I originally submitted this to a body image blog, but for whatever reason they didn’t accept it. Maybe it’s because I don’t blindly love my body but actually want to improve it, maybe it’s because I’m a straight male, I’m not sure. But I wrote this and wanted it to be posted, so I’ll just post it myself.
The only thing I changed was added this disclaimer, and removed their little advert that they require you add to the end of your post. Here goes:
I know this blog is for people who love their bodies, but my wife is a big fan and has asked me to share my story. So here we go.
I don’t love my body, but more on that later. I’ve always been fat. Well, not always, but ever since I started developing into the person I am today, I have been. At the age of 6, I got a Sega Genesis, and my health has been on a downward spiral since then. I love video games, and by extension all technology, and they’ve opened my mind so much and in so many ways that may not have happened had I not got into consoles at a young age, but yeah my body suffered for it.
Skip ahead nearly 20 years. I think the highest weight I reached was around 260lbs. Not so big that I had trouble moving around, but big enough that I knew it would impact my health if it continued. Thing is, I didn’t really care. I knew I might be cutting my life 20-50 years short, but I had nothing to live ‘til 100 for. I was doing what I enjoyed - playing games, eating food, learning things. I thought I might as well do what I enjoyed, while I enjoyed it, and then probably die young.
I was a pretty miserable teenager, and looking back it was probably all due to self-image, but still, playing games and reading far outweighed any kind of fitness I could be bothered to do.
Then, on Feb 26th 2008, on my 22nd birthday, I decided to play an online shooter rather than go do anything with the few friends I did have. On that day, I met my wife, online, on said shooter. She was an overweight introverted nerd, just like me, and she played the games that I liked. I lived in the UK, and she lived in the south USA. Obviously, I never thought anything would come of it, but one crazy 5000 mile trip 6 months later and we were basically engaged.
I now had something to live for, but it still didn’t really click. I didn’t know what we were doing, or where my life was leading. We decided that I should move to the USA, but that’s a long and arduous road. I was still living very much in the present - still putting on weight, etc.
I got my fiancée visa in May 2011, and flew to stay in the USA for good. Since we were both overweight, I toyed with the idea of weightloss, and even managed to lose 20 or so lbs in a few months, by eating healthily and basic exercise. My mind wasn’t really in it, for some reason, but it was something to pass the time.
The big day came in Aug 2011. I got my fiancée visa, and I flew to the USA to get married. We got married on Aug 2nd 2011. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer on the 23rd, and flew home on Sep 2nd, ruining my visa and forcing us to start all over again. I had my operation on Sep 12th. It went as well as can be, and I’m still cancer-free (touch wood).
My wife came home with me and stayed for 6 months, during which we were extremely miserable and unhealthy. It was a very bad time, for one reason or another. Once she had to go home, there was still roughly another 6 months left before I could get my new visa - long enough to do something, but not long enough to maybe get a career going or accomplish anything life-altering, I thought. I had to work in doctor’s visits and visa related things into whatever I was doing.
Then something clicked. I’d married a beautiful woman who wanted the same things from life I did. I’d survived a pretty major illness in the best way possible, given the circumstances. I had 6 months to kill, and I knew, from the little try we had before I was diagnosed, that I could lose weight. So I decided that would be the thing I did.
It’s now August 2012. I’m still in the UK, but so long as I do well in the interview, I should be getting my visa at the end of September and finally going back to the USA in October. Since February 2012, when my wife went home, I have lost over 70lbs, and am a mere 10 or so lbs away from my goal weight. I’ve developed muscle, learned so much about fitness, improved my respiratory system, stamina and strength, and I feel a lot closer to loving my body than I did a year ago.
But now we come back to love. There are only a few things I would willingly say I love. I believe love leads to complacency. I love my family. They’re screwups sometimes, and sometimes there are falling-outs, but there is very little they could do to make me not love them. I love my wife. I don’t want her to change in any way she doesn’t want herself. Even then, I only want her to be happy - however she decides to achieve it. I guess I’d say I love technology - I love how advanced things are getting, and how much easier it makes it for people to learn the sorts of things only a handful knew 50 years ago.
But I don’t love my body. I love how much better I feel, and I’m a lot fonder of it than I was, but if I loved my body, I wouldn’t want to improve it. If I loved my body when I was 260lbs, I might still be 260lbs. I love feeling healthier, stronger, less self-concious, but I still have work to do.
And soon enough, I’ll have other things that I need to commit to, and my body might have to take a backseat again. My wife, a new job, eventually kids, etc. But at least I’ve taken a pretty big step in what I class as the right direction. I hope I’ve erased some of the damage I did while younger.
So to all the people that love their bodies, good for you. I don’t mean this to come off as preachy at all, it’s just a story of the last few years of one man’s life. I think everyone lives for their own reasons, and it’s nobody’s place to judge them.
I think we can all be better people, so long as we have a reason to. For me, that reason is my wife. Thank you, my love.