Dear Charles,

First of all: Can I call you Charles? I know that isn’t your name, but I’ve always wanted to write someone a dramatic letter that began that way. You’ve been my personal trainer for several months now, and over that time, I’ve really begun to feel as though you were someone I would like to call Charles, at the beginning of a dramatic letter.  Secondly, I want to apologize for our recent lack of contact. I got your holiday card, with Santa bench-pressing a menorah. That was nice, and I’m referring both to the sentiment and the fact that you were so culturally inclusive. Did you know that technically, reindeer meat is paleo? Ha ha, just a little belated holiday humor for you.  OK. Look, I know. I have not been showing up to our regularly scheduled workouts.  But I have a good excuse. For one thing, work has been really busy. It used to be that I had time to pump some punishing iron with you after leaving the office, but I’ve been staying too late to hit the gym. Sometimes, I’m just not ready for that huge endorphin rush so close to bed, at 9 p.m. I wonder how many calories are in “the midnight oil,” because you might say I’ve been burning it!

For another thing, I am dealing with what I am fairly certain is a repeat stress injury in my right hand. Maybe it’s because I use my phone quite a bit (for work, and tracking calories), or maybe it’s because the new gloves I bought for jogging are weirdly tight, which is why I have only used them for lower-intensity activities, like short elevator rides or walking from the office to a cab.  In any case, my one thumb is just constantly sore. A thumb doesn’t sound much but just try to go a day without using yours! I did once, when the Internet was down at work. I told my doctor that it hurts when I bend my thumb, and he said, “Don’t bend your thumb.” I don’t have insurance and these free clinic guys are real clowns.  Furthermore—and I’m not sure if you know this—but Christina Braverman has been fighting a serious illness, which has been very hard on her son, Max, who you may recall has autism. The whole thing has been a lot for me to deal with, emotionally. The Bravermans are characters on my favorite NBC dramedy, Parenthood.  

I hope you’re not worried that I have not been exercising in the interim. I’ve participated in such diverse athletic competitions as billiards, darts, which are officially all classified as tournament sports, according to Wikipedia. True, OK, yes, these are both activities that can easily be negotiated while eating nachos in a bar, but you can see the word “sports” there, plain as day. I don’t make the rules.  I have also been keeping up my health in other ways, like drinking lots of water, if the taste of Coors Lite is any indication. Kidding! Ha ha, but it’s true though—pretty much everything is made of water. Technically even beer.  Additionally, I’m making the smart food choices we talked about. I’m always sure to read the labels on everything. In fact, this is my favorite new thing to do when I am resting my thumb. I can tell you how many calories are in any number of products, like pretzels, and I pay attention to things like serving size. For instance, after I eat a bowl of pretzel nuggets, I’m confidently able to say to myself, maybe while I stare into a mirror, “That was a pretty enormous serving of pretzel nuggets.”  You can’t win every day, and I know it’s important not to beat myself up when I have a bad week or two, nutritionally. The important thing is that I feel good, and my pants are looser. (In addition to gloves, I also bought several new pairs of “comfy pants.”)  I wanted to tell you that I genuinely miss our time together. It may not have looked like I loved running up and down the gym, holding a medicine ball over my head with one hand while trying to keep my sweatshirt from flying up with another, while you stood there and shouted encouragement at me. You have no idea how inspirational you have been. Sometimes just seeing somebody who looks a little like you on the street is enough to make me emotional, which is why you may have seen me crossing the street hastily, if indeed that was you.  I hope 2013 is going great for you, Charles, and maybe we can start again. Of course, we’ll have to wait until after the baby is born. I mean, of course, Kim and Kanye’s.

Yours in health,