Dislaimer: This isn't that funny, it's more of a rant.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was a skinny rail of a man. I was 6’4” and weighed in at a whopping 176 pounds soaking wet. I looked ill but I was also in the military so exercise was mandatory and the heat of 130 degrees in the Middle East probably helped lose any extra baby fat I had stored for a cold winter. After my stint with the Army though, all bets were off and I was sleeping in past zero dark thirty and was able to eat any kind of fattening food I could get my grubby little hands on without the repercussions of failing physical fitness tests.
One day though, I woke up and realized I wasn’t the skinny guy I used to know but I was incredibly fat. Not my own show on TLC fat, but 316 pounds of bear claws none the less. I am tall so I did carry it well and for the most part people just referred to me as the big guy. I wasn’t very active and I didn’t go to the gym. My primary sources of exercise were either walking from the Orange Line to my building or running after the ice cream truck in the suburbs. FYI, Ninja Turtle ice cream bars are still as good as you remember.
Fast forward 2 years from my fattest and I fluctuate between 230 and 240. I put on a lot of muscle mass and am wearing the same size pant I wore in the Army. I wear a size large shirt and on occasion can get away with a medium… or a shmedium as my sister Terri likes to call it. I work out every day and I even ran a freaking marathon…. I like to think of my former skinny self and my former fat self as my guardian angels who sit on my shoulders and tell me what I should be or shouldn’t be eating.
Still, there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t look in the mirror and fear myself going back to Fat Tim. Fat Tim was gross. He wasn't as cool as this new Tim with awesome muscles he didn't have before. I weigh myself all the time and freak out when I am a pound or two over 240. I think to myself I better start doing two-a-day workouts again to get rid of the weight. I will starve myself, over work my muscles, and panic because the mere thought of being big again scares the crap out of me.
I am a man, and I have body issues. That’s weird to read isn’t it? A man who has body issues? You don’t hear that every day. Instead you read about women and the issues they have. And before any of you ladies get defensive, I know that you have dealt with it your entire lives starting from the Barbie days. But guess what? It’s hard as fuck to be Ken too. Ladies you have had to deal with the images of Kate Upton and the Victoria Secret supermodels as the almost unattainable goal. Still, there are memes that are passed around Facebook with Marilyn Monroe quotes (and seriously, knock it off, they are dumb), constant status updates about beach bodies, articles about thigh gaps, fat-shaming, yoga pants, moms who have lost weight and say what’s your excuse, and an overall theme of being proud of your body no matter what it looks like. There is a sense of camaraderie for women when it comes to this stuff.
Men don’t do that and/or have that. I can’t post a picture of Danny Devito and say this is what is acceptable. As a man, you are taught to sit back and take it. Yet we have Zac Efron tearing off his shirt at the MTV Awards, the Rock being the Rock, Magic Mike, Jax from Sons of Anarchy, and holy shit that dude that played Bane is on the cover of Esquire and holy shit he is ripped. In my mind, men either have a 300 Spartan body or they don’t. Either they lift or they don’t, bro.
This whole blog started because I was listening to the radio and the hosts were making fun of Leonardo Dicaprio because a paparazzi picture was taken of him at the beach and he had a slight gut. They were calling him Leo-lardo DiFatrio. The dude is 40 something and has a strict diet of nothing but supermodels. I think it’s perfectly ok for him not to be ripped and I’m pretty sure he’s not crying about it at home using his millions of dollars as Kleenex.
Which brings me to my point. I am pretty sure Leonardo DiCaprio loves himself and that is what they say you need to do if you want to get past your body issues. “Love yourself on the inside and the outside won’t matter.” To whoever wrote that, I call bullshit. I love myself. Believe me, I am a narcissistic, over-confident egomaniac. Seriously, if my head got any bigger, I could sit on your car dashboard and bobble as you hit bumps. Even the most confident people have body issues and they aren’t all women.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.
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