all the beer our bellies can hold

Seasonal Oversight: Part 6

That stern comment from my mom set the tone for the rest of my 5 day visit up north. Whenever, I’d walk around, I’d always get a comment from one family member or the other about my weight. Most of it was rather tame “You’ve filled out” or “Starting to look like a real man, Thomas”, but it still made me blush and grin awkwardly at all of the reactions. Especially considering that I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to gain again. But really exercising was way too much work. I wasn’t even bothered to help out with shoveling the 6 inches of snow that fell on Wednesday.

Rather instead, I slept in. And continued to eat as if there was no tomorrow, fully enjoying the holiday spirit and jolliness. Not to mention that it was so fucking cold and dreary here. It really felt good to have a paunch to keep me from freezing to death. On Wednesday, I hung around the kitchen almost all day, never really helping out with the feast the next day, but rather snacking on all the baked goods, and getting a preview of all the dishes. I must’ve eaten a dozen cookies, before my aunt noticed how I wasn’t really helping.

“Thomas, you can’t just stay here and be a pig!”

Awkwardly, I finished the spice cookie I was currently munching on, and                 asked timidly, “Do you want some help?”

When I only received silence, I figured I best head upstairs for a nap. All that eating got me tired anyway. It was only when my aunt thought that I was out of earshot that I overheard her telling my mom how she should do something about my weight, and how she was concerned that I was eating out of stress, and that I was having a terrible college experience. Which I guess wasn’t completely untrue.

But that exchange did spike my interest, so I went directly up to the bathroom to inspect the damage. And I guess in my few days, I hadn’t looked in a mirror. I was looking positively chunky. And the size small red sweater I was wearing now wasn’t doing any favors. Stepping on the scale, my dick sprang right up, when I read 165.4. Forget the big reveal of 160, I had already gained 30 pounds in only 3 months of college. And from every single angle, it showed. I lifted my arms and noticed how the sweater rose up to my belly button, setting there, revealing my blond happy trail and bloated, round underside.

After napping, I decided to meet up with my old high school friend, Brooke, who wanted to host a drinksgiving with our old high school buds. Making my way to her house, I realized everyone would probably notice my bulging round gut. And I wasn’t mistaken. All of my old friends wanted to pat, smack, and rub my new belly. Everyone was astounded that I had already gained 2 freshman fifteens in the short time. But evidently, that wasn’t why we were there. And Brooke was able to hold a raging get-together with the 5 of us in the basement and a bottle of vodka and several cans of beer.

My friends Mary and Caitlin had to leave around midnight, so I was just left with Brooke and her new college boyfriend, Blake. He was kinda a douche, but at the time that it was just us 3, I was too drunk to care. On some dumb bet, we ended up making out, and I only vaguely remember it being drunk and sloppy and Brooke finding it so hot. Eventually it was just them 2 on the couch and I decided it was too late to drive back drunk, so I decided to make it my mission to finish all the alcohol. By 4 am, I had downed the remaining third of the bottle and drunk the last 6 cans, and was feeling extremely inebriated, yet bloated. I don’t think I ever felt as fat as I did at that moment, laying on the carpet, with my gut sticking way up in the air. Miraculously, I never ended up puking any of those calories.

I arrived home the next day around 1 pm, with bloodshot eyes and my gut nearly hanging out of my too-tight red sweater. Luckily, I entered through the back door and took a shower to take away some of the hangover. I weighed 166.5 and was a little disappointed that last night only resulted in a pound, but figured I’d put more away tonight. Nevertheless, the size 32 khakis I planned on wearing caused me to suck in to button them up: a new development since last week.

Thanksgiving dinner was everything I was hoping it’d be with a wide array of turkey and gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, rolls, stuffing, and a dozen more side dishes. I heaped my plate full of a little of everything, as did everyone the first go round, but managed to eat it quicker than anyone else. So, naturally, I filled it up with generous servings again, yet tried making my gluttony as subtle as possible. However, my button on my pants continued to creak quietly with every mouthful I shoved in, and my tan turtleneck was getting extremely tight and making me hot. By the time that I finished my 2nd plate, most people were finishing up their 1st and gathering seconds, so I thought maybe it would go unnoticed that I was getting a 3rd heaping plateful. But instead, my grandpa asked rather loudly “Are you sure you want to get thirds, Thomas? You’re getting kinda tubby.”

