Body Image: Journal Entry

Hey everyone. I've known this blog post has been a long time coming but I've never had the guts to put it up. So please sit back, grab yourself a cortado and relax. I know this isn't a big adventure post like I've been doing but this is something that is always on my mind. I woke up this morning with this feeling that It's time to finally post it to the world. So let's get down to business. 

So... should I start this. 

As a child, I was fairly skinny, I was always outside running around with my Uncle's and Brother, but when I turned about 8 or 9 If I remember, something started happening to my body. I didn't know what was happening but it seemed like I started to gain weight in a short amount of time. Everyone thought I was just eating junk food continually and I did yes but no kid should gain this much weight so rapidly. As I continued to get older and the weight continued to grow, we finally went to the doctor. As a kid growing up in a small farmers town, carrying all of that weight was one of the most traumatizing things in my life. It didn't help that everyone else was so hard on me regardless because I wasn't a sporty guy. I go to the doctors and they do a full check up and they notice that my thyroid was not producing enough of it's hormones to regulate my emotions and enough to take care of my body. It was producing the lowest amount to keep me stable...(disclaimer: I got so emotional once that I punched a hole in the wall) So, they decided to put me on thyroid pills. Being a young kid, It almost made me feel like I wasn't normal. But here's the thing. They couldn't figure out what dosage to give me. Throughout my teenage years, there were so many ups and downs with my emotions and them trying to regulate my thyroid. (I'm still going through that today). 

At the height of 5ft 7in it was not the easiest thing to do. It was rather painful to walk down the hallway to see all of the jocks and normal size teens kissing on their girlfriends and then there was me just lugging around holding my latest copy of some sort of anime that I used to read. I couldn't climb trees like other kids, I couldn't run as fast as other kids...I was always left on the sidelines watching wondering what was wrong with me. And you know how kids can be, rude and destructive. 

 Honestly, as a kid, I always wanted to fit into some sort of category or have some sort of label. I wanted to belong so much because I wanted to be "normal". So I tried everything from buying all of the trendiest clothes (which didn't hide my weight). I tried to be a "hipster" because I was an art kid (I hate that word with a passion). I bought black rimmed glasses and black clothes. I went through so many phases to see how I could belong. I didn't have a lot of friends, so it was difficult to even see what was happening to me. Looking back on that now, I was so insecure and sad. When I went to the doctors in my teenage years (I don't remember what age) they told me that I was at a high risk of having a heart attack. I was still in my teen possibility of having a heart attack? I didn't even fathom the idea. But when I got home...I did eat my sorrows...I was always a picky kid and didn't like my meat and vegetables. I always ate chicken fingers and hotdogs always with a side of fries. So a mixture of that and my body was tearing itself apart.

The words that my Grandma Boyd told me when I would talk about my weight is, " What are doing to yourself child? We can't change you, you're the only one who has the power to change" this morning I still remember her saying that. Moving up to age 18, I weighed 300 pounds.

Yeah...that's me... At my biggest and you can honestly see how uncomfortable I look... I don't even look like myself honestly. But yeah...that was my downfall. In December of 2011 I finally decided to do something about it. I had a horrible experience while eating dinner with my Grandparent's.  I had my usual chicken fingers from Tyson (BAD TY) and I bit into it and they were boneless chicken fingers. There were bones and blood inside of the chicken finger. I remember running to the bathroom and throwing up. That brings me to the beginning of where I started losing weight. I decided to become a vegetarian( still am today ) and oddly the way I started excising was the Wii game Just Dance. I did 6 dances in the morning and 6 at which equalized to running 4 miles. I did this and continued until...

I had lost 100 pounds all together and am still a vegetarian to this date. But losing all that weight left some extra skin and stretch marks behind but those are small things. Almost like battle scars in a way. But this leads me to what I want to talk about now. Recently for the traumatizing things that I've went through, those ghosts came back and are somewhat haunting me now. Yes I'm not the skinniest man or the most muscular in the world but there's honestly nothing wrong with that. I always had this idolized version of myself as being a skinny man but with my broader bone structure and my legs, I know it wont happen. And I'm perfectly fine with that. I'll always be a work in progress and I've come to love exercising.

As being a fairly open gay man, I realized that I don't fit into any stereotype (disheartening at first yes but let me go on) I was a person who didn't drink or did drugs ate age 16. I was a fairly well mannered kid. My parents drilled those things into our heads. I was someone who had always wanted to grow up and hated to be a kid. I never fit in and now that I'm in Grand Rapids, I don't want to. And I realized that back in 2013 but that's a different story for a different day. But as I lay in bed and literally regurgitate this story to you guys, I'm not your average gay man. I'm not trying to put myself on a bar or saying that I'm better than anyone else because I'm not that person. But I'm just my authentic self. I don't put labels on myself, I just know who I am and that's all that matters. I shouldn't have to go to clubs and go to bars and get waisted every night. I hardly drink as it is honestly. I'll go get a drink at someplace nice but I won't ever over do it. I've always enjoyed a night in reading a book or making dinner for friends. That leads me to my final point here. 

Love yourself. Your body is you and that if you want  to change it, do it for you, not for anyone else. And if you're curvy,skinny, muscular, or whatever your size love that your body is different than everyone else. Everyone is beautiful. Being on that end of the spectrum, I see everything as beautiful. Go out and buy yourself some David Beckham underwear, go get yourself that dress you've been eyeing. Treat yourself, life is way to short.

 I'll have another "Finding Home" video up for you guys in the next couple of days.