Wait, what? There is Another Option for Gender???

Growing up there were only two options for gender. I had the parts for a boy, so I was sorted into that category. My identity did not match my birth gender so obviously I didn’t in. Actually I stuck out as sore thumb.I would always tell people that inside I felt like a woman. Looking back I always thought it was because I was a gay boy. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that I never really fit into the gay community either.

I tried hard to fit in and it always made me feel horrible. I was constantly judged for my size. To most gay men a fat person is a leper. When I found the bear community I thought at least I found the place to fit in and I couldn’t be more wrong. Toxic masculinity is rampant in the bear world where everything is hypersexualized. Where the bears are real men. No fats or fems allowed. I suppress my femininity for a long while, especially around those in the bear community. I hid behind this masculine facade. It was all an illusion. I fit the type. I was a big, hairy and bearded. My outside didn’t match my insides. I felt less because I was comparing myself to others. I didn’t have another example to go by.

The toxic masculinity ran so deep that I was oblivious to it for a very long time. I first started to chip away at that during 2010 when I performed in drag. When I looked in the mirror for the first time I was amazed. I felt like I was looking at myself for the first. It was the first time I felt beautiful. I was totally fabulous, all dolled up. My outside finally matched who I was inside. These feelings quickly subsided as my life didn’t warrant embracing that side of me. I didn’t have a word for it, nor did I know what I meant. I was in an abusive relationship at the time and that took priority having to deal with the aftermath of moving out of state away from him. I did what I have done in the past and went back into hiding. It became just another memory of my past.

After a while I gave up trying to be that person everyone wanted me to be. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had pretended to be someone else for too long and I was fed up. So I embraced my fabulousness and my femininity. Without thinking what it meant I started to identify as queer a few years ago. Even with that I didn’t realize it went deeper than the label of describing my sexual orientation, that it was related to my gender. Like I said for the longest time I didn’t have anyone to compare myself too that was like me.

That was until the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I started to notice the queens who embraced that side of them. They didn’t try to wrap themselves up in that mold. They just lived freely and were no holds barred fabulous! Queens like Jinkx Monsoon who didn’t try to be anyone but themselves. Jinkx after her time on RPDR would come out to be non-binary. Even then I didn’t connect it to my gender. I didn’t realize I was looking at myself.

It wasn’t until recently when I started to work on my comic book Dragzilla that I started to open up. Slowly the layers started to peel away. I had always had some sort of facial hair. I haven’t been clean shaven since my early twenties. I didn’t realize that I was hiding behind my beard. It was until last year that I realized that I didn’t even like my beard. I started to embrace Dragzilla and the lines between fiction and real life started to blur. Dragzilla is the story of fierce drag queen superhero who stands up against hate crimes while her alter ego is shy and insecure. I realized that I was telling my story. Dragzilla is who I am. Who I am becoming.

It took me a while to see the writing on the wall or in this case the pages of the comic. I remember going into therapy with a word that I was struggling with. I was scared to say Transgender. Was I transgender? That was the only other option that I saw. If my body didn’t match my insides then it was natural to question it. I had very little to go by and what I did see was Transgender people. I was really confused for a while and I still am a bit. It took a few months then it dawned on me that there was a fourth option. It was then I realized that my queerness related to my gender, that I was genderqueer/non-binary. It was a huge revelation. No wonder I hated myself for most of my life. I have never felt like I could be myself. I had always felt like I was a freak who never fit in anywhere.

I remember Courtney Act (a fierce, fish of a queen) talk about gender being a spectrum and I really related to that. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how true that was. I’ve started growing out my hair, which is also new for me. A few weeks ago I had went to the grocery store and put my hair up. I don’t think I have ever felt that free. It was an amazing feeling. I wish that it lasted. While I have this new discovery I have forty years of falsehoods to shake free. I wish it were just as easy as transforming myself like a butterfly from a cocoon but unfortunately live doesn’t work that way. The transformation is much more gradual.

Today in therapy I talked about how I felt the old me was holding me back. I had recently decided to change my name to Drew. At first it felt great when I changed my name on Facebook but very quickly I started to feel less because I started to think about what others would think. That’s the problem. I care too much what others think of me. I hate it. That’s something I really wish I could let go of. I have come a long ways but I still have ways to go. I use to let it stop me from doing what I wanted. Now I say fuck it and do it anyways but deep down inside I’m afraid of being judged. It’s not just my gender that I do this. I live in fear. I’m disabled and on food stamps. I hate when I have to use my card. I try to hide it the best I can because it’s always my fear that someone will confront me as I look like an abled-bodied person. This is just one example.

I’ve had a bit of buyers remorse which isn’t nothing new. I have done that most of my life. The closer I was to who I was inside the more I tried to fight it. I have mastered self destruction. The difference now is that I’m in therapy and have a therapist I love. I’m able to process it deeply and look at it in a different way. I feel a bit of tug and war. My old self is trying hard to pull the new me under. The stronger I get the harder it becomes. I have days I feel like I can embrace Drew and then there are days Derek takes hold of me. I haved lived 41 years falsely as a man and that caused a lot of damage. It’s created a lot of baggage that I must dust off, pick up and throw away. One piece of luggage at a time. The days will pass when I have more days where I embrace non-binary than not. The key is to not beat myself up, which I do a lot. To be easy with myself. To expect that there will be days where the process is messy and difficult. I wish it were just as easy as putting on a wig and makeup. While that’s a start I have to work from the inside out if this will ever stick.

