I have Male Body Dysmorphia. Not officially diagnosed, but I think I’m a lot fatter than I really am. It contributes to depression, and I need to work on that. My inability to accept my body does not motivate me to be healthy, it just makes me feel down. There’s a backstory here- I was obese as a child. I started putting on weight at about 11 years old. I was the fat kid in high school, and it was my master status. I wasn’t the kid that hosted a show on public access tv, or the kid with the mohawk. I was, but that’s not how I was known: I was the fat kid.
I found a home in the punk/hardcore scene, and was given a few books about animal rights by people I met at shows. After reading everything I could in the age predating wi-fi and internet saturation, I became convinced that vegetarian/vegan diets were better for animals, myself, and the planet. I supported the idea with Bible verses. I started eating better and started losing weight. When I was 18, I made an educated decision to go vegan, the best I could. I taught myself to cook and learned about food cultures. This was a great time of bonding with my Mother, who was very supportive of me. She passed away in 2006, and I’m glad I got to spend so much time with her in the kitchen, learning her recipes do I could deconstruct and remix them.
When I was 19, I wanted to get in shape, as I had ballooned to 347 lbs. I wore Dickie’s pants because that’s all I could find in size 48. I cut carbs, eliminated a lot of processed food, and began exercising. At first I was only able to do yoga, which I did along a with very gentle video I got from a sale at the library for 50 cents. I joined the US Air Force shortly after my 20th birthday.
Then something happened that I wasn’t ready for- I still felt fat. I’m a large man. I’m 6″2′, and 215lbs. I am carrying around a little extra weight, but I know I’m not obese. I can wear normal clothes, and am fairly active. I can dial in my nutrition, which I’m doing so I can be better at jiu jitsu and crossfit, but I’m a healthy person. I know that I am strong and disciplined, and that I can protect my family and help others. I can work hard and run. Still, I often hear a condemning voice in my head when I see myself in the mirror, or say self-condemning things like “I’m so fat” or “these donuts are good, I’m the fat guy…trust me on this one.” I know I’m better than that. I know I have worked too hard to let myself be weighed down by fat thoughts, but it’s still tough. That’s not who I am anymore, but it’s still a hard behavior pattern to shake. I’m trying to reprogram myself to not say those things. If I don’t speak them over myself like an incantation, I’ll stop thinking it, and eventually I’ll stop feeling it. Everyone believes lies about themselves, and I think we would all benefit from letting them go.
Fat, I want a divorce. Bon Voyage to being the fat guy. So long being called “Porkchop”.
Agree? Disagree? Have you had a similar experience? Sound off in the comments section.