Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Weight of Things

When I was a child, from 6 to 12 years old, I was fat. I had to wear “husky” boy’s jeans, that was the name of the size “husky”! So on top of having to wear something that was for boys, it had to be named something like “husky”. Who does that to a child? Why not just say we ran out of numbers for your size so now we are going descriptive, something like “Chubby” or no, wait how about “Husky”?! I was picked on at school for being fat; I got into fights a lot. So, I worked out all the time with my mother; I was determined to knock my weight down. I was active and played sports, I was particularly happy to play baseball. I know it seems like a manly sport, but it’s non-contact and I got to wear a uniform that had albeit manly stirrup pants, but they were still stirrup pants.

 

I started leaning out in my early teens, and once I was in high school and running in track, at 16 yrs old, I was very lean. During this time I could wear almost anything my stepsister (who was 13 at the time) had in her closet that wasn’t constrained by height or my shoulders which were too broad for some clothes. My stepmother’s clothes were almost perfect, so I wore a lot of Cato’s dresses during that time. I was weighing in at 120 lbs at the time. Being that lean meant no boobs at all, but at least I could stuff my stepmom’s bras with the contents of my sock drawer.

 

After joining the military, I stayed lean, maintaining 165 lbs; muscle put on by running track and from military training had made me heavier but not much bulkier. I could wear anything my girlfriends wore for the most part. Even after I left the military, I managed to keep to my weight down for years.  I started gaining weight during my first marriage, a combination of being married to a person who made me miserable, depression and quitting smoking did its work. Since I didn’t keep to a workout regime or running, I slowly and imperceptibly started gaining weight. I didn’t realize it at first, I had to get new jeans every once in a while, that was all. I really started noticing when I couldn’t wear a lot of the clothes my (now) ex-wife wore. I started going to a gym, but I found I had a lot of issues with sticking to a routine. There were many times in which I had just given up because I was stressed and anxious and depressed, and working out didn’t seem to relieve any of that. I am also lazy! Laziness can’t be understated here, I like to watch television and play video games.  All of thesethings combined into a pretty potent recipe for being overweight. I had let being thin during my prime fool me into thinking my weight would never change, the foolishness of youth.

 

After my divorce, I was still hiding who I was. We have a son and we were then fighting for custody. Thankfully, I had never told her about my being trans or bisexual, she had no idea. She is conservative in the extreme, probably my trying to push who I was way down into a dark pit. If she had known, it would have been used against me during the divorce and the custody battle. I viewed the divorce and legal proceedings as my fault, because I wasn’t in actuality, my mask, it had to be my fault. Lying in your marriage, especially about who you are, can’t be a good marriage. Depression was my only friend at that time. Then I lost custody of my son, I sank into the darkest recesses of depression, even contemplated the worst thoughts of self-harm. I was lost of darkness for several years, just barely keeping it together to keep my job, but I had let myself completely go. I’m tall, so it doesn’t look it, but was carrying around two of me. 

 

When Michelle and I finally got together, then married after 25 years of friendship, weight became a thing for both of us. We are older now and it’s harder to lose and harder to workout. We don’t spring back into shape, we had to really work at a change of any kind. It can be disheartening to put forth all this effort for little to no change, weight-wise. We tried juicing, which is when you don’t eat anything but the juice of vegetables & fruit. It’s not a fun cleansing, we did it for 30 days. At first, you miss chewing food, you are always hungry and you get agitated. About two weeks in, you hit the plateau where hunger dies down, the chewing is just forgotten, and you start feeling great. I lost 75 lbs in the month we did that. Of course, when you start eating again, if you maintain your workouts and eat reasonably, then you will stay on point with the weight loss. We didn’t do this, we had started shopping for houses and with the stress of getting a VA loan and finding a house within our price range and the packing of our apartment and moving, for three months we basically ate junk food and stopped working out. (Lazy remember?)

 

After buying our home, I purchased a treadmill and managed to get the great hulk of a thing put together in our home office. I have used it ten times. I don’t know why I have trouble making myself use it, I usually like treadmills in gyms or in the apartment gym, but at home I just find excuses not to use it. I have some pain in my ankle, caused by being overweight and I use that as an excuse. It’s also boring, I get bored on the treadmill, even if I use my phone to play tv shows or movies on Netflix. I keep rededicating myself to working out and using the treadmill to only use it a day or two at a time. Then I find an excuse, any will do, to not touch it again for weeks.

 

In the end, I am my own worst enemy for being healthy. I tend towards fatty foods and leading a sedentary lifestyle which is just not good. I want to be thin(nerbecause I want to look as good as I can and fit into the clothes I like, but I also just want to be healthy and vibrant again, a bit of youth reclaimed. For those of us already fighting the ravages of testosterone and a biologically male body, weight becomes a big issue.

 

I don’t have any answers for getting the weight down or keeping it off for lazy transgender people who have a genetic disposition to be large in the first place. I am guessing eat right, workout and don’t try to cheat the system because I am pretty sure that never works out well in the end.

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