive sneaker collection, wit, and way with words. Oh, and vibes, because apparently, that shit’s important.

But this past weekend I had an epiphany; I need to lose weight because I’m tired of non-hoopers out hooping me. Out-hooping may be a bit of a stretch. Let’s say hitting timely, lucky-ass happy birthday shots.

One of the benefits of being in shape is that your body is capable of moving on-demand whenever and wherever you want it to, with varying degrees of quickness and speed. Want to get up and run like a deer? Then you can get up and run like a deer. Want to jump a fence because a Rottweiler is suddenly chasing you? Then you can jump a fence and not have your ass mauled to pieces.

When you’re fat, shit doesn’t work like that. Things take time. A lot of time. Stretches must be employed early and often. And there’s some shit that’s out of the question. Like running up and down the court without taking a few—or in some cases a all—necessary plays off.

I love playing basketball. And to my surprise, the older I’ve gotten the better I’ve become. I can outshoot most people and have held my own in competitive rec leagues. I’ve watched enough NBA League Pass that I now have an above-average basketball IQ and have developed an efficient step-back bank shot. Again, I’m not hooping for a contract and would most definitely get embarrassed by someone with Division 1 or D-League experience. But against average everyday dudes, I’m a solid first or second choice in pickup games. If we’re playing to 15, you can pencil me in for at least 6 points. If we’re playing to 21, twos and threes—which is the only way pickup games should be played—then I’m definitely getting at least 10. Bet money!

But the one person I can’t stand during pickup games is the overzealous, high school junior varsity bench warmer, “I’m here to fuck some shit up, bro” hooper. The asshole that’s built like Zach Efron, can’t dribble to save his life, throws up errant jump shots from half-court, but out hustles everyone. The only speed he knows is fast and uncontrollable as fuck. He usually hoops in running shoes or some athletic kicks he recently snagged at Marshall’s. He crashes every board and contests every shot from anywhere on the floor. He talks all the shit, is the king of phantom fouls, and annoyingly screams “and 1” after every shot attempt but gets pissed off when you call him out for tackling someone or taking four steps when he picks up his dribble. He’s basically an embodiment of Zaza Pachulia, Grayson Allen, and Patrick Beverley without any of the basketball skill.

And for some reason, this motherfucker always guards me. ALWAYS. Maybe it’s because I dominated in 21 before we started 5-on-5. Or because I put up some buckets in a game prior. Whatever the case, this dude singles me out, spews some nonsense about how I’m not going to get anymore buckets, and begins to hand-check me like he’s in a fucking karate class.

And though I have more skill, a far superior jump shot, and an impressive barrage of footwork and post moves, this clown regularly bests me. Like this past weekend when I put up 10 points but his team still won because he cherry-picked the game-winning layup (and because my team was trash). Or the time before that when I hit a game-winning 3, only to have it waved off because this bum said my foot was on the line (it wasn’t) and then ran like a gazelle to the tune of five straight buckets. Or countless other occasions when this clown only scored because I was either too winded, too aching, or too fat to stop him.

Well that shit ends today. I can’t sit idly by and let this abomination continue. Because lord knows that if I was as agile, and fast, and nimble as this Sir Hack-a-lot I’d put him in the dirt. Every. Single. Time. So, that’s my mission. To become fit for the sole purpose of ridding the world of hustle bros in gyms everywhere. Or at least the ones I get buckets in. They must be stopped. They’re not hoopers. It’s time

Full disclosure, I won’t commit to posting about my journey this time around because I have so much other shit to worry about. But dammit, my cardio game’s got to get better. I can’t be winded after two plays. And “my bad, I got you next time” is the worst kind of help defense. (Seriously, my fatness paralyzes me to play James Harden level defense.)

Also, for what’s worth, my oldest son is maturing to become a deftly skilled hooper and it’s only a matter of time before he’s taller and routinely LeBroning my ass. So, I need to stave that off for as long as I can.

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Holy Fuck, I’m Fat Again!

About a year ago I had an epiphany (this about to get really graphic, so bear with me): after having a tube stuck up my ass to diagnose why I was frequently shitting blood-soaked bricks, a resident med student apathetically diagnosed me with IBS and inflamed hemorrhoids. At the time I weighed a whopping 285 pounds, with a 44-inch waist, and a man butt that would put a rhinoceros to shame. I was fat. But more alarming, I was unhealthy.

