Not Fitting The Stereotype

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As empowering as it can be to stand out from the crowd by being a unique individual, it can also be a hinderance in society in general. But do I really stand out from those around me, or is that just my own perception of myself?

I’ve always considered myself an ‘average’ gay man – average looks, average abilities, average personality. etc – but haven’t been able to correlate how I perceive myself physically (short, fat, hairy, bald, etc) with how others see me or what they’re looking for in a potential partner.

Obviously, when it comes to the bear community, there’s a different aesthetic sought after, which is great for those who are into that type of guy.  And physically I suppose I do have that stereotypcial ‘bear’ look.

Now here’s the kicker – despite that physical similarity, I don’t particularly feel part of the bear community.  Just like when I was younger and would hang out with my thinner (twinkier) friends at the bars they enjoyed, I still feel like I’m an outsider looking inside.

And to add to it, I’m an anomaly because I’m not a lesbian-bear  – a bear who’s attracted to other bears.  Instead, I like what would be called a ‘chaser’ or ‘admirer’  – generally fitter or thinner guys, somewhat masculine, good looking (to me), etc – who are into bigger guys.

And I definitely find the super fit, muscular guys in the magazines very attractive.. even if I consider them unattainable.

In the end, I still feel like the average queer that I’ve always considered myself, regardless of which subsect of the community I’m spending time with.  I don’t necessarily stand out compared to others, and my true personality only comes out for the rate few that take the time to get to know me.

I suppose I have never really empathised with the mindset of the bear community because I’ve never really seen myself as one, despite my outward appearance.

In my mind, I guess I see myself as being an average guy with an average body.. and I tend to get a nasty surprise whenever I see myself in the mirror.

I guess I’ve never fully embraced my size or bear-stature.  I do not enjoy being a bigger guy.  I don’t find my body generally attractive, regardless of what other guys have said to me.

I kind of feel like there’s a thinner, fitter version of myself screaming from the inside to get out.

No, I’m not delusional.  LOL

But most of all, I’ve spent most of my life feeling helpless about my body and it’s outward appearance.  My weight over the years has risen and risen, with a few fluctuations here and there.

I would ‘try’ to eat healthier but would end up either ‘treating myself’ too often for doing so well with my food, or I’d still overeat regardless of how healthy the food I was eating was.

Last summer, I was at my absolute heaviest (about 300lbs/136 kgs) and I was starting to have issues walking, breathing, and having regular back pain.  I would run out of breathe after maybe a 10 minute walk and would need to stop for a rest.

So… what is a chubby, lazy guy to do?

Initially I started taking a fat suppressant prescribed by an on-line pharmacy, which I definitely do NOT reccommend. It just made me feel sick and gave me really bad diarrhea on a daily basis.

Around the beginning of the year, I started to make myself walk part of all of the way home from work (45 minutes each way).  This helped, but walking the same route daily got boring fast.

So a couple of months ago I finally got off my ass and joined a gym.  This wasn’t easy as I’ve always felt very self-conscious about going to a gym.  Trying to work out whilst surrounded by fit, muscular guys just felt intimidating.

But I’ve been doing my best for the most part.  I haven’t been on a specific diet, but just trying to eat healthier where I can and cut out sugars, snacking, and all the rest of the yummy foods we’re not supposed to eat regularly.

I don’t have a specific weight goal in mind, but looking to just feel better in my skin.. and perhaps get back to around the weight I was a few years back.  But now I find myself down to about 260 lbs/118 kgs.  Most of that weight loss is since Christmas.

And I’m quite happy with my progress and I’m hoping to keep it going to see if I can lose some more weight.  But again, it’s not with a specific set goal, but instead an intermediate hopeful weight.

I know I’ll never be one of those super fit guys in the magazines, and I’m not hoping to be.  I just want to be comfortable in my own body and feel attractive to myself.. and others obviously.

And if it helps me meet some cute guy who likes me for me, and not my size, then all the better for it.

Photo with cast of ‘Drag Becomes Her’ – (L to R) Peaches Christ, Jinkx Monsoon, ME, BenDeLaCreme, and Major Scales.

Fat Shamed at the Gym

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I recently had a chance to read the below article about a guy who’s a bit over-weight who was made to feel bad about himself because of his weight.  Have a read:

http://www.gaypopbuzz.com/i-was-fat-shamed-by-a-gay-man-at-my-gym/

Now of course I have several things wrong with this article.. not the least the reaction of the muscle-bound narciscist who’d fat-shamed the author when he’d invited him to going him for a baseball game.

Not a date. Not sex. Not a romantic dinner for two.  A freakin’ baseball game.

