Cheat Day and Jogging Pants


Chugger: jogging pants

In June I was forced to once again don pants. This was both a personal choice and one thrust upon me by the sneer of judgment. Lee met me for a beer one day in late June and said, “dude, are you still in pjs? Corona’s over.” As it turns out he was both right and wrong.

In the beginning of the Corona we were all in it together and nobody judged anybody. Our weekly trips to the store found neighbors in robes, muumuus, and hazmat suits and nobody blinked (the only part we could see). I went everywhere in what we will liberally describe as “jogging pants” and slip-on shoes. Nobody judged. Recently, however, I tired of being looked at on the metro like a guy wearing a thong to a museum of art.

At first, I looked right back at them thinking Who are you to judge, what with your fanny packs and socks under sandals? Still, I finally decided to come back to the world of the be-pantalooned.

I imagined that re-panting might bring about a transformation. Like suddenly I might feel more clearheaded and ready to take on the world with vigor, ready to be a productive member of society again. I imagined myself in a perpetual state of just showered state, wherein my hair and skin was clear and warm and soft but not pruned.

This – and I can’t stress this enough – did not happen.  

Re-panting was – and is – in no way or manner pleasant. I was productive and clear-headed in comfortable, non-binding pjs. Pants have brought me discomfort surprising since for three months I ate carbs and didn’t walk. They were tight. This needed a change.

With a heavy heart – and a heavier ass – I said goodbye to a daily diet of bread and tubular meats and reinstituted the daily diet of low carbs and foods that came out of the ground. Why, of course I’m miserable, how nice of you to ask.

Being 45 years old makes you gain weight. Just the words. Before I say my age, I instinctively loosen my belt (another thing I didn’t have to do with my jogging pants). Afterwards, my body, clearly reacting to some ageist enzyme, adds two pounds to my stomach. Then I cry. So it was time to eat better.

There are two bright sides to eating well during the week. The first is that I can sup on the knowledge that I am being better than others. I do this as might a religious person while they are drinking tepid water and praising an invisible being for the souls of those out having sex, drinking, and enjoying their lives.  

The second bright side is the Cheat Day, which for me is Saturday. A Cheat Day works on various fronts. In the first place, you eat mostly healthy all week long, so one day is eating with guilt free gluttony. If you are one of those people who keep within some caloric range on yor Cheat Day, then I tell you with confidence that nobody is ever going to love you. Plus, you deserve to get set rat traps in the mail. Second, it gives me something to look forward to and to fantasize about, a thing which I start doing on Tuesday.

Last Friday I went to the store in my jogging pants and with a watering mouth and a list longer than a CVS receipt. This list was mostly salted meats and potatoes in a variety of forms. I shopped like the body man for a hedonistic king of France. Now, it’s not only a Cheat Day celebration, but rather a nostalgia for the three months of being cooped up at home. My jogging pants and unhealthy food. Conversations muffled through masks. By the time I left the store, I felt a little sad. And on the way back I pretended zombies were chasing me to speed up my walk, thus giving me an excuse for the jogging pants. Which is all I really ever wanted anyway.  

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