07/07/2011 04:51 pm ET Updated Sep 06, 2011

Anatomy of a Breakup

It's summer again and I have no Beach Body. I'm not sure when he went away. My last clear memory of him is sometime around July of 1980. I was lying on the sand at Zuma Beach in southern California and, sad to say, it wasn't anything special. Beach Body and I never had a solid, enduring relationship.

This is time of year when lots of articles appear with titles like "Quick Tips For A Great Beach Body!" and they make me wonder: Was our split inevitable? Should I have made more of an effort to understand the inner feelings and emotional expectations of my Beach Body?

I honestly don't think extra work on my part could have kept us together. Even during the best moments, walking in the surf along a beautiful stretch of coastline as the evening sun dropped below the blue horizon, I could sense distinctly negative vibes from BB, pangs of frustration and inadequacy.

The fact is, my Beach Body never cared about things like beautiful sunsets or sweet ocean breezes. He was always too busy sizing up other bodies. To BB, a visit to the shore was all about looking 'hot' and getting attention. He envied the people strutting around in tight Speedos. My baggy, wrinkled swim trunks were an embarrassment.

Beach Body constantly wanted better abs. It was almost an obsession. Whenever I was grocery shopping and caught a glimpse of some shirtless dude flexing his six-pack on the cover of a muscle magazine, the phrase "We want that!" would spontaneously flash in my brain. Sometimes the only way to make it stop was to close my eyes and start reciting multiplication tables.

Eating habits were another sore point. Beach Body loved the taste of plain yogurt, carrot juice and dried cranberries. My fondness for pastry was perceived as a major character flaw. Whenever I treated myself to a Cinnabon with the little tub of extra frosting, the first bite was hard to swallow. For an instant, my throat would constrict and then relax, and I knew it was BB's subtle method of reproach for my transgression.

I was willing to accommodate these attitudes during my teens and early 20s because youthful idealism can smooth over a lot of rough edges in everyday life. But around my 28th birthday I was seriously questioning the time and money required to keep Beach Body in a halfway decent mood. I didn't feel good about all the gasoline emissions my car sent into the air on every trip to and from the gym, the running track, and the beach.

The years went by, and my connection to Beach Body became increasingly tenuous, while strong bonds developed with other alter-egos who were less demanding and more compatible with my lifestyle preferences. Yard Work Body has a genuine appreciation of the natural world and doesn't hassle me about not having a tan. Reading In Bed Body shares my insatiable curiosity about American history and World War II. I never feel like time spent with them has been frivolous or wasted.

Beach Body, if you can hear me, I hope things are going well and I wish you all the best. And never blame yourself for our breakup. It's truly my fault. I just wasn't into you.