When: March 2019
Where: Osceola Park
Photos were taken by Masetakesphotos
Last night I discovered MattDoesFitness on Youtube. His fitness journey reminded me of how this blog started. Although the“Counting Calories” post spiked viewership I decided to write about Queer life.
Since then, I’ve gained weight and wrestled with the idea of bulking. The anxiety of gaining fat stemmed from a superficial desire to remain “too skinny.” An unspoken yet visible part of the Gay community taught me the logistics of Body Image. “Too skinny” symbolized desire, especially for Bottoms who wanted a Muscle Top.
I say unspoken because these members were usually on television or porn videos. The culture of desire didn’t echo human nature. I didn’t know what to want or expect from sex as a young adult. Yet, I mirrored others with the hope of attracting mates.
So when my body started gaining fat, especially during the Holidays, it reflected something new. I continued counting calories but with less dedication. My body didn’t need to have six-pack abs. The circumstances of body comfort followed the criteria of what I call Talent.
MattDoesFitness spoke about his fitness journey in the video. He adjusted body image goals according to athletic ones. Long Jumping conditioned his mind to sculpt muscle according to need. Wider strides made him a track star.
I consider this need a Talent. My body conformed to a lifestyle of Yoga, Running, and Dancing. Therefore it burned calories faster than it did two years ago. So I didn’t need to worry about gaining weight because of my talents.
But life changed again. I earned the job title of a Barista, Server, Go-Go Dancer, and Development Assistant. One of those responsibilities relied on body image. So my thought process conformed to the idea of losing fat again. I could earn more tips with a six-pack than without one.
This logic, although not completely flawed, conflicted with the desire to keep eating a surplus of food. More food meant a happier Benji than in the Summer of 2019. Back then, I achieved 10% Body Fat and felt ridiculous for two reasons: lack of enjoyment of the present moment and of internal pleasure.
I only paid attention to my diet. Water quenched the yearning to consume alcohol and chocolate. I filled myself with a cool emptiness to fulfill another person’s fantasy. Yet, no man brought me pleasure during this period.
Last night I started to piece together the puzzle of the human condition. My body reflected the lack of direction because of an old desire. But I no longer desired the same things in life.
I wanted more adventure. And the Universe gave me that in the form of friendship. I wanted more pleasure and it gave me that in the form of food. I wanted a job making coffee and it gave me the title of Barista.
“Will you help me harness my talents,” I said to the Universe. And then I waited, not for an answer or bright neon sign. I waited for the opportunity to embrace my body on the dancefloor and in the gym practicing yoga. My body conditioned itself to a new life chosen by this version of self.
Thank you, friends, for all of your support. Leave a heartfelt thoughtful comment below. We are discovering life in new and familiar ways. Cheers.