I right about wanted to hide away, but instead managed a cheeky smile and anwered “Really?”. Everyone at the table didn’t find it amusing, and genuinely thought I hadn’t noticed my weight gain. I continued shoving in more and more food, ignoring the stares, until the creaky button popped right off and fell on the floor near my chair. I immediately went down to grab it, and realized with horror that as I bent down, my khakis split open in a crack in the back. Nevertheless, I finished my plate, and forced down a fourth plate of food, as most adults left downstairs to watch the football game. Making sure no one was around, I exited to my room to assess the damage. My normally soft belly was hard to the touch and pushed out very far. The khakis were quite ruined, and looked way too tight to begin with. I weighed 168.8 and realized I wanted to see 170 before the night was over.

I changed into my medium sweatpants, which were even tight, but just not painfully so, and went downstairs for dessert. I pigged out on all 6 cakes, pies, and brownies once over, before going to the basement with everyone else with my ‘1st plate’ of dessert all moderate servings. Clearly, I didn’t want to attract any more weight-related attention. When I crawled back upstairs, heavier than I’ve ever been before, I saw 170.1 and was pleased.

The rest of the weekend was filled of me eating the thanksgiving leftovers, and forgoing any black Friday activities for sleeping in. I was truly getting to be the lazy hog I wanted to be, and loved every second of it. Thinking about the sub-par college cafeteria food and all the exercise walking around campus really saddened me about the departure. I was sure to weigh in the morning before I left, and was very content with the 172.3 and the 12 or so pounds that I had gained in the 5 days of complete gluttony.

                                                         ****

Sucking in my new heft around my family members was proving a difficult task. And I still felt the narrowing eyes from a few people who probably still thought I’d picked up a few pounds. At 195 pounds, I was already overweight for my 6’1 frame, and even though a lot of my frame was lean muscle mass, it was undeniable I now had a gut. Nevertheless, I continued snacking heavily while at home, and doing minimal exercise at all. In fact, I found out that my younger brother, who was a senior in high school, after finishing up all his college apps, had turned to weed and video games to pass the time. I wasn’t going to call him a druggie or anything, but it was very clear that he used everyday.

So naturally being a good big bro, I joined in on the fun. Hours filled my day mindlessly as I puffed another joint outside before coming back inside to challenge him again in Call of Duty. I don’t even think I realized how much time I wasted until it was deep in the early morning of Thanksgiving. My eyes, bloodshot and red, I downed a beer quickly, and made good headway in the game. My brother was already passed out, and I soon realized it was significantly less fun playing on my own. So, being high and a little intoxicated, I texted 2 people.

Hey, Jason. Just wanted you to know that this isn’t working out. You can tell everyone that I like guys if you want to. I’m over it now. Plus, I’ve gained all the weight I lost plus some. You don’t want me.

I miss you, Thomas. You were my everything. I am SOOO Sorry about me and kissing Jason. Biggest mistake. I want to win you back. And I know it’s not really anything, but I’m 200 pounds now.

The last part was a little bit of stretching the truth, I thought. But just to make sure, I stepped on the scale. The green light shined back with a 199.9. I really didn’t stretch the truth far.  While assessing my new thick body in the bathroom mirror, I felt a vibration in my pocket, and reached out, surprised to see Thomas message me so late.

I want you back too. Also I’m 165. We could be fat together if you wanted.

I DEFINITELY WANT THAT.

Although, I didn’t see a reply message that night, I felt more excited than ever going to sleep. Waking up the next day, I was shocked to see a significant mound of pudge on my lower belly, before remembering all the steps that had took place for that to happen. I hadn’t gone into overweight territory overnight, but it almost seemed like that to me. I changed into a size medium sweatshirt that fit rather snug and some 34s that used to be really loose on me. It still kinda freaked me out that they were now skin-tight. I sent a few lovey-dovey texts back to Thomas even though it was half past 1 in the afternoon. But while on my phone, noticed that Jason had texted me.

I still want you!!! But seriously get a grip on your weight and on your life!

Not knowing how to reply to that, I just ignored it, realizing that since it wasn’t going to work out with him, he needed to get over me soon. I headed downstairs, giving my mom a hug, and grabbing the plate of French toast she reserved for me. I went to the basement to say hi to my brother, but quickly got sucked into the new game he was playing, and before I knew it had gotten high and eaten a whole family sized bag of chips. My brother joked that I was going to get fat, but I thought I saw him peer down at my belly while saying it. After I won once (never happened before, since I didn’t play video games) I cheered, and noticed that my sweatshirt had ridden up exposing just how soft and hairy my lower gut was. Unfortunately, my brother did also.