It starts slowly like a ripple in the water. I want to buy a safety razor so I can start shaving regularly. That will be a big step as having a beard isn’t me. I’m starting of think of new ways of embracing all parts of me. I’m learning to be comfortable with who I really am and part of that is expressing myself on the exterior. I’m excited about growing my hair out to the point of frustration because it’s taking to long to grow out. Hopefully the exterior and interior will be welded together. As I get more comfortable inside it’s easier for me to embrace it to the world. I had the thought today as I was leaving the grocery store about what would happen if I wore a dress. I went right to fear of someone saying something nasty to me. I just need to let that go. If someone has the nerve to come up to me with judgments expect to be knocked to the ground. I just need to embrace the strength of Dragzilla. Just live my life as I want and not care what anyone else thinks. So what if someone judges me, they will do it regardless. As RuPaul says, it’s not my business. I don’t have time for them. I’m too busy being fabulous.

I just need to enjoy the ride. I hope that everything fades away and I can start loving myself. I’m inpatient. I want to attach my cocoon to a stick and whip it all around. The butterfly will never emerge that way. The metamorphosis is gradual and natural. All in due time. The transformation is a journey and a process. Eventually I will fully shed my male skin and it will just be another memory in the past.

The Meaning Behind Fat

So it’s no lie that I have major body image issues and have for some time. I think that most people who are overweight have endured their fair share of bullying in regards to their size. Whoever came up with the saying “Sticks and Stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you” obviously never was bullied or picked on.

Words are like tiny daggers that chip away at your outer shell into your core. Growing up “fat” I was often ostracized for being heavy. In elementary school there was this one bully who coined the nickname Twinkie for me. Another nickname in High School was Kubiak, who was this bully character from a television show. I hated being called Kubiak as I was nothing like the character. I was more like Mikey from the animated series Recess, who was a lover.

Growing up fat was used as a weapon, much more than an adjective and every time I was called fat it dug away at my self worth to the point where to this day anytime I hear that word it makes me cringe. I equate it as a negative. Even the definition of fat is degrading to me. Fat’s definition is having a large amount of excess flesh.

For those of you don’t know there are those in the gay community who love guys who are bigger, they are called chasers… guy’s who themselves are not obese who like guys that are. I’ve struggled even with that community because many of the chasers I have met just saw me for my body and not my heart. I posted on a social networking site for chubs (what we are called) and chasers that chasers should never use the word fat to describe a big person even if they don’t mean to degrade.

Instantly another bigger guy started to argue with me saying that basically I was wrong and that I shouldn’t post something like that on a site for big guys and the guys that love them. While I still don’t agree with anything he had to say it got me thinking about the word “fat” and the meaning behind it.

The guy argued it’s not the word itself but how it’s used and that I was perpetuating the problem of fat nonacceptance. He stated that he didn’t see the word “fat” as an insult. Which I get that not everyone will see it as an insult because it’s all based on personalities and experience. He further stated that “How can it be an insult if you love yourself the way you are?”

For me it’s about sensitivity and understanding. While using the word “fat may not be hurtful to all but there will be a good amount that associate the use of that word to a negative, so why use it? Sure everyone has to get to a point where words don’t hurt as much but that takes time. If you truly love someone for who they are inside and out, wouldn’t you do whatever possible to not hurt them?

I equated the use of “fat” to calling someone gay a “faggot” or someone who’s intellectually disabled the r word. These are all nicknames that are used to degrade and put down someone. I will admit that there are double meanings for the word fat unlike the “f” and “r” words. Like there’s fat in our diets it’s only when that word is used to describe someone who is overweight, even when it’s used a loving way, that could be hurtful to others.

Now I may be completely wrong and uber sensitive but I always try to be thoughtful of other’s feelings. I believe you still love yourself and not like a certain word. It’s understanding that not everyone is at the point in their life where they’ve healed their wounds from the use of fat and the many other degrading names used to put them down.

The Voices Inside My Head

So I woke up this morning feeling funny/off. Full of negativity. It’s probably cause I had a realization last night about wanting to move on from my current situation. Anytime I have something positive happen to me it’s usually followed by a negative thought or feeling.

So I woke up feeling worthless. It’s funny how the voices inside your head will do anything they can to keep you down. They fight with all your might to keep you from what you deserve.

I’m in this transition where I still have these innate feelings to hide. It also probably doesn’t help that I’ve had little contact with people in the real world. Tonight I actually have plans to go see The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the theatre and there is a part of me that wants to tell my friends that I can’t go, even though I really want to go. The voices tell me to stay home, that it’s not worth getting out of my comfort zone.

I have to stop listening to these voices. So many times I’ve taken them as fact, when in reality all they are is fiction. Made up stories that I tell myself.

Yesterday I saw the picture below and it might as well have been me, for this is how I see myself… Not beautiful, certainly not sexy. Hideous is more of an accurate way to describe my body. Voices are like fire, the more you feed them with gasoline the more they spread and destroy. They start of as a whisper until they become a roar.

I’ve been at war with myself since my breakdown in May between my healthy and hurt self. The hurt part of me wants to stay in the comfort zone while the healthy side of me wants to move on. The harder I pull the more resistance I get. I guess I just have to let it be. It’s like when you are drowning, the more you thrash around in panic the quicker you’ll sink to the bottom.