Although I took part in weekly hoop sessions (because a fat shooter is still a shooter), my diet was hot garbage. I was downing at least two 20 oz bottles of Mountain Dew Pitch Black daily, consuming untold amounts of Powerade, and devouring any and every sweet concoction I could get my fat ass hands on. I was a junkie, strung out on sugary sweet goodness and delectable fats.

And as if my horrendous lack of proper nutrition wasn’t bad enough, my eating habits were worse. I ate like a caveman, stuffing my face as fast as I could like wildebeests were stalking me, patiently waiting for me to let my guard down so they could pillage my food. Although I credit Boy Scouts for helping me develop resourcefulness and character, it’s also where I perfected a hastiness for masticating oatmeal, animal carcasses, and canned vegetables. Thus, faced with the prospect of enduring more Freddie Kreuger porcelain throne sessions or curtailing my dietary nightmare to relieve my digestive system and lose weight, I chose the latter.

For the better part of 2017, I adopted an impressive healthy lifestyle. I replaced juices and pop (or what some of you wrongly refer to as soda) with high-quality H2O. I meal prepped. I ate clean. I meticulously monitored my caloric intake. I scheduled feeding sessions and methodically chewed my food. I became more active, replacing intermittent basketball with regular cardio and resistance training. I drowned my myself in gallons of green tea with no sweeteners. I even went full vegan for a stretch of time that I didn’t think was humanly possible—which, if you’re wondering is about six weeks. And for my efforts and sacrifices, I lost 65 pounds over the course of five months. (Note: this was the first time I was 220 lbs. with a body fat below 20% since my baseball playing days in high school.)

BeforeAfter

Life was good. I was stuntin’ on the ‘Gram with my shirt off, wearing fitted clothing that accentuated my muscles, and no longer willingly subjecting my rectum to painful bowel movements every 30 minutes. And for the first time in a very long time, I felt healthy.

But as I write this now, on January 23, 2018, I am currently 255 pounds and essentially fat again. How the fuck did I gain all this weight back?!

The abbreviated answer is life. Shortly after getting my shirtless Shamar Moore on, I suffered a severe ankle injury, then snagged a new gig that required me to live out of hotels and suitcases for two consecutive months. This meant eating out more, cooking less, and becoming increasingly more sedentary. Then came relocation, more travel, and a heavy work schedule that obliterated any chances of maintaining my laboriously stringent lifestyle.

If these sound like excuses, you’re absolutely right, they are. It’s also evidence that I am a human being. Although my health has drastically improved (pooping has turned into peaceful reading time), I still crave sweet concoctions and delectable fats. Only instead of mystery meat McDonald’s (seriously, nobody should be eating that shit) I’m now prone to scarfing down organic cupcakes and handcrafted sandwiches from hipster restaurants (shout out to Flour and Blunch in Boston).

Thus, I’m going to try this shit again. Because I’m tired of random dudes doubting my bonafide hooping skills in spite of my belly. And I’m secretly trying to go full Erik Killmonger for the highly anticipated premiere of Black Panther. And I superficially just want to stunt on niggas (there, I said it). To increase my self-accountability I’m going to post about my journey weekly for the next few months. Hell, maybe I’ll do it for the rest of the year. For some reason, the prospect of publicly sharing my exploits is weirdly motivational and frightening at the same damn time.

I’ll share some insights I’ve unearthed, provide a few recipes, and frequently vent about this process because losing weight is hard and frustrating as fuck. Hopefully, this time, the results stick. But if they don’t, or worse yet, I fail to lose the weight at all, at least this time it’ll be entertaining and you can impress your friends with some handy kitchen skillz.

Disclaimer: I’ve said this before, but if you’re fat, bask in your fatness. Love yourself, gotdammit, rolls, stretch marks, and all. And if you’re fit, that’s cool, but share the gotdamn equipment at the gym and stop yapping about fat people using it. Why the fuck do you think they’re there? Eat a lettuce wrapped air donut and be on your merry way.