Every year we look at ourselves and our accomplishments, some of us are proud of their accomplishments and plan more while some others look at derailings and make plans to better themselves. It’s funny when I meet people who would like to credit my success in life to my steely abdominals. Or mention that I had every opportunity because of my blue eyes. No one knew that I had to work really hard for myself to be this way. When someone says you’re lucky to be that way, I can only wonder how different a person I must seem to be from the one I used to be. When I was fourteen, I made a New Year’s Resolution. I was going to change my life, my body and the way I saw myself.
The journey was a long one. It was fraught with derailments, breakdowns and episodes.
It’s a bit of a convoluted story really and has much to do with my sexuality. I realized a very long time ago, even before my teen years, that I had an a attraction to the same sex. It wasn’t until puberty that I fully realized it was a homosexual sort of attraction. However, like many others around the world I was heavily involved in a zealous religious community, Pentecostal Christian in fact. I was brought up believing that there were certain ways one had to be and conform to and that any deviation from the Word of the Lord in the way it was presented by our Pastor was of the devil and evil. Consequently, this is when I began to derail. I became gradually reclusive. The kids at school used to make fun of me and then this lead to them bullying me. I even tried to date a girls just to fit in but I never had that effortless attraction that the other boys seemed to have for them.
I hid away, delved into my arts and crafts, studies and any book I could find to escape the world. Food became my best friend and every pain I felt was consequently dealt with a large helping of some sugar or fat laden treat; whatever i could find I’d devour. I ate because I was sad, and I was sad because I ate, it was a downward spiral and there was no foreseeable exit. When I look back I can see the mistakes happening, the points where I gave up and how it all spiraled out of control. Eventually I grew to be obese, depressed, lonely and now so very confused about my life. I didn’t know who I was and what I believed, I was a mess.
In the darkest hours I even made attempts at taking my own life. I had no one to talk to, no one to confide in, I had never felt so distant from my parents before. Within the extreme darkness of a depressive episode I had a moment of clarity. I can make myself different, I can be different; I might not be able to be who I want to be now, but the time will come when I can, and when that moment comes I’ll be free. The next morning I woke up with the determination to change my life. I changed the way I ate, I tried new exercises, I tried to be happy with my disposition and worked hard to accomplish the foundations that I would later build upon to be the person that I am.
So, this boy and body ain’t luck Honey, this is time and effort.
Though, I feel that my body has only really just started to take on the shape that I’ve always desired, it has taken me a decade to get here. Who knew that healthy eating and exercise was the answer? Consequently my nights out have become less frequent, I reserve them more for special occasion outings now. Having accomplished what I did has also given me a new found strength and increased self-efficacy. I did it, I changed, I am no longer that angry, fat and confused kid!
Nowadays I work as a Fitness Instructor, in part because it keeps me fit and primed for dancing, but also because it is a way that I can give others the same opportunities that I afforded myself. The ability to change yourself. To help you become an embodied, happier and healthier you.
Remember folks, If there is anything you’d like me to discuss, write about or speak about in the advent webisodes then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the change you want to see in the world, be the role-model you wished you had and always reach out to someone in need!
Mr Gay World