I’ve struggled with my weight since 4th grade when my teacher, Ms. Willis, had us do some sort of science experiment that involved us stepping on scales and weighing each other. It was a sort of weird, twisted form of torture where, once we were weighed, we had to announce our weight to the class and organize ourselves from skinniest to most obese. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the real intent, but it sure as hell felt like it, especially since I was one of the top 3 fattest kids in the class.
Over the last 17 years, my weight has fluctuated drastically. When I started at Ithaca College, I gained the “Freshman
15 30″ because I spent most of my freshman year holed up in my room, crying and eating, eating and crying, and cursing out life because college sooooooo wasn’t what I thought it would be. I finally made a great group of friends, who became my roommates, and allowed me to learn how to put myself out there; things got better.
In my junior year, I discovered the gym.
By senior year, I had gone from an awkward and plump, pimple-faced, self-conscious young lad with an affinity for oversized sweat shirts to a slimmer guy with budding muscles and an affinity for fitted polo’s.
During that time, I felt more alive, hyper-aware of everything, and thus my creativity piqued/peaked.
When I graduated, I fell into a bit of a slump, which saw a slight weight gain brought about by depression: I was still in the closet, couldn’t get a job to save my life, and hated my grad school program. I was trying to transfer to the New School and while waiting for a response, decided to travel out west for a few months to cleanse my system.
I lost weight.
I gained weight (thank you, In-N-Out Burger).
I came home, lost some more weight, started my first year at the New School, then gained a lot of weight because I was living in Manhattan as a closeted man who wanted nothing more to experience LIFE, yet was still too afraid.
Even though I lived in NYC, I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.
In fact, I was more paralyzed than ever.
I hit an all-time low during that year when I thought I was in love with the straight guy I was living with and realized that, of course, he couldn’t/wouldn’t reciprocate. I wasn’t getting my Master’s in Rocket Science, but you would think that this would not have been such a heavy realization.
You’d be wrong. I certainly was.
So I moved back home, re-discovered the gym, and started going at least 5 times per week.
I dropped weight quickly, and by May, I was back to my former slim self. I had come out to my best friend and I was putting myself out there in the dating world. On May 3rd, 2010, I started dating, and now we’ve been together for over three years.
That summer, my creativity hit a stride, and I finally figured out how to write the book that I’d been working on.
By the end of that summer, I was manorexic, consumed by the gym and healthy eating.
Then, sometime in the Spring of the following year, I started to slowly gain again. But this time, it was because I was happy. I didn’t quite care about my weight gain because everything else was lining up.
I might have let it get a bit out of control.
I’ve actually been thinking about going to Overeater’s Anonymous lately. No joke. It’s that bad. And I’ve noticed a dip in my creative energy. Not really my creative juices, but definitely my energy-levels. I used to be able to sit and write furiously for hours and hours, and if it just-so-happened to take me into the wee hours of the morning, so be it.
Now, I need my beauty-rest. I’m pretty sure that my weight has something to do with it. I mean, I feel like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when she blows up into a giant blueberry. Somebody squeeze the fat out of me, please!
You know it’s bad when your mom, your biggest cheerleader, calls you up and goes: “That shirt you were wearing yesterday…you shouldn’t wear that. It made you look so big! Horizontal stripes don’t do anything for you.”
I think it’s time to do something about this.
A healthy body = healthy mind = healthy creativity. My writing can only stand to improve because I will feel better.
I definitely believe that there is a correlation between being healthy and levels of creativity. Not to mention the other benefits, like, oh, I don’t know, actually being healthy.
Consider this my own call-to-action. Consider this my wake-up call. Consider this a verbal contract between me, myself, and everyone who reads my blog: If I’m not the epitome of health by summer’s end, you have my permission to stone me in the town square, bible-style.