I can’t let these voices win, nor give them a stage. Positive reinforcements via repetition will be the key to overcoming these voices. Replacing them with good voices. Saying to myself these voices are not real, nor do I have to listen to them.

My voices are not my reality. Just because I feel I’m ugly doesn’t make it true and that’s just one example. I’ve built my life upon these lies. I’ve tolerated less because I thought that’s all I deserved. I let these voices control me because I believed them, like a child whose abused.

Some people don’t understand how growing up feeling less can impact you as an adult, even I am just getting to the point where I do. I didn’t just turn into this person who hated himself, I grew into this person. I’ve held onto every bad thing everybody has ever said to me and that negativity has ate me alive.

You can have a million people tell you that you are worthy but all it takes is one person to tear you down. As a child that’s all you know. God is a parent in the eyes of a child and when one of them puts you down constantly you think that’s reality. While my Mother gave me love, my father gave me fear. It’s was like a form of brainwashing.

It goes back to if my father didn’t love me, that must mean I am unworthy of his love and if I don’t deserve my fathers love then I’m unlovable. Certainly my love life has mirrored and reinforced those fears. I’ve been blinded by what other’s fears, insecurities and flaws, to the point where they became my own. As a child I had no way to know that my father’s inability to love me had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. The same goes with anyone in my life who has hurt me deeply.

I have to remind myself that I am no longer that child trapped in that house of lies.

I can build my own house built on the foundation of love. A place that I can call home.

I must realize that I have my own voice and these other voices don’t belong inside of me anymore. I am no longer a child anymore, no longer defenseless. I have the ability to speak up and say NO, even if I have to scream at the top of my lungs!!!

I must do whatever it takes to drown out other people’s voices, stop allowing them to rent out space in my brain. Stop believing and caring about what other people think, feel and believe about me. I mean who gives a fuck, right? So what if someone think’s I’m fat or ugly, that doesn’t make it true. Some people do a great job of projecting their fears and insecurities onto other people. It’s easier to put someone down, than to feel it yourself.

Well I’ve had it, no more. I’m worthy of love. I’m beautiful. I will continue to say these things until they sink in. I’m worthy of love and I’m beautiful. So are you!

I’m worthy… and it’s eviction day for anyone that thinks otherwise. Voices be gone!


Prisoner in My Own Body

I’ve discovered recently how deep my self worth (or lack thereof) runs and how it connects to everything I touch. I have known for years that I suffer from poor self esteem and self worth but I didn’t realize how much of an impact it had on my life.

With depression and PTSD, for me, there comes this crippling isolation. The more depressed or triggered I am the more I crawl into my cave. This isn’t a new concept for me as I have been doing this for year. The closest people in my life become strangers, and strangers become monsters. It is a scary place to me. I lose all sense of reality and often I don’t even recognize myself.

I woke up early this morning (which is rare for me) and instantly felt the need to cleanse myself, as in take a shower. It will have been almost a week since my last shower. I wish I could say that was the longest I have been without bathing but it comes with the territory. The more worthless I feel the less likely I am going to care about staying clean. For most taking a showering is a no brainer but when I am in the low place it becomes like Mount Everest.

Every time I shower, especially if it has been a good while since my last one, I feel so clean and fresh. Pure. That doesn’t last very long, usually less than an hour.

Every time I was sexually abused I tried to wash off the dirty with soap but no matter how long or hard I scrubbed it wouldn’t wash away. My outside would be clean but the soap couldn’t touch or reach the dirty deep inside. So it makes sense when I feel the most worthless I allow my body to stay dirty because this is how I feel inside.

When I am depressed everything goes to hell from my personal hygiene to my eating habits, and everything else in between. You should have seen some of the apartments I have lived in, you would have thought it was a disaster zone. I would leave dishes in the sinks for months to the point where I would have to throw everything away. I haven’t gotten better about that but I still allow my living area to go out of whack. Whenever I would have anyone come over, I would go into a panic trying to clean everything. I couldn’t let anyone know the chaos my life was in. I had to give the appearance that everything was okay.

Today I realized that my body is a prison cell. I started to think my mind was the prison but in reality it is my whole body that is the prison. Certainly my mind has it’s own great big, dark cell but everything is contained inside the walls of my prison body.

I desperately want to break free from this cell but I have struggled for years doing so. I have been off my diet since my birthday (july 3) and I have struggled since to get back on track. I use to really struggle with compulsive overeating. There would be times that I would try to medicate my bad feelings with food. I would eat myself into oblivion until all I noticed was sickness from being full. Sweets and soda were my fair weather friends. This week I have noticed myself pigging out to the point where I just don’t care.

The more worthless I feel the more the need to make the horribleness go away, anyway I can. I become very compulsive and I have noticed an increase in my compulsion recently. Food and sex were two ways I used to compensate for my self worth, both always lead me down a dark road.

Sex has also been a struggle for me. I saw myself as an object for many years and gave the people what they wanted. It wasn’t always that way. I grew up believing I could find someone who loved and accepted me. I had dreams of having a family and spending my life with that one person. When that didn’t happen, I took what I thought was the next best thing… not realizing the damage it would cause. When I am triggered my mind tries to go down that road again.

I have been celibate since April 2012, which is the longest I have ever gone without sex. It is one of the few things that I am proud of. I have taken back my body in regards to sex. For me it’s a reminder that not all of me thinks I am worthless. Now that’s not to say that I haven’t had temptation or have had moments where I have tried to look for sex but thankfully I quickly snap out of it. I have caught myself thinking what the heck am I doing??? I don’t want to give my body up for one night of pleasure. I realize not only will I lose all that time of purity but afterwards I will feel like crap.

