Married Fat and Happy…

Last night we had dinner with someone who’s about 10 years our junior, single, and a bit of an exercise nut. He expressed his belief that people who don’t exercise wind up fat, with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and impotence. He even went on to say how I should read his blog because there were pointers for people who didn’t know how to exercise.

Well, I do know how to exercise – learned that in college when I participated in a study by the Department of Kineseology. Went on to do quite a bit of weight lifting and had a great body… I know how great exercise can make you feel – been there, done that…

Me in Bermuda 1991Photo of me by Stanley Stellar

But in my case I had high blood pressure even back when I was in great shape – stuff like that isn’t just about exercise. In my case a lot of it had to do with all the internalized angst of growing up gay in a fundamentalist family. Internalizing all those feelings is probably the reason I’m hypertensive.

Then I went through a couple relationships where I gained weight. In the first relationship my boyfriend turned out to be poz (he didn’t tell me), and I was caring for him while trying to keep my head afloat financially. Just before he died I’d come home from the hospital and eat most of a big Entenmann’s coffee cake as comfort food. I lost a little weight after he died and then got into a rebound relationship pretty quickly. It wasn’t an equal relationship and I was pretty much supporting him and the financial stress lead to more weight gain…

About the time I decided to end things with my boyfriend I went back to the gym and got a trainer/nutritionist. Here’s me in losing weight between September 31, 1996 and April 1, 1997…

September 1996 - fatDecember 1996 - losing weightApril 1997 - in great shape

I went on to look even better, but the point is I know my way around a gym. It’s just I chose not to go anymore.

But you know what? I’m just as happy now as I was back then – possibly happier. I’m literally “married, fat and happy”. Unlike the previous relationships, my relationship with Dan is one of equality. There’s a degree of security that comes with all that. I’ve also sorta opted out of the whole mentality that says you have to be in perfect shape to be worthwhile and happy. I don’t feel like I’m any less attractive than I was back then – it’s just my appearance is different (more like the first pic body-wise, but looking more like a “daddy”). In a way I feel like my appearance is age appropriate.

Just like it’s not what you drive, but how you drive it, it’s not whether you go to the gym, but whether your at peace with your body. Start by opting out of the whole body conscious mentality. If you still want to go to the gym – great. If you don’t, that’s fine too… Just be happy with your life on your own terms…

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