Gay Dad: Loose Ends

John Jericiau

John Abs

Perhaps I write stories about events and experiences every week, but don’t follow up well enough regarding the outcomes. At least that’s what I’m sensing lately, what with readers sending me private messages (more of them in the last few months for some reason) and asking me, sometimes begging me, to tell them how this turned out or how that is going. So I’m going to use this time to tie up some loose ends that I may have left hanging out in the blogosphere.

I wrote a while back about how I had gained some weight (I lovingly call it baby fat) in the last six years (my oldest son is six), which was difficult for me to swallow, unlike Krispie Kremes, which are not difficult. I started training and competing in triathlons and endurance events way back in 1979, so for twenty-nine years straight I was able to eat anything and not worry about gaining weight. I was a mean lean 150 pounds. Then came our first child, followed eight months later by our second child, and the perfect storm took over my body. I was training way less, eating way more and way worse, and sleeping less, which theoretically promotes weight gain. This was happening to a guy approaching 50 (whose metabolism has taken a nosedive) who also has obesity in his genetic makeup. Let’s just say that at least half of my ancestors do not resemble stick figures.

Today I’m at 170 pounds, unable to run shirtless on the bike path, unable to fit into my favorite outfits. I’ve worn pants with buttons that have popped off or fasteners that have failed, using a belt to hold it all together. I wear loose clothing, leave my Speedos home when going to the beach, and make love in dark (or very dim lit) rooms. It’s pretty pathetic. I wrote over a year ago about losing weight being way up top on my list of New Year’s Resolutions. I wrote about the many ways I would work hard to lose the weight in a slow and sustained manner, and I resolved to get right back down to my 150-pound race weight.

That never happened. But life happened. Son number three happened. Being the consummate optimist, however, I sit here in July of 2013 and still believe that I can get back to my race weight of 150 pounds. Just twenty pounds. I’ve begun to cut out the unhealthy fat-laden foods. I’m trying to exercise more. I’m trying to eat fewer calories. Give me strength. I’ve been here before, talking the talk without walking the walk, and I’ve failed. All I can do is hope that this time I won’t fail.

I wrote last year about the conflict we were having with our home. Should we move to a bigger house away from the beach, or stay put and try to make it work here. We love our location by the beach in Santa Monica, but who’s to say that we wouldn’t be happy somewhere in the valley, where we could have more rooms, an even bigger yard, and maybe even a pool. It would take lots of cash to fix up our place, and where do we start? Everything needs attention, updating, and fixing.

We decided then that, for now, we would stay at the beach. And we’ve made great strides towards upgrading. Out with the old rotted picket fence surrounding our property, and in with a sleek sexy horizontal wood fence. We converted our garage to an office/gym, which theoretically should help me with my weight-loss efforts. Our office in the house is converted to our guest room (and our most frequent guest — frequent being every weekend so that Daddy and Papa can have Saturday date night — is our surrogate/friend). Our old guest room is in the process of converting to our eldest two sons’ room, complete with two bunk beds with desks underneath, new furniture, and plenty of storage bins so that toys can stay our of sight. And the room our two eldest sons have inhabited since birth, which is attached to our master suite upstairs, will now become our youngest son’s room. We’ve had every hardwood floor in the house refinished, and we’ve repainted the entire downstairs. We’ve had window shades installed downstairs.

Yes we still have to paint and change the carpet upstairs, landscape the front and back yards, paint the outside of the house, purge all of the junk that has collected in the last twenty years, and finally get a mind-blowing tree house built for the boys. But we feel so pleased in the progress we’ve made and the way everything looks. It feels like we have a new house in the best location. We’re happy. We still check out open houses on occasion, however. It’s good to keep our eyes open.

Sometimes Alen and I just look at each other, shake our heads and just say “Life. Wow”. Because you can have a plan and the best intentions, but then life will throw you a curve ball: a son with tonsillitis (it’s happening now), a son who won’t eat vegetables (we have one), etc. The best plan is to work toward your goals, giving it all you got, but be willing to change course and adapt to current conditions as they happen. And so I will continue to work hard, until I’m in shape and living in my dream home, cooking vegetables for my healthy sons. Or die trying.

Then, and only then, will we entertain the thought of adding rooms to our house and a dog or two to our life. And putting in a pool.

And building a guesthouse. And buying some artwork. And rehabbing our kitchen, so I can have a nicer place to avoid.

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