I have absolutely NO IDEA how to properly discuss my thoughts on fitness with you guys in 2020. Absolutely zero, no shit. See, if I express disdain for putting on a few pounds around the Holidays I’ll get the fucking body-positivity cult on my heels telling me that I shouldn’t say I’m unhappy with my weight. If I complain about having to cut out the 18 sour beers I could easily consume in a weekend then I’ll get the fat-shamers telling me to suck it up, lower my fucking BMI, and get on with my shitty existence. Either way I go, I’m fucked, so I’m just gonna be honest about my stance on the whole thing.
Nothing says “Happy Tuesday” like controversial subject matter.
Here you go: I think everyone is a little bit full of shit, or A LOT full of shit while we’re at it. I think you can’t say anything anymore without offending someone so I figure I’ll just say what I want. I’m not a dick, and I’m not an idiot, so here’s my fucking disclaimer.
I’ve struggled with body image my entire life. I mean that, the whole fucking thing. Ok, it probably wasn’t a thing when I was like three- but the first time I got made fun of for how I looked set me off on a journey of self-loathing that persists to this day. I’m very lucky to have a partner that loves me for ME, and for some insane reason finds me super-attractive, so I care a hell of a lot less about it these days- but I’m still not happy with myself and I’m not sure I ever will be. That first time i got made fun of was in the 5th grade, so I guess I was about ten years old. I had started to get a very slight case of fatty tissue buildup in my chest and some girl decided to make fun of it. I went to an elementary school for fourth through sixth grade where you had to wear a uniform, and anyone who hates themselves can attest to the fact that light-blue knit polos show EVERY FUCKING THING. We were standing in the lunch line, there were a ton of other kids watching and laughing along, and though I’ve acquired a long roster of similar events I’m not sure if any other occurrence fucked me up quite as bad as that one.
PARENTS: If you do one thing for your kids, make it teaching them to not be assholes. From bullied kids everywhere- thanks.
So I started walking slightly hunched over so it wouldn’t happen again, and it was a fucking GODSEND when I became a little grunge-rock kid in the early 90’s cause I could hide under a battalion of thick flannel and thrift-store cardigans and nobody would be the wiser. I was so ashamed of it that I didn’t talk about it, I didn’t bring it up to my mom, I just hid under clothes. To this day you’ll barely catch me out in just a t-shirt, so you’ll understand why I love hoodie-weather so much even though I truly do loathe winter. So fucking conflicted. About as close as I came to facing it was when a doctor pointed it out when I was 12 and I brushed it off by inciting a coughing fit, I know now that I should have addressed that shit then and there but shame can be a devious little bastard, keeping us in the shadows while we long to be in the light.
Back in 2016, I guess I finally got tired of my wife wondering why the fuck I was SO violently insecure and I told her. She’d never noticed “my affliction” and she’s wonderful for never seeing me as anything but the person she loves, so it was a bit of a shock to her I think. She didn’t realize that THIS was the reason I spent half an hour trying to pick the right thing to wear on a date, she didn’t realize why I have to WORK to stand up straight after all those years of fucking up my posture to hide from the world, she didn’t see me struggling because I always felt like less of a “man” than all the other men who didn’t have to deal with this shit, so she was quiet for a minute. That minute felt like forever, but at the end she just said “I love you, and I just want you to be OK, so how do we fix this?” and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more accepted and relieved in my entire fucking life. By all rights I should have been in therapy for YEARS over this shit, and somehow with one sentence it was like almost 3 decades of shame and self-hatred vanished. I mean, it wouldn’t TOTALLY last cause I still struggle with those demons, but the part where I think my wife is going to leave me anytime she leaves the house is gone so I take the good with the bad.
Perfect is such a dirty word anyway. And not a fun one, like FUCK.
We decided to look into surgery to get rid of that fatty tissue build up (yes, some of you call it “man boobs” but I happen to fucking hate that term, residual shame and all) and later on in 2016 I had liposuction in my chest to get rid of it. I had to wear a compression garment for a few weeks and it was great. Not only did it help my chest heal, it also squeezed everything in and I was walking around with a newfound confidence I never felt before. It was liberating to be free from the heavy burden of trying to hide myself all the time, waiting for the people around me to “notice it and find me out”. It was a constant and nagging fear of the rejection that could happen if someone noticed, and I walked with that shit for WAY too long. It felt good to FEEL good after all the years of beating myself up and being afraid.
You know this wouldn’t be one of MY stories if everything turned up 100% roses, right?
Eventually it was time to stop wearing the compression shirt-thing and I didn’t think anything of it. The thing was, I had gotten the surgery right before music-festival season, it was the thick of spring turning to summer, and I was so happy that I hadn’t really been paying attention to what I was eating. So I take the fucking thing off and my “from the chest up” half looked great, but I was less than thrilled that everything wasn’t as smooth and straight-line as it was when I was wearing the god damn compression shirt. Just before I met my wife I had gotten myself into just about the best shape I’d ever been in, and ever since then it’s been a fucking roller coaster that I’ve not enjoyed NEARLY as much as a few spins around on the Ninja. I’d gained a few pounds and I was deflated like that last birthday balloon you forget to pop. Just kinda sad, and feeling like my big moment was all fucked up.
