*Disclaimer – I am not a certified P90X trainer, and I am not a Beachbody Coach. I am not being compensated for this blog series.  I just really like the idea of embarrassing myself publicly.  Mary Larsen is not liable for any of the opinions expressed herein.  Don’t blame her for what this knuckle-head says.

I am neither now, nor have I ever been, in awesome shape during my life.  I’ve always kinda had man boobs, scrawny arms, and little chicken legs.  Even when I was younger – and a poor to mediocre athlete – I never had a body over which the girls went wild. (Let’s be real, they still don’t.) But, to be honest, until recently, I never even cared about being fit.
My body, and, inherently, my health,  were never at the forefront of my everyday life.  For me, going to the gym was like the human race traveling at Warp Speed – it was something that was just never going to happen. Full disclosure here: even now, I’d rather hang out with my friends, play Madden 25 on PS4, or pretend to be Freddie Prinze Jr. in She’s All That.  Unfortunately, in my youth, I lacked any real discipline to get my ass off the couch to do the right thing. So, instead of exercising the way I was supposed to, I constructed the most dominant franchise the NFL had ever seen (even if it was only on Playstation.)  I didn’t waste my time paying attention to what activities I was (or, more appropriately, wasn’t) doing, or what kinds of foods were going in my mouth.  My diet consisted of things like steak, Munchos, Honey Buns, potatoes, Rolo’s, chocolate cake, and Pepsi.  As you could imagine, this was a colossal recipe for disaster.  And this was all BEFORE college.
Dude, college.  College was just brutal for my health. Between the keg parties, late night Taco Bell runs, Madden marathons (now on PS2), eating buffalo chicken calzones with a bleu cheese dipping sauce almost every day, no gym time, more keg parties, and constantly stuffing handfuls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or, more preferably, Cocoa Pebbles) in my pie hole, I created such a problem for myself that I am still, to this very day, trying to work my way out of it.
Intentional fat face.  But, clearly huge. 

After graduating from St. Anselm College in ’05 (Go Hawks!), and by the time I met Tall Mom in ’07, I had ballooned to a gargantuan 243 pounds.  I was a tub of lard.  Seriously, and I’m not even being funny about it, I still don’t understand how Tall Mom was ever attracted to me.  Well, besides my superior intellect and uncanny natural good looks of course; but, you get the idea. The picture you see of me here is what changed all of my bad habits.  

One day I saw this idiot staring back at me in a tux with that dumbass face and wondered, “what in the shit happened to me?” I was befuddled.  Out of nowhere, I turned into Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends.  So, as I trembled in disgust while looking at myself in this living tragedy of a picture, I saw how fucking awful I appeared and decided to make a change.  Tight fitting size 38 jeans weren’t gonna cut it anymore.  Instead of feeling tired, lethargic and unable to walk up a decent flight of stairs without having to take a mini-break, I chose to seriously change my life.  No longer would I be the poster boy for the route to Type-2 Diabetes. Fuck Ryan Reynolds. (Yes, he’s funny. But, he’s the same god damn guy in every movie.  Am I right?). Yes, oh the time’s they were a changin’.  But, what the hell was I going to do?  I’d never been to a gym.  Jesus Christ, a diet?!  Please.  Where was I supposed to begin?  Oddly enough, my salvation came after Jonathan Papelbon blew a save and caused the Red Sox to get swept out of the 2009 playoffs.

It was a perfect day for October baseball.  A bright and warm day game.  The Sox had the lead, and the eponymous Boston closer just had to come in, do what he always did, and shut the lights out on the Angels. But, Papelbon didn’t the have stones to strike out Erik freakin’ Aybar and close out the game.  Ultimately, the Sox got swept, and, in turn, I decided to have a few pops.  Of course, a few pops turned into many pops…and then, many turned into too many pops.  The next day, I woke up on the couch in a booze riddled haze, realizing that I had drunkenly (and angrily) watched the pitiful recap performance on NESN’s Sox-In-2 the previous night.  Unfortunately, I awoke to some informercial.  “Ugh.  What the hell?”, I thought.  “Where’s Sportscenter?  Let’s go watch the highlights again and torture myself some more.”  But before I could make out what was the clicker to change the channel, I saw some dude CAAWWWING like a moron, and banging out these crazy god damn pull ups with a towel.  He was spouting off about this thing called P90X, and Bring it, and how it was time to change my life.  It was Tony Horton.  Fittingly enough, in addition to using footage from the P90X DVD’s, the infomercial utilized home videos submitted by regular people to exhibit their personal transformations and experiences.  Their results were undeniable.  Shit, ninety days of bustin’ my balls, having a personal trainer in my family room, and I could have this kind of transformation? This was my chance.  Hey John Papelbon, thanks alot.  Seriously. You helped change my life. But, go screw while you’re at it.
Best day of my life.  But, still a little heavy.

Out came my wallet – P90X was purchased, and I muscled out one round.   Yep, six days a week in a span of 110 days (I missed a few days here and there). I sweat my balls off, but it paid off. Twenty five pounds later, I was into shit like Yoga, Plyometrics, and German Potato Soup. It was one of the hardest things I had ever accomplished in my life and it was a literal pain in my ass.  Oh my god, the soreness.  Damn you, mother-of-all-moves: Jump-Knee-Tucks!  

Obviously, being physically tough is important to P90X, but it became clear to me that being mentally tough is paramount to finishing the program.  Anyone can start it, and do a couple of weeks.  But, the mentally tough people finish it, and get the results they want.   My transformation wasn’t so drastic as many people (because I still ate like shit), but I actually looked like a relatively decent human being for my wedding in 2010.  But, I knew I could do better.  I could do more.   More importantly, I wanted more.  I was totally hooked.  Tony had me.  “I can’t,” was no longer part of my vernacular.  It was replaced by, “I presently struggle with.”  And, then, P90X2 came out….

More on that later.
Do Your Best And Forget The Rest

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