Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Health & Fitness

   Let's get one thing straight. I used to be a fat kid. In my head, I'm still a fat kid. People who used to know me, knew me as a fat kid. When I see myself in a mirror, it's still through those hideous funhouse mirrors that distort and misshape everything. Being gay makes matters worse because the pressure to look thin, cut, or "like a model/jock" is ridiculous. The heaviest that I can remember being at was 230 lbs. with a 40" waist. It was bad. I recall getting a physical one day for something at school, and I got this card from the doctor that read, "Your child is considered obese." It also carried along with it health concerns and reasons why I should get in shape. Let's just say that I have a weird relationship with food, body image, and exercise. I liken it to a heroin addict jonesing for a fix somedays. I'm addicted to food. Sweets, salty, the worse the better. Nothing feels worse than knowing you're "shooting up" with some candy or something and hating yourself every minute of it.
   I really found my weight loss to be more of an accident really. When I moved to MN for college I actually lost the "Freshmen 15" and then some. I lost nearly 100lbs. Somehow the lbs. melted away. My lowest weight was like 132. Trust me. I remember these numbers. They're forever burned into my memory. It started as walking a few miles each day to get between classes. Smaller, decent meals, and then a weightlifting class in the summer got me going, and somehow I haven't looked back. The loss was pretty fast and drastic, and people used to worry that I had an eating disorder. I had to calmly explain that yes, I was eating, and no, I am not sick. I maintained the exercising, and later I even became a personal trainer because I wanted to prove to people that they could make a change. The hard thing was trying to train and encourage clients when I knew how hard, tough, and expensive a change in one's life could be. I'd also feel terrible knowing that I'd "shoot up" again after work or going out. Today I workout on compulsion, gay pressure, and just a need to be healthy. I have to workout. People applaud me for getting up early to do it, but you don't understand. I have to work out. I'm terrified that one day I'll wake up as that unhappy fat kid again. I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of being fat again.
   Now, I should be in a good place mentally, physically, and emotionally. You would think that. It doesn't help matters that I watch documentaries like this...

   It's really a terrible S&M kind of deal when you have body issues and watch movies like this. In gay culture, you learn so many different ways to hate yourself if you're not perfect. We are our own toughest critics. This movie helps fuel my desire for a better body, but it also plays into that terrible idea of gay culture for the search for a bigger, better body. What can I say? I buy into it. To be fair, it portrays other ideals of gay beauty, and shows ridiculously hot men with low self-esteem issues as well.
   I never ever imagined that people would describe me today as "skinny". If you would have told me when I was 18 that I would run a 5k, a 10k, or try to go to the gym 3x a week, I would have laughed in your face. I have to tell myself that the progress I've made is incredible. People would kill to be where I'm at. I should know, I used to be one of those people. There have been numerous attempts and failures that I've had to "eat right" and "workout hard". Now that it's in writing and on the web. Looks like I'll have to hold myself to it. It's going to be slow, subtle, and tough changes, but I know I can do even better. I want to do better. I want to do it in a healthy way and without cheating. I'd appreciate your help and encouragement. Just be careful or conscious what you say to me. It sounds tacky, but again when you offer me a slice of pizza, it's giving a beer to an alcoholic who's been clean & sober for only a few weeks. My will power isn't that strong... yet. I used to work out because I wanted to attract a man or because I felt compelled to as an actor/gay man, but now I just do it for myself. I do it because I want to be the best possible me that I can be. Trust me, working out can be fun. I like it. It also gives you an easy, free high that makes you feel pretty good for the rest of the day. To me weight loss is a war, not just a singular battle. I'm actually proud of my stretch marks. I liken them to battle scars. I am a warrior. I've won the battle, but not the war. I have to soldier on. So... Off to the gym.

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