I went through a period of heavy sexual compulsion. I didn’t care about the risk, I just wanted to feel good but every time I would feel dirty… just like after the abuse. Every time I would run to the shower and try to wash the dirt away and every time I would fail miserably. Usually it would end in my feeling suicidal. With acting out sexually, I’m not proud to admit, I engaged in some very risky behavior. I was playing russian roulette with my health, body and life. I am thankful that to this day I am hiv negative, so many others haven’t been so fortunate.

I’ve thought long and hard about why I didn’t care about the risks of having unprotected sex. Obviously it’s connected to how I feel about myself. When I couldn’t find a man to love me, I gave up and resorted to taking any kind of attention I could find. I didn’t feel I was worthy of love, care and attention so I gave men what they wanted. I learned very early on that a mans needs came before my own. The abuse taught me that my needs aren’t important. Obviously my mind knows that isn’t true but it’s something I still struggle with daily.

It’s amazing the lies your brain believes. Like you deserve AIDS. I didn’t go out looking to become positive but I certainly didn’t turn it away… nor did I want it. Every time I would get tested for HIV I would go into this panic. You would think that being tested negative would scare me straight but that only lasted so long before I started acting out again. I think in part having risky sex was my psyche trying to commit suicide, it certainly was extremely self destructive. I have often wondered why I wanted HIV. Maybe I thought it was the only way for someone to love me and show me attention? Was I so desperate to lose the weight to think having HIV was the only way to do so? Did I really want to die? I certainly wasn’t a bug chaser (someone who actively wants to become hiv positive) but indirectly I had to be trying.

The only correlation to all of this was when I came out of the closet in 1995. One of the many hurtful things my father told me that I was going to get AIDS and that all my friends wouldn’t be there when I was dying alone in the hospital. He also told me that I had always wanted to lose weight and that getting AIDS that would finally come true. Am I still holding on to the hope that my father will love me in the way I need, to the point where dying from AIDS he’d come to my rescue??? It’s been eighteen years since I heard my father spew his hatred towards me and it still feels like he just said them to me. I’m just thankful I have turned down another road but I fear when I get these urges that I will turn back around down that road…

Even recently I have started to walk down that road. I even created a couple of sex accounts, which I quickly deleted… I know that that road is a slippery slide to some dangerous behavior. Thankfully I have realized that is not the life for me, nor the one I want. That is the struggle with being single and feeling lonely. I miss human contact, intimacy. I watched a movie recently about this gay couple and I watched in awe as they made love to each other, as this is something I have always dreamed of but have never obtained. I’m realizing that something isn’t better than nothing. Nothing is better than something that will hurt me, it’s just learning to cope with the indifference.

While I have been able to fend off the sexual compulsion, I haven’t been so lucky when it comes to food. Food is my biggest battle and my biggest addiction. Food has been my biggest friend and defense. I have built this physical blubber of a wall to protect myself and it’s killing me. It makes sense to me that I have been struggling lately with eating healthy. This is really the first time since January that I have struggled this long. I believe in part is that I am getting to the core of all these bad feelings and untruths about myself. All this time I have seen it as digging a tunnel to my core, when I have been digging my escape route to expose it all. They say it gets worse before it gets better. This is the first time in my life that I have been actively working on my body. I am facing the truth in my own time, doing what I need to do to heal… going to therapy, taking my medicine, etc. I might not be moving as quickly as some feel and want me to but I am moving at my own pace… and I will get there. The road to taking care of myself is bound to be bumpy. I have to realize that occasionally I will fall off track, sometimes I will even take the wrong road but the key is to always get back on track… regardless how long it has been.

I’ve been living in darkness so long, that it’s only natural the dark force will try to pull me under. I have been living so unhealthy for so many years, so I must realize the road to healing isn’t going to be perfect. I will fall. I will get scratched. The difference I am no longer in that hurtful place, it is all an illusion. A way to keep me from what I deserve, which is love and happiness.

So I am going to keep moving forward and as a little fishy once told me… I am going to just keep swimming.

Struggling with my new Lifestyle Change (diet)

So I have been trying to become more healthier since January this year and I have been very successful, losing over 80 pounds. Up until my emotional breakdown in May, I really did a good job of staying on track. There were times that my emotional state was low and I still stayed on track in regards to my eating habits.

Ever since my breakdown I have struggled to stay on track and lately I have stayed off track for long periods of time. Plus I have started to care less about over eating and going over my daily calorie intake, which really worries me because that is how I always fall off the wagon. Twice during the past few weeks I have went days not watching my calorie intake and going clearly over my limit. The first time the time span was six days. This week I have been off my diet since Wednesday.

I have awaken something within me that has turned off my will power and I am struggling to turn it back on. I have gained some weight back and I find myself getting discouraged by that. I am also having problems with legs again, especially my one knee. I think one of my issues that my food choices while I am dieting are limited. I have been living off Smart One’s Chicken Fettuccini meals and as much as I love them, it is getting old. With my depression I find it difficult to prepare a big meal.

