to the tune of me actually addressing emotions and not running from them in a fog of pizza steam and Taco Bell hot sauce. It has been a confusing and gut wrenching time for me, for I have already made a couple missteps that have turned me into a twisted up wreck. But on the other hand, I have to look at the positive side to the equation, no matter how much the negative rears its ugly head. At least I am not rejecting society in general. At least I am not being the man I used to be by keeping such things as “love” at arm’s length and expecting food to help me get through the hard times. If anything, having become a more healthy eater after nearly ten years of self hate and despair has forced me to confront my demons and my mistakes like a real human being. And much like a child, I have to relearn a lot of things, and it hasn’t been easy to say the least. I got the chance to actually fall head over heels for a person, but then I had to relearn rejection and how to deal with that pain. I’ve had to deal with the fact once again that I am merely average looking to the rest of the world, so getting those supermodel women that movies and popular media says I deserve are merely a fantasy at this point. And I also have to deal with the fact I am pushing 40, meaning my dating pool and my choices are becoming more and more limited. Trust me, these realizations used to be so easy to handle, but now I look at my food addiction for what it truly was. It took a lot of my life, and I let it. I was a zombie, wandering aimlessly through life living only long enough for the next paycheck to come in and pay for my next meal. And now a lot of personal struggles are starting to overwhelm me and here I am, at an age I’m expected to know what to do, completely incapable of understanding the flood of emotions in my head. I’ve talked with random people on the internet, talked to my friends and even talked to my father! Love is such a minefield in regards to how complicated it is. It seems to be we have more studies about people cheating and getting divorced than actually falling in love. Some of the more interesting ones were women that made more money than their significant other were more likely to be cheated on (http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/16/income.men.women.cheating/) and men with larger “appendages” were more likely to be cheated on (http://jezebel.com/men-with-bigger-penises-are-more-likely-to-get-cheated-1568859120).
Love has certainly been the most difficult of all the emotions to deal with, merely because of the rejection. It was so easy when I was heavy, because I would just use my go to excuse of being too fat. I used to hate online dating services because they never really produced results (which really nothing has changed in that right). But it is kind of strange. I want the pressure this year, the pressure of Valentine’s Day as some people think it. Yeah, that day is a made up holiday and such, but for once it would be kind of nice to actually experience it, for I never actually had a girlfriend when the day rolled around. If anything, I have been kind of wishing to actually take the time to go out with someone, splurge on them and do all the cutesy things I used to denounce. But alas, not this year. But it is kind of funny though, I never really cared much for love or companionship while I was eating to my heart’s content. And even after nearly three years on this path of health, I still have trouble figuring out the situation. 2015 will be a good year for me I guess, as soon as I can get my financial head above water.
Now to have a lonely single guy talk about the intricacies of love is a bit foolish, but then again, at least I am not at the level of oddity and desperation that some people are at. You have the story about the woman in Houston that married herself. Yes, you heard that right. http://www.chron.com/life/weddings-and-celebrations/article/Houston-woman-marries-herself-in-elaborate-6040944.php Personally, that comes off as a bit odd for me, but this isn’t eve the weirdest story of the month! Turns out Charles Manson, who somehow got married recently, is getting played as well. Turns out his new wife merely wanted to marry him so she can get his body and display it for the world to see. http://www.chron.com/life/weddings-and-celebrations/article/Houston-woman-marries-herself-in-elaborate-6040944.php It brings to light my little conundrum…that if a convicted mastermind of a deadly cult with no secrets to hide can’t even find honest love, then what about me? But for every seedy story of infidelity and heartbreak out there, there is some welcome solace in this life. Heck, I might be witnessing an online love story that you only hear about on human interest stories at the end of a news broadcast or something.
I’ve talked once about how fitness and having a compatible partner along for the ride will not only benefit your well being, but your health. But what about the opposite side of the coin? From my own personal life, being overweight certainly hindered lot of chances of getting my foot in the door. Truth be told, everyone told me I should just act like a jerk and I would have no trouble with meeting women. But it is not in my nature to be such a person, so being single was quite the norm. If anything, that bitterness of loneliness made me eat more. Now this topic of weight and love is rarely touch upon, but last year researcher and writer Sarah Varney published a book called “XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis is Complicating America’s Love Life.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/22/living/obesity-sex-xl-love-relate/ The book explored quite a few subjects, looking at how obesity is changing dating habits of younger people (girls have their period earlier when they are overweight), the rise of pornography involving overweight women and of course dating. But some of the more interesting stories within the book apparently exist in the marriage realm, where Varney talked about the vitriolic nature of “mixed weight” marriages. In a separate interview, made light of this division. “The types of arguments are much more personal, they are much more vicious. There’s a lot of work that every couple has to do, of course, but when you throw weight into it, and you throw the level of self-hatred and body image issues, it becomes a lot to deal with.” Weight problems can certainly be a useful tool in any fight, and thus using the problem tends to create an advantage and leads to some level of emotional abuse. But winning an argument is not just the only problem associated with this life. Cheating can become a problem, and friction such as body issues chance into play for a spouse to wander. And then we have the most obvious problem when it comes to being overweight and in an relationship: passion and virility.
