Comfortable Blanket

I feel like I’m back in high school, taking a gym class right now. The class that I’m taking right now is on “Beginning Physical Conditioning”. In theory, this is supposed to be helping me lose weight. I’m pretty sure that we’re my instructor’s last class of the day though. She doesn’t seem to have much interest in keeping us there for the whole time or in making us do very much. Every day we’ve gotten out at least 30 minutes early. The class is only supposed to be 75 minutes long and so taking away 30 minutes of that time is pretty major.

Consequently, I’ve been hitting the gym after class and whenever else I can. Yes, my long neglected Bally’s membership is finally seeing some use. I’ve only been paying on the thing for the past two and a half years. Now I’m trying to use it as much as possible. I’m really great with the whole procrastination thing…I’ve got that down pat and am an excellent procrastinator. But right now I’m feeling oddly motivated, so I’m making the most of it while trying to avoid burning myself out.

Right now, I’m telling myself that if I lost 50 pounds by the end of summer, I’d be pretty damn happy and would look hella good.

I haven’t always been overweight. When I was a kid, I was into just about every sport. Football, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, karate, volleyball, basketball. We lived in an undeveloped area and there was plenty of space for all of the kids to play in safely. We’d go wondering through the woods and spend hours on the bike trails. There was some time spent in front of the television, but we spent as much time outside as possible. So I was pretty thin. Until high school.

In middle school, boys can get away with not showering after gym. We just sprayed ourselves with more deodorant and got dressed and went about the rest of our day. By the time I was in high school, we all realized just how ripe we were and that we needed to take showers. I can’t tell you how awkward and uncomfortable that was for me. To be at a stage when hormones are going crazy and bodies are developing and suddenly I’m seeing how everyone else is developing and trying to figure out my attraction and interest in them and wondering how much of this is just normal curiosity and how much of it is something else that I don’t have words for just yet. As soon as I had finished the necessary requirements for graduation, I stopped taking any kind of physical education classes and started that slow decline into obesity.

I also developed really bad eating habits in high school. Lots of times, lunch consisted of a soda and whatever else I could get out of the snack machine. So yes, I think that Texas’ Commissioner of Agriculture, Susan Combs, is right in restricting soda and snack machines at school and in making school kitchens remove their deep fryers.

Yes, parents should be teaching their kids how to be healthy at home, but I can tell you that for a lot of our kids, the free lunch and breakfast that they get at school is probably their best meal of the day. One of the teachers told me that at one of his previous schools, attendance was higher on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Monday, kids came because they hadn’t eaten over the weekend. By Wednesday, they were hungry again and most area schools serve Mexican food on Wednesdays. Friday they would come to school to eat so that they wouldn’t go into the weekend hungry.

When I started college, the food at the dorm was all you could eat, 20 meals a week. Pizza, burgers. Lots of other stuff. And there were nights when we’d stay up til sunrise playing spades. Gotta have a pizza around 2 in the morning. Shakes from Player’s. Lots of alcohol. Walking around campus helped me maintain for a while, but those freshman fifteen were making themselves known. I also finally started coming out towards the end of that first year, aided by 10 margaritas in 30 minutes. Those margaritas helped bust that closet door wide open. Lots of finger snapping and “You Go Girl” followed those margaritas that night.

The next year, I was living off campus. Was eating better at home. Roomie was a hell of a cook. He also liked beer but was often broke. I didn’t like beer, but usually had some money. He was over 21 and I was all of 19. Eventually, it became cheaper to just learn to like beer instead of buying beer for him and wine for me.

Time jump to several years later. Take the combination of lots of beer, lots of food, many nights of having the munchies, several bouts with depression, and not enough physical activity and you wind up with a very overweight Troy. Not to the point where you’re going to see Richard Simmons coming to knock out a wall to pull me out of the house, but I’m much heavier than is healthy.

Which leads me to where I’m at now and why I’m ready to change.

I remember about 12 years ago, one of my friends asked me if my weight was my version of Linus’ blanket. A way of insulating myself from my fears about being gay and being alone. If I was fat, I could use that as an excuse for why someone wasn’t attracted to me. It made rejection easier because it was based purely on the physical and not on what kind of a person I was. And I’ve lived with that blanket for over 10 years.

I’m more comfortable with myself now though. A little older and wiser, I’d like to think.

Right now, I’m single, but have a HOT “Air Force Sex Toy” ™. I enjoy spending time with him, but he’s being transferred soon. We both knew this when we met. Most of the relationship is sexual, though there is affection there and we do have common interests. This isn’t on the front burner for either one of us, and that’s taught me a little something about being patient. It’s actually one of the best relationships that I’ve had.

Some of those old fears are gone now. It’s time for their outward manifestation to go as well.

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