Body stuff

So I keep meaning to talk about this. A long time ago I wrote a post called “Shapes” and it is actually the most frequently visited post on my blog. Unfortunately, the reason for this is actually so that people can view the image of the guy I claimed had an “ideal beauty.” From what I can gather most people google image search that phrase, and my post shows up. I assume most people don’t really read the post, but I do get several downloads of that image everyday.

Well it is now 2010, almost 2 years have passed since I wrote about my whole weight struggle, and everywhere I look as of late I am faced inundated with images and other things that have made me want to revisit this issue on my blog.

For starters, I have fallen in love with the ABC Family show “Huge” A show which is from the guy who made “My So Called Life.” Much like MSCL this show is easy to fall in love with, but it particularly hits home for me on every episode I have seen. The characters all struggle with their weight for some reason or another, and it was so refreshing to see a show that was dedicated to showing that teenagers of size also have their own issues outside of body issues. If you haven’t had a chance to see it I recommend it. It is touching, and it is also just a comfort to see a show that isn’t full of perfect looking people.

In addition to my love of “Huge” I have also begun reading “Born Round” which is a biography of Frank Bruni the former New York Times Food Critic. I’m only a 1\3 of the way into it, but it is creepily similar to my life. I keep having to put the book down because I find reading his story difficult due to the overwhelming amount of similarities we share.

Finally, there is the fact that I am in the process of job hunting. Whereas it is true I am free to do whatever I want with my days, I have only one goal. Get employed. With only BBE’s income to sustain us, I feel like a leech, and although he is perfectly fine with my lapse in employment, it is still hard on me personally. As a result I try not to use the fact I have all day to workout to my advantage, rather I tell myself I need to act like I am employed. This means I wake-up, go for a morning run/jog/walk (I do all three, and I feel guilty because I do it for an hour) then I return to my study and search for various jobs to apply for. I feel better about the applications I’ve sent this week, but it is still a hard process as you so rarely hear back from anyone.

When I look at my body I don’t know what to think anymore. I feel I look different, older, but I don’t know what I look like as compared to anything else. I see pictures of me from my skinnier days and marvel that I was ever that size, but I don’t think “I’ll be that skinny again.” I think “Why didn’t I realize I was skinny?”

I don’t think of myself as “fat” but I don’t think of myself as “skinny” or even “average.” This has left me with the impression that I am “My size” which sounds empowering, but I don’t really see it that way. I see myself as not fitting in. I struggle with this, and seeing as I have many important life events in the not too distant future (wedding) I feel like I’ve got a reason to get back into shape.

My trip to non-eating-disorder-health has been to use a little iPhone/iPad/iTouch App called “My Fitness Pal” It seems like a good idea. It basically includes something that helps you catalog your daily nutritional intake, and has an exercise tracker. The fact that I feel the need to record my intake and output on a daily basis has given me a sort of consciousness of making healthier choices (although I did have vanilla ice cream this week.) What I like about it is that I stop before I eat and think about what it is I am putting in my body. This moment of pause has actually led to healthier habits, and I appreciate that.

In reading my “Shapes” post I feel a little guilty. I was so full of hope that I would be a thinner me by this point. In truth, I am at best 4 or 5 pounds lighter, and I am more than likely the exact same. However, since it is my most popular post I’d like to post the following picture:

Apparently the ideal male body belongs to Kwon Sang Woo

The image I originally used to describe the “Ideal male body” actually belongs to a famous korean actor his name is Kwon-Sang-Woo. I feel he deserves a little credit since people love that post for some reason.

Job Questing

I have a story inside this post. I wrote it before, but it was polished, I had dulled the edges to the point that it was a series of pleasant sentences which made no impact. Stop. Take a moment right now and prepare yourself to go on a small journey with me, one which is not tempered with my usual style, but rather a more told with more focus than my usual hazy lens provides.

I wake up and my dreams slowly filter from my head as I stumble to the shower. It is 8:30 a.m., and BBE is about to leave. I want to be awake, to feel some concept of the schedule of the employed. I remember puppy legs fluttering like a horse rearing up, and as I douse my slightly thinning hair under the hot water I begin to organize my day. I can do anything, but I should find a job. It is hard. It will require hours of sitting at a laptop filling out various forms with the same information I carefully organized in my resume, which often seems to be a document more for my reference than potential employers.

I ponder breakfast, what can I eat without gaining weight, as my chance of exercising is 50% at best, as I every moment not typing cover letters is a moment of selfishness. I have a duty to find a job. I need to be employed. Isn’t taking an hour out of my day to work on my body the absolute definition of selfishness? Only unemployed have this luxury, and it is one I feel bad about indulging.

