Hello again, I hope you are all doing well, staying positive, and taking strides to meet your goals, no matter what they are! It’s been a beautiful day in New York City today, low humidity and not so hot. Days like today I can feel the season changing from summer to fall, it’s really lovely (In the tone of Carrie Bradshaw). The seasons are so fulfilling for me, since I grew up in Florida where the weather consists of variations of heat, humidity, and rain (I love the smell of rain). I get refreshed from all possibilities of a new season ahead. It’s a wonderful time in history to be queer and living in New York City, one of the historic birthplaces of the gay civil rights movement in this country. Living in a time and place where acceptance is becoming widely the norm, it allows me to feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before.
I often tell people who are close to me in life that I’m about ten years behind where I would have been had I not struggled with my weight and self acceptance. I have lived two lives, and it’s been a really interesting ride so far. Before losing weight and finding myself at the age of 25, I was stagnant, not evolving, not progressing. I didn’t date, didn’t go out much, I was sort of frozen in this particular state that was giving me a false sense of “safety” from the outside world. People who have never been overweight, or used food to cope with emotional issues don’t understand this phenomenon. You know it, and I know it, that the weight is a result of something in our lives being off balance. Even if you have not struggled with misfortune in the past, just the addiction to food can stand alone as the imbalance in your life. For many of us we use food to cope. I did it for most of my adult life; it’s not your fault. It’s the result of whatever that issue or imbalance in your life may be. For me it was “the gay thing,” and maybe it is for you, too. It could be sexual abuse, abandonment, or loss of a loved one. Whatever the reason is for you to be habituating food, it’s time to face yourself and face your fat.
If you aren’t coming out of the closet due to your weight, and you’re convincing yourself that this is going to be a plausible solution to “the problem,” you are wrong-o. Coming out was the catalyst for my weight loss. I literally wanted to shed myself of the secret and shameful life I had been harboring for so long. I was scared… so scared. Not just scared of the reaction of my family and friends (which was nothing to be afraid of), but scared of stepping out from the shadow of my fat, leaving behind the excuse of being overweight, and standing in the daylight without my disguise. Let me tell you, it was the best decision I ever made. Our past leads us to our present, so I can’t say I regret where I was, but it’s unfortunate that I stayed there for so long. That’s why I say I’m ten years behind. This is also why it is so important to me that I share my story, my mistakes, and my lessons learned with you. If I can make your transition to living a transparent life easier, then I’m fulfilling one of my life’s purposes.
In hindsight I realize that the cycle of feeling poorly about my reflection in the mirror led me to eat more and more. The heavier I got the further away from coming out and living my truth I became. Gay men’s culture puts so much emphasis on youth, beauty, and physical perfection it should come as no surprise that this puts enormous pressure on us. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy exercising, eating right, taking care of myself, and slathering my face with youth serums every night because it makes me feel good about myself. I would be lying if I didn’t say that stereotypical ideals of the perfect gay specimen don’t play a part in keeping me going. No matter who you are, there’s always going to be someone who is richer, younger, and better looking. What’s important is that you find the happiness within yourself. I know after ten years of fitness routines and proper nutrition that I will never obtain that “perfect” body. I have scars from surgeries and certain areas of my body will never meet my expectations. What I’ve learned is to be happy with what I’ve got, and be proud of the path I have taken to get where I am today.
These are the types of issues I discuss during personal health coaching sessions, contact me for details. Also look forward to my upcoming book Lose Weight, Find Yourself: Six Steps to Having a Healthy Relationship with Food…Bite by Bite and Pound by Pound. Keep on keepin’ on!
“If one kid out of a hundred million who are going through a struggle feels it and relates, that’s great…” -Eminem ft. Rihanna