People are ALWAYS talking about the unfair standards that are placed on women by the media but for some reason, to this day, people don’t talk a hell of a lot about how the media’s portrayal of MEN affects MEN and I think that needs to change. Every man you see, who isn’t providing physical comedy or some kind of fuckin’ sight gag, has like 0% body fat, six-pack abs, and guns-blazing biceps. They also must have VASTLY more free time than me because they’re nearly always completely hairless and shaving a dude takes a LONG time. Good for you, Chris Pratt.
We all liked Andy Dwyer better, douchebag.
All we see as men is a nearly impossible standard to achieve unless you own a crossfit gym, are an actor, or you were born with super-kick ass genetics that didn’t fuck you in the metabolic ass at birth. I’ve tried P90X, I’m an avid runner to varying degrees depending on weather and motivation, and I TRY to not eat like a total asshole- and I have never looked like that. The truth? Sometimes I worry that I won’t EVER be happy unless I get there, and that’s not OK. I know that it’s not OK, but “thin and carved out of stone” is the message we’re being forcefed on a daily basis in every form of media we can find, and for some of us it can be really tough. When every woman with a pulse is drooling over Jason Momoa, or Chris Whoever, or some fucking athlete it makes the rest of us fuckheads feel “less than”, and it shows us that our only real value to this culture is in our BMI, protein shake consumption ratio, and our ability to pull off those tight shirts that make me want to crawl into a hole and fucking die. I guess men as a whole are learning what women have felt like for so long, but I was never a dick so I DON’T NEED THIS FUCKING LESSON.
At some point I was gonna HAVE to watch a movie. I mean I LIKE movies.
I used to fucking DREAD watching movies, or awards shows, or pretty much anything with my wife. I’m not a total shit-for-brains, I know that there are some people that are just good looking, but I would LOSE MY SHIT internally every time some attractive bastard actor would come on screen cause I felt so shitty about myself. If my wife mentioned that somebody looked good in a movie IN PASSING I was cooked for fucking DAYS. A two-second passing comment had the capacity to level me, and before I could tell my brain “CALM THE FUCK DOWN” I was playing images in my head of living the rest of my life under a bridge, consumed and crippled by sadness, ever replaying the day that Tom Hardy or George Clooney or Idris Elba knocked on our door and said “Hi, I’m filming in Atlanta today and thought I’d come take you away from this fat not-millionaire and ruin his life forever. There’s a car waiting for us at the bottom of your stupid steep driveway. Fuck you Sta-Puft, good luck with your stupid JOB.”
No, YOU’RE irrational.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it is frequently not much fun inside my head. In fact, my head is a place I really need to stay the fuck OUT of unless I’m doing this. Writing gives me a way to get this shit out, cause if it stays up there it turns to total shit quicker than you can say “love yourself”. I still deal with this shit, I just got better at telling my brain to shut the FUCK up. Anyway, I’m getting off track here- so, we have these shitty body-image standards and if you’re prone to insecurity this shit can really fuck you up and that’s been my experience in life more than not. After my surgery, when I realized I had gained a few pounds, I felt deflated. I felt like those rejection scenarios were stalking up my front stairs just waiting to pounce into my life, and it sucked. Back in 2009, after the smoke had settled from the shitstorm of my radio career I realized that I weighed 225 pounds, I was unhealthy, and I was fucking sick of it. I started walking, I started doing push ups and before I knew it I was running miles. It was awesome, and I got myself down to somewhere around 165 or so and I felt like I had accomplished some serious shit. I mostly stayed that way, give or take, for a few years but I started to notice that when I said “fuck it” around the holidays, or ate like shit for a couple days, that it was getting harder to work off. I don’t like admitting that I’m a human person who ages (add another one to the flaw list) but that’s what’s happening- my metabolism isn’t the same as it was when I was 18, or 28, and I have to adjust my shit accordingly.
So, in a feeble attempt to start summing this shit up, here’s the score as it stands: Right now I’m in one of those not-so-happy periods with my weight and my body. You’d be amazed at what two children, a full time job, a fledgling business, and trying to be a good husband will do to your workout motivation. I’ve had days where I just don’t HAVE it, weeks if I’m being honest. Plus, I’m writing and dealing with video games which can notoriously lead to dumb snacking decisions, and whatever the cause I have gotten myself back to a weight I’m not comfortable with, about 202 to be exact, in a way that might make me go throw up a little. I’m brutally honest with you guys, but it can still be hard, but so far no vomit so YAY me.
