Having met our deductible this year, having entered that new decade of the 50-somethings and with encouragement (read "nagging") from my wife, I actually went to the family doctor for a full physical (which ended up including a follow-up colonoscopy exam - JOY!) Thank goodness that everything has checked out well.
It's been a couple of years ago that I last went to have a check-up. My doctor noted that I have lost 25 lbs since then! I didn't believe him, and so he got out my records and showed me that I weighed 190 lbs and now I weigh 165 lbs. At 6'-3" I was never overweight, but at 190 I felt fat and out of shape and uncomfortable with my body. He didn't tell me to lose weight, but as I've come to accept my body for what it is (meaning I'm never going to be athletic, muscular, or a stud that I dream to be in hopes of being viewed by other guys as "attractive" and being able to "fit in" with the masculine guys where I never have felt comfortable - in fact I've been down right shy and backward when finding myself in a masculine locker room world) I've set goals and have been working on my self-image, which includes my body-image, including:
1. eating more healthy foods (more fruits and vegetables, less meats, more water, no soda-pop, little candy),
2. exercising more (hiking on the mountain, walking, taking the stairs, etc.)
3. toning up what meager muscles I have (weightlifting, some swimming, stretching, exercise ball)
and as a result, I've lost 25 lbs and have toned up, and I've lost a few inches around my waist (where there was an abundance to lose - my 34" waist jeans are clown pants, swamping me and I'm having a hard time keeping my 32" low-risers on my hips without them falling down... I may need to go buy some 30 inchers here quickly!) and built some modest gain in my arms and chest (where there was none previously). The doctor asked me what was up? I wasn't sure if he was worried or just noted the weight loss. I just said that I was taking better care of myself and whether or not he was kidding with me or not, he said that I looked like a man younger than 40 not a typical man of 50. I smiled.
As family have come to visit this holiday season, many have noted that I've "lost weight" and that I am "looking good". I just shrug it off, but I do feel good. I like weighing less. I like feeling more toned. I like not having a belly. I like having to buy smaller jeans. I like being a gazelle!
MOHOH once mentioned a while back that I was "gay as a gazelle". Well, maybe I've taken on that as a personal goal to be a "gazelle". I've always dreamed of being more masculine, more muscular, more athletic, fit and strong. And my body would never cooperate. I have always had a hard time gaining muscle-weight and with my metabolism, bone structure, coordination, genetics and lack of discipline, I most likely never will.
So, as I've taken on a new role as a "lover" to my wife, I have also taken on a new persona as a "gazelle". 6'-3" and 165 lbs is skinny, but now I look at it as a healthy goal to be toned and better in shape and if it helps me to want to be touched by her (as she loves the "new me") and be more intimate with her and unafraid and unintimidated of our physicality together, and if it helps me to finally accept myself for who I am (not only as a gazelle, but a gay gazelle) then maybe I'm finally stepping into my own skin and becoming comfortable with who I am, both inside and out.
This is a big turn-around for me. This is so much more than being physically lean. I have a goal for 2010 to continue down this path, to work hard at being the best gazelle I can be and stop wishing to be the gorilla that I will never be. I have a goal to be confident in myself physically for the first time and no longer fear the ridicule of the past and the self-doubting and self-loathing that came with that ridicule. Being skinny was a detriment and embarrassment in junior high and high school. Being toned and lean at 50 is healthy and self-assuring and self-accepting.
Now, if I can just get through the next couple of weeks of parties with holiday fudge and goodies everywhere...