We all have those moments. Those sudden out-of-the-blue, holy shit moments of clarity. Sunday morning Sudoku; a problem you've been trying to figure out at work; and sometimes, a new realization to an issue that you thought you figured out long ago and had since put to rest. The last ones...those are the most epiphanic (and no, I didn't use a Thesaurus for that word. Bam!)
In December, I wrote about Control. The big "Why" as to my craptastic eating habits lasted as long as they did.
Then, while talking with a friend of mine about being in the closet, I had a lightbulb moment: there was another reason. While yes, I do still feel like I was exhibiting some sort of control, that's not the only reason. While it feels like it was a lifetime ago, the sting of what it was like to still be closeted - to hide myself from those closest to me I don't think will ever truly fade.
While I was putting on weight, up until I was my biggest at over 260lbs, there was a common factor throughout it all. I was struggling with my sexuality. There was a lot of pressure as to why I never dated, why I never talked about girls, why I had never brought one home to meet mom or flew one out to see dad. I think on some level, I allowed myself to get fat so that way no one would ever ask about my love life, so I wouldn't have to lie to them and to myself about it even more.
The bigger I got, the less people asked.
I remained in the closet until June 1, 2006. I had been working on getting in shape before then. As I got more in shape, I became more confident in every aspect of my life, I started to accept myself fully for who I was: A gay male.
Fast forward almost six years: I am in the best shape of my life. I am strong, confident, and entirely out of the closet - surrounded by friends and family who love me for exactly who I am - A gay male...who is slightly fanatical about fitness.
and I couldn't be happier.
Oh, and that 3 you have in the 2nd row, 3rd column...that should be a 7. Sorry, Sudoku spoiler.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
How you look at things will determine how much energy, time and effort you put into something. As most of you know, I approach most things in life with a certain positivity and excitement that – in most cases – is on the brink of really fracking annoying to anyone I’m around. Sometimes it’s contagious, sometimes not. It allows me to put 100% into what I do, whether it be work, gym, football…the list goes on and on.
This lesson never felt more tangible than it did during my lunch workout today. See, some of the recumbent bikes at the gym on base overlook the food court (yes, it’s unclass’ed, I can talk about it, hah). On one side of the glass: hamburgers, Chinese, Italian – your typical food court fare. On the other: the gym. In the gym, you could see people eating delicious food. In the food court, you can see people working out. I swear it’s like the architects intentionally planned to torture everyone, hah!
I chose to pull some positivity from this. Instead of the normal “omg, that pizza looks delicious” train of thought and being distracted by it, I upped the resistance on the bike and cranked up the RPMs. Looking through the glass I saw what I used to be, it was more of a mirror into my past than a transparent divider. I got more motivated, more excited to work harder. I chose to look at my workout as a path towards self improvement instead of a task that I had to do just to get done that day. There was a visible difference, you could tell who was in a positive mindset about being in the gym and who was just logging a workout for the books.
This is true for pretty much anything: the more positive of an outlook you have going into something, you’ll work harder, longer, do whatever you need to in order to accomplish it. If you have a negative view of it, you’ll be more likely to do the bare minimum, to just get it done, and, in the long run, to give up.
Positive. Negative. Excitement. Dread.
It’s all about your point of view.
Which side of the glass are you on?