Unlike many people concerned with their weight and fitness, I have been working hard at GAINING weight. When I was playing tennis 15-18 days a month in the summer, sometimes 4-5 hours a day, I lost weight and was down below 170 pounds, even at 167 one brief period. So my friends complained that I was looking too thin, gaunt, unhealthy.

Like making pate out of goose liver, I began forcing myself to eat more food—even when I wasn’t hungry—to add pounds, bulk, puffy cheeks. This week, after all the desserts around for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I topped the scale at 178-plus one evening. I HAVE GAINED OVER 10 POUNDS. Does my face look “healthier?” I am told it does. Are my abs disappearing? I think so. It’s not a fair test, because I haven’t been doing crunches.

But I have been doing push ups for over eight weeks now, and working on a prescribed program for four weeks that claims I can get to 100 push ups nonstop in just six weeks! Impossible for me to do it that fast, however. I am still stuck on the first day of the fourth week, which sounds more impressive than it is—I was in good enough shape at the start that the program says to jump right to the third week. Now I can’t get past the fourth day (there are three days scheduled each week). I am a long way from completing the fifth of five sets for the day: 32 push ups. I have made it to 13 and then 14 in two tries…it took me three attempts to reach the 21 repetitions for the fourth set. Seems to me it takes huge triceps, because mine blow up like downspouts.

Anyway I may have to supplement my exercise to build up more muscle and strength. At this rate it is going to take me months to reach the promised goal of 100 push ups in six weeks…assuming I can make it to the finish at all.