“Bro, you really are getting fat! Better watch it tonight!”

But obviously I didn’t heed his warning and pigged out in every sense of the word. Although, my family was pretty conservative when it came to thanksgiving compared to most other families, we still had quite the spread of fattening goodies. And even from the perspective of the former athlete, I stuffed myself. It didn’t come completely without a price though. Besides the aching pain in my entire abdomen, I received a few biting jabs from family members about how I didn’t want to lose my soccer scholarship or didn’t want to look like Mordecai (a fat, bearded man at my synagogue). Additionally, I had to undo the button on my jeans, which became quite obvious when I stood up and that stupid sweatshirt didn’t cover the open button. I truly looked fat. Before heading out Saturday morning on the long drive back to northern Illinois, I stepped on the scale, excited to see 203.1 staring back at me.

                                                        ****

When I saw that text Thursday morning from Jonathan, I was more than enraged. Although, I might not have shown it particularly well, I was really falling for that stud. Yeah, maybe I should release that vid, blackmail him, but at the same time, I would only do it if it hurt him, and his text made it seem like he didn’t care if everyone knew. It would only make me look worse.

Before I knew what was happening, I drove to the store in town, and bought 2 boxes of 12 little Debbie brownies, opening them, before I even got back to the car. In such heated gluttony, I shredded through the box, shoving brownie after brownie into my body, as tear after tear slid down my face. In the parking lot, in a matter of 15 minutes, both boxes were empty, and my belly was looking quite round. Additionally, my face was caked with sugar, and I felt a little exhilarated. Still, it wasn’t enough to ease the pain of such a heart break. I sent a text, then waited. And waited.

And to calm my nerves, I decided to really go all out. I went to all fast food joints in my southern Illinois town (which there were a lot). I ordered a milkshake and another dessert at each one, and then 3 big macs at McDonalds as well, since you really can’t just eat sugar. The burgers went in rather easy, as I still craved meat. But each pastry became a huge burden to my already packed gut. The milkshakes helped keep everything down, but it was still quite the task to chug them down, as there were 8 large ones. But at around 4 pm, I hobbled my way up the steps of my home, throwing out all the garbage, and plopping down on my bed for a long nap. Luckily no one saw my completely engorged state, or ever knew of the tens of thousands of calories I had eaten, driven by my inner pain.

I vaguely remember hearing a knock at the door, and someone entering my room a half hour later, but no one ever woke me up, so I guess my post-feeding slumber was heavy enough that they weren’t going to wake me up to go to thanksgiving dinner. Waking up at 8, I felt an insatiable hunger as all the sadness of the break-up with Jonathan rushed back. Despite the fact that I had already eaten for 5 days just earlier today, I wanted thanksgiving dinner. The dinner ordeal itself had already passed, but my mom had made a moderate-sized plate heaped with all the goodies for when I woke up. Back when I was constantly on a diet, I would’ve been offended by how much fat and calories she heaped on there, but today I was a different man. And the piggish man I was today, this plate was not nearly enough.

In mere minutes the plate was licked clean, and I was going through the fridge, raiding all the leftovers. Even in my extremely quick rate of eating, I continued gorging myself for almost 2 hours, only ending when I thought I heard someone come down the stairs. It was just my older brother, who was already over 250 pounds, despite being 2 years older than me. He muttered that he just wanted a midnight snack, so naturally I left him with the leftovers.

The rest of the weekend fashioned in a similar way, with me hitting up, most if not all of the fast food joints in my area, eating much more than I ever thought possible, mostly out of despair. Whenever I wasn’t stuffing my face, I was at home sleeping or obsessively checking my reflection in the mirror, cleansing away any possible acne. The last thing I wanted to happen was for all the unhealthy eating come back to harm my good looks.

Squeezing and pulling as hard as I could from both sides, I was convinced my mom’s washer had shrunk my size 30 black skinny jeans. Resorting to sucking in, the clasp finally shut, allowing for flab to flop over the edge, creating a muffin top. However, none of that was obvious to me at the time, only that I had a pimple on my right cheek. Furiously, I scrubbed with the acne wash over and over, until the whole side of my face was red, yet smooth. I thought about stepping on the scale on the bathroom tile, but shrugged it off, and headed back to college, choosing not to hear how my skinny jeans creaked with every movement I made.