“How are you not fat?” My roommate has asked me this a billion times. He sees me down four sandwiches, or eat a burrito as well as three tacos from Qdoba. He’ll watch me eat several Reese around Halloween and then down a soda. He’d look at me and in an exasperated tone say it once more. “How are you not fat?”
I have weight issues. I am incredibly lucky it never slipped beyond complaining to an actual disorder, but that does not say I do not have issues.
People see me. I wear 30 inch waist jeans. I am almost six foot tall. I wear clothes that compliment me, most of the time. I know in my head that I am not fat, but that is not how I feel.
Before I moved to New Jersey, I was chubbier. I can realistically never actually say fat. I held the weight in my face giving me a more rounded look. My stomach was larger as were the fat around my biceps. It did not help that I could not admit I was balding and let my thinning hair grow a bit ragged. It looked a bit like a pin cushion of brown hair sticking up in fewer and fewer places every day. I had issues about my looks.
The constant motion of living in the city brought me down in weight. My face thinned out. My stomach went down. It left me looking more lanky. I have never had a flat stomach, but at least I kept a constant weight around 150. I would freak out and rush to the gym if my weight hit 160. It would fall back down to 150-155, and I would be fine.
Most people I encounter are heavier than me, and when I talk about my weight I can see the anger beginning to form in their eyes. They take it a bit of an affront since my body and my form is one that many people would be happy with. The problem is that I am not. Why?
Well, I think it’s a two-fold reason. I used to get made fun of a lot growing up for a lot of reasons. I wore glasses. I got picked on. I wore thrift store clothes. I got picked on. I was the chubbiest guy in my family. I got picked on. I got called effeminate in High School. Everything about the way I looked and the way I acted got me ridicule. When coming out, the gay community at large added fuel to this fire.
I needed to have abs. I needed to have perfect hair. I needed to buy this shirt or this jeans. I could never afford it. My hair started to recede. I did not have the drive to eat right or go to the gym. But I still wanted it. I wanted to strive for that form of perfection that the world pushed me towards.
So, now I am striving for it harder than before. It’s weird. Ever since I started working out, I have put on weight. I was up to as high as 167, and that horrified me. I know I have to be okay with it. Going to the gym is not going to change things overnight, and I need to be eating a bit more. They also say muscle weighs more than fat. Part of me hoping that represents part of the weight thing.
I do not want to be unhealthy. I am in some represents. I drink a bit too much, and I like candy every once in a while. But, I can have an overall healthy lifestyle that will perpetuate healthier living overall. And I think that is my goal now. I’m far from being okay with my body, but accepting and focusing on change in a bit step in the right direction. Change will allow the transformation into civilian to superhero. For me, it’s just not going to happen overnight.