Sated on cereal or a morning salad I sit down at the laptop. I type the word “L” into the URL bar, and my various legal job hunting sites materialize. I browse, I weigh whether or not applying is worthwhile, I revise, rewrite, or compose a new cover letter. I read it a loud to myself. I submit. Hours go by, the unairconditioned study becomes stuffy as sunlight slowly filters in from the window. The walls feel hot, but I don’t notice I am most likely thirsty. I continue on. Hours pass with only an occasional music break, a 4 minute span where I review my e-mail to see if a magic job opportunity might have snuck into my spam mail. I return to typing, reviewing, convincing, analyzing, and applying for jobs. It is 3:00 p.m. I’ve forgotten lunch, but figure it is fine. I haven’t moved. My salad is sitting fine. I get a message from BBE about the day of a working man. I respond, and realize he will return soon. I ponder dinner. I leave the laptop shortly. I cook. I smile. I toss in my bed, reviewing various sentences I’ve written in 15 cover letters. Did I same Memoranda or Memorandums? Did I mention my mediation experience? Was that job even something I could do. I sleep.

Coming Out for a Cause

It used to say "No Passing Through"

A friend of mine sent me to a link about a person doing a project on coming out stories. The project is called “Queer Perspectives” I recently submitted my coming out story:

Coming out was a strange experience for me. I was incredibly effeminate as a child, and so I would probably have considered myself “obvious” since birth. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, when I was four, I apparently had an entire “routine” that I would do whenever the song “Material Girl” was played, which involved a lot of prancing while having balloons tied to my belt loops. I also used to give my sisters make-up advice when I was five. Anyway, as I became older I was constantly told “You’re gay!” which in Arkansas was considered an insult. I knew they were right, but I was a little offended that they seemed to think they knew something so personal about me, based on the way I behaved. Therefore I kept myself in the closet out of spite. I also wasn’t very attractive in high school, and figured it wasn’t worth going through all that torture unless I had a boyfriend. Fortunately, my exposure to the gay world was not all that limited, as a theatre kid I was exposed to lots of guys who were gay, but none of whom found me particularly attractive. So I stayed in the closet throughout high school.

When I went away to college, I wanted to come out, but still felt I needed a boyfriend or at least a connection with another guy to really give me a reason. As I became more attractive during my college days, other guys took an interest in me, and by my sophomore year I had come out to my friends, but was still closeted back home. This all changed the night I lost my virginity. I had met a boy who I fell for harder than ever before, and within a few days I was convinced we were in some sort of epic operatic romance. The problem was, I was living at home during winter break, and that meant I had my parents to deal with. Thinking of this in advance, I brought my new boyfriend of a few days home to meet my mother, and claimed he was a friend from college who had transferred out of my undergrad to another college. That night I called my parents and told them I’d be staying the night with him, which my parents disagreed and demanded I come home. I then trotted out the line that I had reserved for just such an occasion and informed them that I was twenty one years old, and that I was mature enough to handle myself. I hung up, and lost my virginity to the guy that night. The next morning he had to return to Texas, where he was living at the time, and after a long good-bye, I returned home with an expression of happiness that first time love tends to exude. I was singing as I flitted about the house like I was some Disney princess, and as I retired upstairs to write a long letter to my love, my mother entered the room. I could see on her face that this was something serious, something uncomfortable, but I was so elated by being in love I couldn’t stop smiling. She sat down on the couch and took a deep breath. She then asked me point blank:

“Did you have sex with that boy?”

I was shocked my mother was being so direct, as it is not her normal style. I smiled and proudly declared.

“Yes mother I did.”

My mother looked disappointed and then told me.

“Well you shouldn’t do things like that.”

I asked her “Why not?”

To which she replied “Because your future wife won’t like it.”

Finally I couldn’t handle the closet anymore, so I simply told her:

“Mom. I’m gay. I’m not going to have a future wife.”

My mother stood up, and began to hastily exit the room.

“Come on Mom! This can’t be a shock. I mean what did you expect?” I called after her.

She did not turn around and left. For a few days neither of my parents spoke to me very much, and then after a week had pasted, my parents decided that they had not heard me come out to them at all. This charade lasted 3 or 4 more years, despite the fact that my parents met many of my boyfriends and gay friends. They only chose to accept it when I informed them that I was moving away with my boyfriend (and now fiancé). To this day when I talk about him, they tend to allow me to speak, but refuse to comment or even acknowledge what I’ve said. To them denial is certainly more than a river in Egypt.