I have also noticed craving Pepsi more. Wednesday I had a very strong urge to have Pepsi, the strongest yet to date. I ended up getting a 24 ounce can, though I really wanted to get a one liter. So I am still showing constrain and that’s good. In the past Pepsi is my gateway of giving up on my dieting, so I have to be very watchful of this. I am also eating pizza more often, which is another indicator. Whenever I get pizza it usually means going over my calorie limit, which is fine if it is on occasion.

I am worried because I don’t want to gain all my weight back. I know that it is common to take some step backwards, especially since I have been living so unhealthy for all of my adult life. I can handle the back steps because so far I always keep moving forward but what worries me is this feeling of not caring about overeating and going over my calorie count. That frightens me big time!!!

I have realized that how I feel about myself correlates to my choices and behaviors. The less I feel about myself, the less will power I have. My goal this week is to put up positive keywords all over my living space downstairs, to help encourage me. I also need to brainstorm and come up with new ideas for food.

I also need to push myself more, especially when it comes to physical activity… which is going to be tough with my hurt knee. I don’t have a choice, it is something I have to do…

Monday I am going back on track. I know they say it takes a good year to change a habit, so I just have to hang tight and expect this ride is going to get bumpy at times… and occasionally my cart will veer off the track!!!


Being Mindful

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.

This is a topic that has taken precedence in my life recently. Mindfulness is the key to unlocking all my gifts, abilities and strengths. The more mindful I become the better equipped I am with taking on challenges.

Staying present hasn’t always been my strongest ability. As a survivor of sexual abuse I mastered the art of dissociation, in order to cope with bad situations. As a child staying present was too dangerous, so I learned how to go far away. As I grew up I never learned how to float back down to earth safely.

I coped with bad feelings and situations by going up in the clouds. It never dawned on me that there was an alternative. It was almost like I had created an alternate personality for myself. I guess I became an ostrich who hides their head in the sand. That was how I stayed safe because to face the present meant facing the past… and that was just too frightening.

Now that I am in therapy, I am able to stay present to face the past… That is the only way I will be able to heal and move on, and that is exactly what I am doing.

I didn’t just float away from the abuse, I floated away from life. Anything difficult I would float away to cloud nine. The more years that passed the more concrete and imprinted it became into my conscious and subconscious mind.

I must remind myself that I am no longer that 10 year old boy trapped in a dark and scary room. I no longer need to escape to be safe.

As I become more mindful of both my surroundings and myself, the more alive everything else becomes. It is like I am looking through a brand new pair of eyes.

Staying present affects me in many different ways. One way I have noticed how mindfulness has affected me is in my eating habits. As I start to become more healthy I have noticed that when I eat I take big bites and don’t chew my food. I really have to think about my food when I eat because if I don’t I will just go into automatic shovel mode. I am really having to rewire my brain.

One of my favorite foods is pizza. One day during therapy I was craving pizza. I really wanted it. I felt guilt over wanting it. My therapist told me that if I really wanted it, to have a slice but when I was eating it to really savor every bite… Allow myself to fully be present while eating the pizza. So I ordered me a baby pan from Little Caesars. When I ate the pizza, I thought about every bite and doing so allowed me to really appreciate what I was eating. It was like I was eating pizza for the very first time, it was so delicious.

The more disconnected and dissociated I feel, the worse I feel mentally. I notice the longer I go without leaving the house, the worse I feel. I get depressed and all I can see is darkness.

I am learning I thrive on connection, without it I suffer immensely. I guess most people do. Keeping myself in that bedroom where the abuse happened only causes me more pain. Hiding only hinders me.

Eating healthier has opened the door to other areas where I can learn to be more mindful. Over the weekend I started to feel very depressed. It was the first time I have felt that much darkness since my Mama passed away in September. I started to not care about anything again. I didn’t want to leave my house, nor did I want to go to therapy.

Monday morning came around and I had to force myself to leave for therapy. As I was driving everything I looked at was dark. I am not quite sure what I did but I started to notice I was out of my body and I started to feel the steering wheel with my hands. I could feel myself come back into my body and I started to feel better. I was able to lift that heavy weight off my back and within a matter of minutes I felt fairly decent.

One thing that has helped me get more grounded, especially when I feel like I am not in my body, is to name the various items around me. Yesterday while we were driving to my nephew’s basketball game I noticed feeling out of sorts. I started to say in my head the different things I saw as we drove by. Doing this helped to ground me more.

Now that I am working on trying to stay more in my body I notice that I am feeling things more intensely and that causes me to go into danger will robinson mode. Again this is where mindfulness comes into play. I must remind myself that my feelings will not be the end of me. I must try to calm the storm and just wait it out, eventually the storm will pass.

When you try to learn a new pattern, especially one that has been hard wired into your brain for years, it take’s time and practice to overcome the old patterns. Falling back into the old patterns is bound to happen. The key is to be mindful when that happens and not let it overcome you. Like for example yesterday, I went over my calories by 200. It was a choice that I consciously made.

Previously that day I had ate a 800 calorie double cheese burger from Wendy’s, so obviously that put my calories at a higher level. In a hurry I didn’t check the calorie content of the burger and I just ordered it not realizing how high the calories were. Once I had sit down with my food I looked up the calorie content, instantly my mouth dropped to the ground. I could have taken off a patty but I decided to eat it, as I didn’t want to waste the food and the money. This is a particular issue that I will have to work on at a later date. I go into a panic at the thought of wasting food. I am not quite sure where I got this?