Obviously, the author probably was hoping for more than just two ‘bros’ hanging out at the game, but that’s not the way it came across in his invitation.  He just seemed to be trying to be friendly.

And in my opinion, the author had every right to feel bad after the muscle guy tried to ‘fat-shame’ him.  And kudos to him for being able to shed about 100 lbs, and looking to work off a bit more.  It’s never an easy thing to do, and the older you get the harder it is to lose the weight.

Trust me on that one…

One thing I did have an issue with in the article is how the author seemed to buy into society’s view of what is healthy or fit or ‘fat’.  And from a chubby guy’s point of view, it’s like he’s ‘fat-shaming’ himself and anyone else who doesn’t have a trim waist.

He said he was 5’10” and about 200 lbs.. now while that isn’t what society considers as fit or standardly healthy, it isn’t obese either.  Or maybe he’s just going on what he feels is own ideal weight.

When I’d first opened this article, I was hoping for something a bit more enlightening surrounding the experience of being a bigger guy going to a gym.. but instead of being encouraging, the author just allowed himself to buy into the usual sterepotypes of gays in the gym – that they’re only there to hook up.

I’m sure a gym can be a very social place and a great way to meet new people, but if you’re there to focus on exercising, cruising the other guys isn’t going to help you meet your goals in the end.

But perhaps that’s my own insecurities surounding going to a gym getting the better of me.  I haven’t stepped inside a gym in about 3 years, and it had been a good decade before then…

I keep telling myself I’m going to join a gym to help boost my weight loss – especially as it’s ground to a halt after returning from holidays.  I have been trying to keep up my daily walking, with goals to hit 40 minutes or 6000 steps a day, whichever one comes first.

But that’s been a bit hit and miss most days, and my diet hasn’t exactly been the best either… but it’s not bad like it used to be, though I do have my days.  I seem to be alright throughout the day, especially at work, but at night the desire to snack kicks in.

It’s not like I don’t know what I need to do to lose the weight, or what foods I should or shouldn’t eat.  I think at times it’s more about will-power and the feeling like whatever I’m doing it isn’t making much of a difference.

It’s hard when you’re sitting there munching on celery and counting every calorie when the skinny people around you are chowing down on crisps or McDonalds with a care in the world.. and they never seem to gain a single pound.

(yes… I know it’s all about metabalisms and activity levels.. just venting my frustrations and how stressed it makes me.)

Before my holidays I’d lost about 25 lbs, and have surprisingly kept it off a month later which is fantastic.  My goal is to lose another 40 – 50 lbs, which would bring me back to the weight I was abpout 5 years ago.

Just wish there was an easier way to do it.. I hate going to a gym.

Damn, I’m lazy LOL

Kiss My Patella

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As mentioned in recent posts, I’ve been struggling with ongoing knee pain (the patella, which is the kneecap), which has made life extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Basically what the doctors seem to think I suffer from is patellofemoral pain, which is pain in, around and behind the kneecap.  Most of the time when the pain flares up, it can feel like the kneecap itself is grinding or grating against another bone along with a bit of swelling around the knee itself.

Put it this way – it ain’t a fun feeling to have, especially when it makes it extremely difficult to do pretty much any day-to-day thing, like walking, going up/down stairs, sleeping (can’t get the leg in a comfortable, non-pain inducing position), and sometimes even sitting.

Luckily (I think) this has been the worse flare up I’ve ever had. Usually it only lasts a couple days then it’s back to normal.

Unfortunately, it’s been ongoing for about a month now, some days better than others, with only mild pain over the past week or so. It’s so mild at the moment that I’ve stopped the pain/anti-inflammatory medication and cream.

Today though could be a turning point of sorts – I finally had the MRI scan the doctor recommended (agonisingly sad how long you have to wait for an appointment).

This was the first time I’d ever had such a scan, so I was understandably nervous about it. Even after reading up about them and knowing there was nothing to be afraid of really.

Luckily when they put me into the machine my head was sticking out. I’m not claustrophobic but the idea of being inside the machine completely didn’t seem pleasant.

What I did find interesting is how I was trying so hard to not move at all, the technician admonished me after the first set of scans for moving too much… I hadn’t moved a muscle!!

Guess it goes to show how much we fidget when we don’t think we are. Or maybe they’re overly picky and expect people to be like a statue. Lol

Anyway now I get to wait up to 2 weeks for the results and hopefully find out what’s actually causing the pain. And whether they’ll recommend a course of action other than simply losing weight/eating right/exercising.