This will certainly be the most embarrassing part for me, if not in the entirety of this blog. If anything, having a bad diet gave me a really bad case of erectile dysfunction. Now seems it pretty crazy, a guy my age having these problems, but they existed for quite a few years. If I got lucky, I might have actually got an erection every couple weeks or so. I think in a lot of ways, it led to a lot of anger and self hate, because how can you be labeled a “man” if you are impotent. Really, my problems pretty much existed until this past year, when the fruits of my work in the gym and on my plate started paying some better dividends. It was something of an awakening for me, for it not only changed my mood but changed my outlook for the better. In a lot of ways, I suddenly wanted to be a part of society again because I felt like a man, and even though some people might say that little detail doesn’t make you a man, try living the life I lived for nearly seven years and tell me how you feel about yourself. I was ornery, negative and routinely pushed people away, even in spite of the gains I was making at every corner. And if such a detail in my life brought so much despair and embarrassment and inner turmoil, imagine if you were married. One of the many downsides of being overweight and having a lousy diet is your sex drive and your ability to perform can become hindered. Throw in the fact you are not exercising enough, and probably not sleeping well (another issue with weight problems) and it is no surprise you might be having trouble in the bedroom. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/sex-and-weight
The weight issue can be problematic in regards to sexual activity for overweight people. http://www.npr.org/2011/09/21/140665644/for-obese-intimate-lives-often-suffer First and foremost comes the obvious health problems. For most men, the more weight carry and the less activity we partake in, the less testosterone we will produce. If you really want to understand how bad the obesity problem is in this country, one might want to look at the exploding industry of testosterone supplementation. Not only do we have this problem, the lack of good body circulation leads to the ultimate issue of dysfunction, which is easily the worst part about the whole situation in my opinion. There is also the obvious problems that occur between both sexes. Sleep apnea tends to affect the overweight in bigger numbers, which leads to stress and exhaustion. If you eat a diet high in meat and dairy, there is a possibility you might have problems with heartburn, which can also be problematic for sleep patterns. Weight can also seriously debilitate the body, meaning the kink in the knee or that “headache” (caused by neck pain possibility) can actually be a legitimate enough reason not to have sex. But then you have the emotional side of the coin, which adversely affects women more so than men. Granted, I view my body as rather ugly due to the extra rolls, the stretch marks and the hundreds of acne scars on my back, many men in my predicament think their bodies are okay. But for women, it is a whole other struggle. Society loves to make broad conclusions about women and what they should look like, and there is no question this societal judgement can be a factor in all aspects of marriage, even infidelity. Strangely enough, 30% of the men in one study who cheated on their wives were overweight or obese and even constituted the largest percentage of men and the body types they presented. On the other hand, only 11% of overweight or obese women cheated on their husbands, which happened to be the smallest group amongst the female side of the study. Now of course, the accusations will always fly about infidelity and who cheats more, and this study I cited was no different considering it barely had a 1,000 participants. But here is a certainty I know all too well: If you don’t love yourself, then how is someone else going to be able to tolerate you?
Right now, I am working on that detail in my own life. So I guess it is time to come clean. I had a pretty bad relapse in regards to my eating back in early 2014. I wasn’t a junk food vegan as the term goes, but I was eating far too much food for one man to burn off. So when I started going to he chiropractor in late November of 2014, I was kind of shocked to see I had ballooned up to 288. I was pretty upset with myself, and once my chiropractor started working his magic on my neck and back, I started working harder in the gym. This past Monday I learned I was 266 pounds, which is pretty good considering I didn’t really start working on my eating habits until a few weeks ago. I don’t mind saying I lost a 130-some-odd pounds, but I know I should be in the 240s by now if I had just stayed the course a little better. Right now I really need to learn to love myself, which is something I have a hard time doing since so many things are going haywire in my life. Because while I claim I want someone to love me and hold me and whisper sweet nothings into my ear, I have to have a general respect for my own body and my own heart. Back when I started this crazy journey nearly three years ago, I did it just to get my parents off my back and take advantage of some free personal training. But now I see so many things differently. I have gotten so much of my life back that I feel I want to be an actual person again. I want to feel what that couple that has been together for 50-years feels or feel what those two teenagers feel when they fall for their first crush and are sucked into that vortex of emotions. Admittedly, the fat guy that sat on his chair most of his life is still a part of me, but that guy who is actively trying to meet people and be a member of society is becoming more and more powerful. I admit, it will kind of stink being alone for Valentine’s this year, but I’m hoping the personal changes in my life and my heart will make this a misnomer for years to come. A lotto people have already tried to discourage me in regards to the worry and the anxiety, but I think having no one to share my time and my love with is far worse than having to avoid the supposed rigors of showing how much you love someone.
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Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.