Following my previous post on body image, I got a fair bit of love, and not so much negativity, and the one public comment on negativity I got, other’s were more outraged over what was said than I was. The fact of the matter is, I write this blog, as I have with all my others, knowing that I run the complete risk of being publicly ridiculed and annihilated. Over time, you develop a thick skin and you post knowing that some times, you’ll get a negative response. Especially from those you have wronged in the past, and also those who just choose to be cruel for no apparent reason; you could delve into the psychology of it, but without sitting down with that person 1:1, it’s pretty much speculation.
I know, full well, what I am letting myself into, and who I am right now. That is, I am a fat guy, blogging about being fat and how I cope with how I am right now, and my slow progression to the person I want to be. Luckily, it doesn’t involve changing my outlook on life, or getting rid of the personality I have – it is all, unfortunately, just cosmetic.
So, why have I named this post “Big Boys Don’t Cry”? Well it’s pretty simple, but also a little deep as to why. You’ve probably guessed that it either references my age or the fact that I am a big boy – I’ll let you take away from the comment, whatever you choose to. And both assumptions would be correct. I am a grown man, so I’m not going to cry over the way I look, no matter how low it makes me feel sometimes – the one thing guaranteed to make me cry is the ending of Gremlins when Gizmo has to say goodbye to Billy, I am emotionally involved in that film every time.
Secondly, it is correct that being a big boy, such as myself, with my stature, means that I fail to see a reason why I should cry. I did this to myself, I accept that. I could blame it on ex-boyfriends, demeaning comments, but nobody put the food in my mouth except myself. Yeah, I could harken back to my childhood and say when I was baby, I was fed copious amounts of chocolate pudding that set me on this road, and that I was never actively encouraged to do sports, but I don’t think those things would really change anything. I was open to sports at secondary school, and got on well with rugby, picking up the skills fast, and having the stature to do so, but then I was bullied, pretty badly, by the prefects, who would drag me into a room and kick me to the ground, so laying low was my alternative to not being beaten up. I’d just like to add, each and everyone of them were stripped of being a prefect and had to write letters of apology to me for the months of bullying they put me through, so it doesn’t always pay to be nasty to others, no matter how funny you think it is.
The issue I now face with these writings is, that I have come to learn something since my time posting about this last month: it’s not just the chubby guys who suffer with their body image.
Now for the wild part of actually talking about my boyfriend specifically. I tend to keep him away from my blog posts other than a passing comment but sometimes he will be relevant and that’s what this is about. Compared to me, my boyfriend is slim. I’m sure there will be people who question why a chubby guy like me, and a slim guy like him are together, but anyway. He goes to the gym 3, maybe 4, times a week and goes there for an hour, he cycles to work, if he doesn’t get chance to go to the gym, he will work out at home. He is very fit, healthy and active. He can eat 6 chocolate bars in a day and it not effect him whereas if I walk down the confectionary aisle in the supermarket I’ve put on 6lbs by the end of it.
He sometimes doesn’t see what I see though. He sometimes worries when he’s missed a day at the gym and starts to feel somewhat lost about it. Granted, it is part of his routine, but he could really afford a week of not going and nothing would actually happen. But there are body image issues there. He believes that because he hasn’t gone, that he will then put on weight and his ‘little belly’ is then automatically referred to as his ‘big belly’ although it hasn’t changed in size and I’m laid next to him like a beached whale washed several miles inland.
Being a big guy means that sometimes, I don’t see that other’s will suffer with something like I do. I assume that because they are possibly more socially acceptable in appearance, that they don’t think the same. But it all comes down to one thing: the overuse of toned and muscly models by the media.
The slim guys want to get toned like them, just like the fat guys want to lose weight and discover those abs underneath the fat. It has been a while since I’ve actually suffered with any ill-feelings about my body or the way it looks because I am working so hard to change it. But something else has occurred to me also.
Your body is the machine that helps you live. Throwing some good fitting clothes over it and leaving the house isn’t all that bad, as I advised in the previous blog (link up top). When it comes to owning your body, there is one simple way of fooling the world of social media and that is to just take a shoulders up selfie. You can change the way your face looks far easier than it is to alter your body without the intervention of Photoshop.
I don’t think people should be ashamed of their bodies, no matter what size they are, be it thin or fat. You have this body that does wonderful things, and it is entirely up to you what you do with it; whether you get a tattoo on it or not, whether you try to lose weight or put on weight. My one true aim and true message is just to be healthy in mind, body and soul and that starts with you. Do not cry, do not listen to hate, work on everything and believe in love, the love within you for yourself. Sometimes the world is grey, but darkness is not darkness, it is just absence of a brighter light. Turn around and find that light, for your life and your selfies – work the light.