I’m as vain as the next guy. And if the next guy happens to be modest, or straight, or comfortable in his own skin, then it’s really no contest. I’m way more vain. Describing my vanity requires making up new words. Vainer. The vainiest. Psychovain.

GymGrab 4That must be the old Mark, because the new one is appearing in gym clothes standing next to HIV fitness and nutrition expert Nelson Vergel. There I am, all doughy and smiling, thirty pounds heavier after a year without a cigarette (how long do I get to legitimately use that reasoning?). But anything for you, my friends.

And besides, the meaning of fitness for me has changed, however slowly, from the size of my biceps to the overall health of my body. After a misguided youth devoted to “looking hot” and feeding my drug addiction (a period that stretched into my 40’s, who am I kidding?), standing around in a gym with my gut exposed is real progress for me.

In my first video blog with Nelson (“Fitness Stud Nelson Vergel Raids My Fridge”), he ransacked my kitchen and offered great tips on eating right. In this new video, we hit the gym for a lesson on aerobic activity and weight lifting. With issues like bone density more vital for people with HIV, weight training makes sense.

Still to come: Nelson takes me on an eye-opening tour of the grocery store ” and cautions me about walking down the aisles. And for more great information from Nelson, his new book Testosterone: A Man’s Guide is now available through sellers like Amazon.

Friends FitnessI’d like to extend a special thanks to The Poverello Center in Ft Lauderdale. Poverello not only provides food for people with AIDS, they created the Friends Fitness Center (photos above) and graciously allowed Nelson and I to film this video there. And speaking of filming, my friend Kai patiently worked the cameras for several hours and I appreciate it.

Thanks for watching, my friends, and please be well.

Mark

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