I took a photo today, and I’m going to put the picture under the cut, and then talk about what it means to me. Which is pretty much the definition of ‘blogging’, I guess.
Yeah, that’s a pair of jeans. Specifically, the brand and size. Calvin Klein, size 60.
I’m a big guy. I admit that. Hell, I’m not going to say I’m proud of it, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can carry myself well. But I’m also smaller than I used to be. And those jeans, that picture, is part of a goal, in a way.
I think, in the past, I must have had some kind of eating issue, maybe even to disorder. I know I used to be the kind of person whose attitude at anger, at failure, at embarrassment, was to find somewhere to hide, somewhere away from people, and then… maybe find some candy, or some cookies, or something like that, and know that at least I would be able to get some enjoyment out of that, the kind of enjoyment I wasn’t getting out of anything else in life. I wonder sometimes if it was just the sugar rush, or the chocolate zing, that made me feel better, and I so wanted that feeling that I didn’t care what I was doing to myself to do it.
And, as I’ve discussed recently, I’ve struggled with depression and the feeling of being an impostor. What better way to feel a bit validated about yourself than that warm glow over you, the sense of sudden quietude, of your body being flooded with serotonin from a nice hit of carbs?
Those jeans were bought years ago. And then I decided I didn’t like them, didn’t want to wear them. I worked in IT! I worked in an office! Jeans aren’t office wear! And I put them into a box and shoved them away because I wanted to deny them. I decided I had never liked wearing jeans. (Truth: when I was in high school, I wore them all the time. Loved them. Had a pair that blew out the knee one year, and was really unhappy about it – I’d just gotten them broken in…)
And my dearest Emma said to me, “I want you to buy some jeans.” And she sent me some money specifically to do that. And so I went out to a store (The local Casual Male Big And Tall, to be exact), and looked at their jeans. I decided to avoid the ones with elastic waistbands… and all they had otherwise in the store were ‘comfort fit’. Since I was going by bus, going to a different one wasn’t an option. But I found a nice pair, and tried them on.
And for the first time, in years, wearing a pair of jeans (even if they are a little bit baggy), I looked at myself in the full length mirror and said, out loud:
“Hey, I don’t look half bad.”
Then I looked around, and hoped no one heard me. I’m still a little weirded out by that thought. I spent so much time denying myself the idea I could be handsome, that I could be desirable to a woman, that I could be a man instead of a friend… I’m still unpacking that. But yeah.
I’m down six inches in my waist from my heaviest. I have cheekbones again. I’m changing myself. I didn’t even intend to, it wasn’t a goal, I just… started to. And I’m continuing to change.
For the better. One day at a time. Because that’s the only way to do it and have it stick.