So later on that evening I started to feel some panic and pain over the death of my Mama. I needed comfort, so I over looked the calories and ordered a baby pan from Little Caesars. Now I would have been alright if I had only ate one. Even eating both of them put me at my limit of calories for the day but after eating both I wanted something sweet so I ate a granola bar worth 190 calories.

Stuffing my feelings out with food is a huge issue for me, so I have to understand it is going to take a lot of practice and back stepping to overcome this challenge. The key is not beating myself up over it. The more guilt and shame I feel the more I will try to cover it up with food.

I noticed when I was eating breadsticks (I ate three) thinking that I didn’t care about my calorie limit. All I cared was they tasted good and they made me feel better. I need to be mindful of habits like this because this is exactly what gets into trouble, the need for comfort out ways the consequences. I kind of had this fuck it attitude last night. Honestly that worries me because that is the attitude I have had for a very long time.

I finally able to see the consequences of my choices and they have a big enough weight to help me make better choices. I am worried because I do not want to go back to my old ways. I like the person I am becoming. I also like the way I feel from making better choices and shedding the pounds.

So I just have to acknowledge what occurred yesterday and keep moving forward. The fact that I was aware of what happened yesterday shows my progress. Previously I would have not thought twice about medicating my feelings with food. Honestly I would have went well over 200 calories over my limit. It would also have carried over to the next day but I am not going to let that happen.

Being mindful has helped me learn about my choices, feelings and who I am. I just have to keep doing what I am doing, keep my eye on the prize. As more time passes I will have worked hard to overcome these challenges and will have reinforced my healthy choices so that they become more natural. Eventually the tide will turn.

Yay, I am 401!!!

The last time I was weighed was on Thanksgiving and I was 417lbs… So it is nice to be close to the 400 mark. I will be extremely happy when I am in the 300’s!

I am not as happy as I probably should be. I guess I thought I was under 400 pounds by now. Though chances are that I was over 417 pounds with the holidays, etc. So who knows how much exactly I have lost? So I really need to consider that when looking at my progress. I knew cutting the Pepsi out of my diet would drop a decent amount of weight.

So this weekend I really struggled with my will power and self control in regards to eating. It was like this weekend all my will power disappeared. Saturday was particularly rough as I felt a lot of anxiety that day. I was constantly wanting to drown my feelings out. I found myself over eating on certain items like Pringles. Even though I struggled I still stayed on target for my calories. My sister got the kid’s hot n’ ready’s from Little Caesars. I really wanted to pig out on pizza, as I was craving it all day, but I still only had a couple of slices.  I really had to fight my cravings.

Sundays battle was an apple fritter. I wanted it so badly. I mean really bad!!! It was calling my name, loudly!!! I resisted and thankfully my niece ate it before I could cave in.

Today I did not win the donut battle. There was one lone donut left, a glazed bow tie donut. Wow, even my spell checker is trying to take donut out of my vocabulary by saying I have it spelled incorrectly… I really resisted a good part of the day but then something just clicked and I grabbed it, not after checking the calorie count on my phone. (300 calories) I won’t lie it tasted delicious.

I think I might be trying too hard, not allowing myself to have things I like. I need to be mindful of this as it can lead to me quitting all together. Even with having that yummy donut I still was still well within my daily calorie limit. If I tell myself I can’t have certain items I will eventually cave in and pig out… Another option is only having half of the donut, which I didn’t do… 🙂

I am still surprised on the calorie count of certain food, like butter and margarine. 100 calories for 1 tablespoon of butter??? What??? I am learning to still have the food I like but modifying the ingredients to make it more healthy. Like for example Kraft Macaroni & Cheese I only used one tablespoon of margarine. By doing that I was able to cut down on the calorie and fat contents.

I am learning to maximize my calories and thinking about my choices. Like a ham sandwich with wheat bread can save me over 100 calories, instead of white bread. I am also realizing what food items will fill me up and choosing those items when I am most hungry.

I have been rather lax on my vegetables and fruit lately, so I need to pick that back up. Though I have been trying to drink some amount of water each day.

I have also started to incorporate some exercise. I have learned to not exercise at night as it keeps me up all night. The last time I really danced a work out I was bouncing off the walls for hours afterwards. I am finding myself feeling guilty when I don’t do something. I have to be careful with dancing as I have noticed my knees hurting lately. I can’t wait for it to get warm outside so I can start walking.

I think the biggest thing I need to learn with this process is to be gentle with myself. I have a tendency to be very hard on myself and that is probably where I have gone wrong in the past. I feel let down and the negative voices chip away at my self esteem. Eventually I cave in and pig out, and then give up.

It is all about balance and moderation. Bad days are going to happen but they aren’t the end of the world. Tomorrow is another day to start a new. One bad day or one bad choice does’t take away from all the hard work and progress I have made the last few weeks. It is about the big picture.

Status Quo

Status quo is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. It is a commonly used form of the original Latin “statu quo” – literally “the state in which”. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are.

Tonight one of the shows I watched mentioned the idea of going away from the status quo and it brought up a common theme for me in my life. This idea of fitting in and how it has affected my life, as how I present myself to the world.

One of my favorite shows on television is Project Runway. Each season there are personalities that stand out to me as uniquely eccentric, not just in their design style but how they perceive and carry themselves. They are fierce and fabulous in a quiet manner, well I guess not always. I guess they are usually humble in some sort of fashion. Right away I can tell the ones I personally wouldn’t mesh well with, like the designer who tonight said she liked to make people hate themselves. I was like wow, that is something to be proud of.

So tonight as watched tonight’s premiere episode of the season I immediately found the designers I connected to. The thought I had was I wish I could be more like them, unafraid to be themselves. I know that I am working hard on this but I really appreciated seeing people who were able to live it. Especially those who came from a tough background. Like the designer who struggled with a drug and alcohol addiction. He was fabulous and his design won the challenge! Earlier he unapologetically told the world he carried around a purse.

I love those who don’t conform to these preset gender roles. That is what I love about being gay is the fact that you can have the best of both worlds, well in some ways! 🙂 So I love when others are able to embrace who they are and not the way the world thinks they should be. Another person who stood out to me tonight was the designer who was Native American. I love that she embraces her heritage while putting her own spin on it.

I feel in the gay community, at times, there is this paranoia when it comes to femininity. A constant need to fit in to the heterosexual world, in order to get equality. If we are more like them, then they will accept us and give us what we deserve! If I have to conform to get what I deserve, I don’t want it. I feel like I have lost myself in a sea of status quo.  Finally after so many years I am working on letting myself stand out from the crowd.

Even Project Runway and fashion I believe falls into this idea of status quo. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the show, especially some of the negativity.

It all goes back to this idea of what is beautiful and what is acceptable. Look how many people treat people who are overweight. They cut them down with words of hate and disgust. I saw a picture floating around Facebook of a picture of this woman who had made a dress to look like a tardis from Doctor Who. Obviously this lady was fabulous. I mean she hand painted the inside of her dress to look like the inside of the tardis. Yet all some people saw was that she was fat and the began to mock and degrade her.

In the end these people who work hard trying to drag people down are the one’s missing out on the big picture. It is just sad there are so many people who have been beat down their whole lives and don’t yet know it that is not the truth. They are beautiful and don’t realize it is their environment that is ugly, not themselves. People who hurt other people are just projecting their own hatred for themselves on to the closest people around them.

Personally I have gotten to the point of my life where I was tired of accepting these bad things that others had told me about myself. You live your life in misery enough, and you have no choice but to get out of it. I certainly learned the hard way what i did and didn’t deserve in life. When you can stop caring what other people think about you is when you are really free. Free to live your life the way you want. Be the person you really are.

Beauty isn’t something that is exterior. It is deep inside your heart and soul. How you live your life and how you treat other people.

If you take the extra time you will always find someone against you but if you just turn your cheek you will see the person that is right by your side.

There is never a time when it is too late to be yourself. Discovery can happen at any age. Dreams are not just for children. Losing sight of your dreams makes for a very dreary and miserable place. If you are not happy with who you have become, change it. You have the power and strength to do so. You hold the key to unlocking your own happiness.

The days for tolerating less and hiding in the crowds are over for me. I can be me and know there are people out in this world just like me. Those who will embrace me and lift me up. When I do encounter someone who isn’t like that, I will just keep moving on and not let them burst my bubble.

This Is What I Have Learned So Far…

So I had this idea to blog about what I have learned about myself during the last few weeks of becoming more healthier with my food choices…

– I don’t chew my food. I take big bites and swallow. I have to remind myself to take small bites and chew… Seems simple but not for me. Honestly I am not even really getting a chance to taste the food this way. I need to slow down and savor my food. I will enjoy it much more.

– I love green beans about the only vegetable I do like minus corn and potatoes. I know they aren’t a veggie! Granted I usually put butter and salt on my green beans but this is a great start. and no… I don’t like broccoli, or lettuce… or _________… (any other veggie people ask me)

– Wheat, flour, etc not only has a lot of calories but carbs as well. I have to admit I LOVE bread…

– Anything sweet you can bet it will be over 100 calories and that is on the modest side… and a small portion at that. I do love my sweets though. It will be something I work on down the road.

– Pork has a lot of sodium. Sodium is another thing I will need to work on down the road, especially with my high blood pressure.

– Buy fresh chicken breast, not the frozen in the bag… The frozen variety isn’t as healthy as it has a higher sodium count. I’ve known this for a while but felt it was a good tip to share with others.

– Posting pictures of your food not only helps with encouragement and support from others but also something to be proud of. I am proud of my choice to be more healthy. It can also keep you honest, if your beans are covered in butter… oppss!!! 🙂

– When you are really depressed small chores like brushing your teeth seem momentousness. It feels like you are moving mountains with that toothbrush! Also I have be very careful because when I get depressed I am more likely to self medicate with unhealthy food.

– I love to snack… Having healthier food around like fruit will help me make better choices.

– I struggle with knowing when I am full. Trying to lose weight when you an emotional eater is tough. I am learning to suffer through hunger pains, at least I think they are hunger pains. Usually in the past I know I am full when I am stuffed but I am trying to not do that. So it makes it a big challenge.

-Applesauce is yummy… plus it is a drink, a dessert, a fruit and a food group all in one. The little snack cups are very convenient.

-I forced myself to eat broccoli the other day. I will admit it wasn’t easy… and it didn’t taste very well either…. At least I tried it!!! 🙂

-I haven’t had a Pepsi in almost two weeks, not even a 20 ounce. Granted I did have a fountain drink of coke and mt. dew a few times.. but still no Pepsi.

– Obviously water is very important and I really don’t drink it… I have found the vitamin enhanced water beverages to be very good. They are zero calorie. They do have 7 carbs though. I have started to drink these until I can switch over to regular water, which I hope to do soon. I have found that I will drink water more if I have a container that has a pop top, I need to get me one.

– Quaker Stila crispy oat cookie bars are the weirdest thing I have ever ate. It has a very weird texture and very little taste. It must be what cardboard tastes like… Who knew that cardboard had 100 calories!!

– Sugar can cause joint pain and inflammation. I noticed when I was drinking Pepsi heavily I would have severe joint pain to the point where I had trouble with mobility. I struggled getting up and down, walking and keeping my knees at certain angles. Now that I am off the Pepsi my joint pain is almost gone, same for the lack of mobility. This is a huge incentive to not drink Pepsi!!!

– I don’t like to call what I am doing a diet… That is such a naughty word for me. It seems so restrictive and limiting. For me it is about becoming more healthy, thinking about what I put into my body. I think losing weight is all about finding what works for you.

– I am not telling myself I can’t ever have certain food, even Pepsi… because when I do that I am just putting the item in my hand. Moderation is key. Counting my calories helps me still have the food I like plus helps me to add foods that are more healthy. If I have only 500 calories left for the day, I am less likely to choose a sweet that will take up all those points. Having choices helps me a lot.

– I haven’t had pizza in over a week. This is another huge feat for me because Pizza is my favorite food. Again it is moderation. Tomorrow I am treating myself to pizza. Now the bigger challenge will be not getting Pepsi with my pizza, which is something I usually always do. They go hand to hand with each other. Though the last time I had pizza I didn’t get a Pepsi. Which was the first time in ages that I have done that!!!

– I ate vegetables four days in a row. I think I probably had more veggies in four days than I have ate the last two years minus potatoes and corn. Plus I have been eating apples as well. I need to start eating more fruit, since I am not a huge fan of veggies. I also should try to like carrots. They are the only veggie I can tolerate outside of green beans. I don’t dislike carrots, I just never been a fan. They have a weird texture.

– Since becoming more healthy (the weight loss I can notice also helps) I notice I am looking at myself differently in the mirror. I still don’t like what I see but I am liking my body better. I still have times when I look in the mirror and ugly comes to mind. So this is going to be a long process and won’t only involve diet changes but therapy as well.

– Now that I am counting my calories I am noticing often times I stay well under my daily limit. This is usually when I make my meals at home. When I eat out, I usually am at my limit!!! Looking at the ingredient labels of food has been a totally shocking experience, like for example Kraft Macaroni & Cheese!!! I love KMC, it is one of my favorite foods. When I first started to calorie count I ate a whole box thinking the calories wouldn’t be that much… well 1200 calories later I was shocked.

– Don’t be afraid to ask a restaurant for a calorie guide for the food. If they are a large chain they most likely will have it. When we took my niece out to Old Chicago the waitress brought us one and it helped me pick out my food.

– I use MyFitnessPal to count my calories. It is totally free!!! You can scan products and search their endless database for items. They even have restaurants as well. They have a great app for android, iPhone, etc. Even if you don’t have a high tech phone you can use their website: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Well I think this is plenty. I am sure this list will grow as the weeks pass by. Hope this helps others. Huggs

Reclaim your body!!!


For those who like me struggle with their body image it might be helpful for you to reclaim your body in a more positive light. I recently discovered that I had never saw my body as beautiful. It all started when I was ten years old and I was sexually molested. From then on I saw my body as dirty. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized I viewed my body as dirty.

Realizing that I viewed my body as dirty helped bring to light my struggle. I have always struggled with my weight and I knew there was much more to it than unhealthy eating choices, which that does play a role…


Once I realized I viewed my body as not pure, I had this vision of a secret garden. A place that was sacred, that no one could enter without your permission. For the longest time I left the door off wide open and let anyone come in to trample all over my beautiful flowers. Twenty five years later my garden turned into a dump.

Well now it is time to clean up, close and lock that door and replant all those beautiful flowers. I am reclaiming my body as pure and beautiful. I am starting to think about what kinds of things I will let into my body like people, food, etc.

You are welcome to use the secret garden analogy or you can come up with anything positive to help you build your own sanctuary. I think it is important to have a place that you can put a wall around it with a door that you can lock. For me it is helpful to visualize my own personal safety.

Realizing that I have the choice of who enters and who isn’t allowed, is monumental.


I am starting to put pictures of my secret garden all around me. You can google secret garden and find some nice images. Again you don’t have to use that term, even flower will pull up lots of beautiful results. Anything that you view as healthy, pure and beautiful will work.

Another idea that I just had you can also install some sort of security system in your secret garden, like a dog or what ever you can visualize to protect you. You really can be as creative as you want with this.

Print a picture of a secret garden or whatever your sanctuary is. Then below it or on the back of it, write down all your positive qualities. It is alright if you struggle with this, even if you have a few that is a start. You will find that as you start to heal that list will grow. You can always add more to the list later on. Now put the piece of paper up where you can see it daily, to remind yourself of the good that is within you.

On another piece of paper write down all the negative feelings that you have about yourself. Write them however you want. Then take that piece of paper crumple it up, tear it up and throw it away in the garbage. This will visualize that these feelings are not apart of you.

This isn’t just for people who are overweight, this is for men and women. Anyone that wants to reclaim their body in a positive light. Whenever you start to have these negative feelings pop up in your head, visualize your secret garden. Tell yourself that these feelings are not true. You are beautiful and pure just like your secret garden.