Cause we all know that’s always a doctor’s first recommendation, regardless of the problem.. Even if it might be partially true. 😉

For more information about Patellofemoral pain, click the link here –>> Patellofemoral pain

It Gets Better.. Unless You’re Fat

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Let’s be honest, it’s not easy being a fat gay man these days.  Especially not when the media and society dictates that you should look a certain way, with perfect abs, a gorgeous smile, and a head of hair enviable of pretty much everyone.  marlonteixeira1That you’re supposed to look like some Ken doll-like underwear model, and any deviation from that stereotype is considered social suicide.

What a load of bullshit, huh?  If everyone was meant to look alike, then we’d all be boring drones with nothing to do or say to one another.

But the crap thing is we’ve bought into this mind set and we spend our lives criticising others based on their appearance, be it friends or strangers.  And as much as you might say you don’t do it, you probably do it more than you realise.

I recently read an article on Buzzfeed via Facebook about this exact same topic.  About how if you’re fat and gay, you’re less likely to be included by the other gays, and you’ll probably be made fun of or made to feel bad about yourself regardless of how you look after yourself.

Click HERE to read the original article

The article was mostly about how degrading it is when people criticise you about your weight, as it if it’s such an easy thing to change.  And about how society seems to have accepted that it’s okay to criticise an overweight person, as if it’s helpful instead of hurtful.

Fat_ManBut when you wonder out loud why I can’t just lose some weight, you’re looking out for me. At least, that’s the perception. The hurtful degradation becomes socially sanctioned, because being fat is considered to be innately wrong.  And suddenly, otherwise good people feel no shame in condemning us fatties. It’s not bigotry if we deserve it.

Just like the author, I too have had people comment about my weight in regards to my looks.  That if I just ‘lost a few pounds’ or ‘tried a little harder’ then I would be so much better looking, or that it would be so much easier to find a boyfriend. Of course these people generally know nothing about my life or eating habits, so really have no right to make these comments.

And when you’ve grown up being the fat kid with low self-esteem who’s been working hard as an adult to become more confident and comfortable in your own skin, that really hurts.  As if your looks are the only thing that matters when it comes to finding friends or partners.  As if you’ll only be successful in life if you’re fit and good looking.

And it’s hard not to buy into that mentality sometimes..

ImageMake-Friends-Step-6Unfortunately, as interesting and insightful as the author was trying to be, it ended up coming across as a bit too whiney and I’m not writing about this to have a whinge myself.  As a friend pointed out when I posted the article link on Facebook:

‘..you make the best of it, you don’t wallow and go “wah none of the cool kids will touch me”, you realise the “cool” kids are arseholes and go find a circle of friends who like you for you..

And that’s the whole point, right?  Finding and surrounding yourself with people who accept you for being you, without it being all about how you look or if you fit into a certain stereotype.

And yeah, there are men out there who do like bigger guys, almost to a point where it’s a fetish, so perhaps there is some hope in the end.  Although if you ask me, I’d rather someone was with me (either as friends or otherwise) because I’m me, not because of my big belly or chunky butt.. but I suppose I’ll take what I can get.

As long as they like me for being me.  😀

Dont-ever-change-yourself-to-impress-someone

Standing Up Against Bullying

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Bullying is something most people have had to deal with in some form or another.  And it’s definitely not easy sometimes.

Bully Calls News Anchor Fat, News Anchor Destroys Him On Live TV.
In the link above, an American news anchor (not sure where, but doesn’t matter really) responds to an email she’d received from a local view regarding her weight and how her being overweight sends the wrong message to impressionable young girls.

Now to me, her response and the response of her community is definitely inspiring.  She stands up to the bully and goes on to talk about how we need to re-educate ourselves and our children on how we address people.

Personally, I’ve been bullied throughout my life, especially as a child.  It was mostly surrounding my weight, but possibly could have been because I was perceived as a ‘soft’ child so was an easy target.

Let’s be straight about this.  Bullying is just one person’s way of bringing someone else down because they don’t feel good about themselves.  And sometimes it’s simply to hide their own insecurities.

One of my bullies in high school made fun of my size and how slow I was running among other things.  But the funny thing is he was overweight himself.  The difference was he was much taller and bigger than me, and was into sports.. and was friends with some of the popular kids and the jocks.

Obviously I never told anyone I was being bullied.. hell, I don’t know if I knew for sure if I was.  But what I do know is the school I went to did nothing about it, and there sure as hell wasn’t anyone I could go talk to about it without being labeled a tattle-tale or a sissy.

Should note most of the bullying occurred during our phys ed class, sometimes right in front of the teacher, but he did nothing to stop it… Of course he was also the football coach.

What we need to do as a society is stand up against bullying (October is anti-bullying month apparently), and show the children through our own actions, that this is not acceptable behavior.

Having a joke with someone is one thing.. when that person feels targeted, then it’s bullying regardless of what form it takes.