My wife is ride or die 3,000% and she finds me absurdly attractive, every single fucking day of our life. I’d blame it on shitty eyesight but THAT’S not the case, especially now-she recently had a retinal detachment, surgery to fix it, and Lasik in both eyes so she has perfect fucking vision- literally. Shes gonna post about THAT soon too by the way, so Ill let her tell you about that part of our life. All that being said, I think she’s nuts. I’ll readily admit that I tend to carry my weight gain in a not TOO obvious fashion, mostly in my midsection but to ME- it’s a sore fucking thumb sticking out and I hate the shit out of it. I’m living in hoodies, and I feel like the results of my surgery are starting to undo themselves, and I’m not in a real great place about it all. This time though, I know it’s just a matter of putting in the work, putting down the Doritos, and handling my shit. Luckily, I have a wife that doesn’t particularly WANT me to look like Thor so I’m good there, thank Christ. In fact, now that I’m on social media again I’m starting to see that a WAY larger amount of women seem to not be totally obsessed with 0% body fat and six-packs and I salute them for it too.
Of course, I think everyone is full of shit, but that’s just the insecurity talkin’.
My conundrum is this: I’m trying to cultivate The Ghost Generation as a place for ANYONE who is looking for acceptance, tolerance, and the truth. It seems that lately though, you can’t say jack shit without the fucking cancel police storming by to ruin your life so I try to also be at least somewhat careful. Brutal honesty is the name of this game though, so luckily I’m not a shit-bag, or a bigot, or a fucking creep-ass troll so I’m gonna trust you guys to not make a fucking “thing” out of my thoughts on my own fucking weight-loss journey as follows:
I believe in body positivity, but not so much that I don’t take the necessary steps to be as healthy and happy as I need to be. I want to be happy in my own skin, and I want everyone else to feel that way too, but I also want to be healthy and I’m not 100% there right now. I get winded easier than I used to, my clothes don’t fit as well as they did before, and I know I need to work on it. I’ll never shame anyone else, let alone publicly, but I think sometimes the excessive positivity misses the fucking point. But we live in a world right now where there is NO MIDDLE GROUND, on fucking anything, so you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If I talk too much about being unhappy with my weight I’ll get shit from the positivity Nazis. If I don’t talk about it enough the shamers will come for my ass too. So, here’s where I truly stand: all of them can fuck right off.
I’d drop the mic but I’d probably get sued by an “amplification sensitivity ambassador” or some shit.
Look, I’m not one of those assholes going around talking about “insensitivity training” or anything like that. Those fuckheads REALLY get on my nerves. Anyone who goes around spouting off about how “we’re all too PC nowadays” can jump off a cliff, cause they obviously don’t know what it’s like to be afraid, or marginalized, or insecure- life has been a constant orgasmic Rose Parade for them and god forbid anyone try to be INCLUSIVE AND KIND. That being said though, I also feel like all this leaves me with NO CLUE how to speak about my weight loss/fitness journey so fuck it- I’m just gonna do what I want. I’m not shaming, and I’m not endorsing. I’m gonna try to love my body while also acknowledging that I could stand to make some changes for my health which is TOTALLY OK to do.
And don’t worry, I’m not gonna be on here posting workout pics all the god-forsaken time or anything like that. I’m just going to be honest about my journey, how it makes me feel, and how I want to be healthy and feel good. Fuck a six-pack, its all about not NEEDING to wear joggers exclusively for this guy and I should be able to express that without getting dumbells thrown at me in the grocery store. Wanting to lose weight doesn’t mean you’re shaming anyone and THAT’s what I’ve been trying to say. That’s the message here, nothing else. We’re so twisted up in knots, trying to be as “woke” as humanly possible, that it’s causing us to get our fucking wires crossed. It implies that some of us were on “shitty human cruise control” and all you gotta do is jerk the wheel to land safely into activism just by sending a couple tweets or listening to Katy Perry. I hate the fucking term, it’s the right IDEA- but I was never asleep, so I don’t need to be fucking ‘woke”, I was already up motherfucker and earlier than your ass, too.
I mean in all fairness it’s because I have toddlers, but still.
Whatever, I’m sure the twelve of you who DO read this will hate my guts after this but I have to be true to myself. I don’t shame anyone, besides myself unfortunately, and I’m not mean or ignorant- I’m just a guy who’s struggled with body image most of his life who wants to drop a few pounds so he feels good. Am I not allowed that motivation? Am I not allowed to want health while also not condemning others? You know what? I am allowed, and I hope you guys understand where I’m coming from. I didn’t fucking make the world the shitty place it is, I’m just trying to live through the fallout of its fucked up standards and practices. Shit, I can’t even talk about race relations without someone telling me “all white people are racist just because they’re white” so I think all bets are off. I think we’re fucking crazy as shit, and I think EVERYONE needs to calm down.
I’ll check in with you guys every now and again and let you know how it’s going. I’m running and doing Ring Fit on my Switch so we’ll see if I can get to where I want to be this time around. If not, I know I’m still worthy of love and all that jazz, but I’d love to throw on a t-shirt and leave the house without feeling like the wind has been smacked out of me so I’m gonna give it the good ‘ol college try anyway. I think I’ve lived through enough shit that I’ve earned the right to my own opinion, and I don’t think my opinion is toxic in any fashion, but if you disagree- that’s why Satan invented the Comments section, so feel free to call me out to your hearts content. Maybe let’s just all be nice though, Ghosties- life is short.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration