Before moving here, I never had to worry about what my friends thought of me. They knew me. Sometimes for 10 or 20 years–a few of them longer than that. And I was in relationships usually. Serial monogamist. So I didn’t have to worry about the impression I made, or if I was going to get laid anytime soon, or whether there was someone to confide in, play with…now, it’s all new. New State, new city, new people, and SINGLE, though not NEWLY SINGLE. Aside from a five month relationship, I’ve been single for what? 4 or 5 years? Add to this paradigm, the difficulties of being a small percentage of the population in several Identity markers, and being older, and it’s a recipe for angst. Dating was never something I did much of, because I was always either in a relationship or leaving one to go into another.
I hear some people saying, “You should love yourself as you are, you’re beautiful on the inside.” bullshit. No one will ever see how beautiful you are on the inside until they can get past the outside. That’s just how it works. it’s a rare person who does not see or respond to the attraction-factor. it’s hard-wired into the human brain. An evolutionary fact. Those who can be attracted to anyone might have an advantage when it comes to finding dates and partners, but then again, i wonder if that’s actually a DEFECT…and besides, if I am with someone who can be attracted to anyone they like on “The inside”, no matter what they look like, how does that make me feel special? “I love being with you Jae…or that crack whore over there. Either one, doesn’t matter.”
So, while I was too dense to appreciate the body I had when I was younger, I care that I don’t have the body I want now –because I think that maybe that woman I’ve just met and enjoyed coffee or a glass of wine with is thinking “She’s nice enough, but I’m not attracted to fat girls.”
And then I get mad and feel persecuted on some esoteric level because it took so many years for me to even be able to WALK again. (One previous girlfriend during one of those particularly trying disability binges even said she was embarrassed to be seen with me on those forearm crutches. I guess if you’re going to be a Jerry’s Kid, you better be really cute, and a KID. Her comment has never left my head, and I can still recall the profound anger and pain it caused me to be rejected for being disabled).
So–the fat-thing– It’s not like I just sit in front of the TV 24/7 eating Twinkies and Chic-o-sticks. (though I love TV, Twinkies and Chic-o-sticks. One of my favorite meals is also biscuits and gravy, but I’ve had that once in the last two years.) I have done everything within my power to get all this extra weight off, to include dieting, food science, portion control, drinking gallons of water, and consuming any number of other supplements and pills and potions. But since I couldn’t exercise for so many years due to injury andpain, I just could not lose weight. period. And even though I have a great deal of mobility and don’t LOOK like I have limitations, I still do. Eating less never works for me. I just stay at one weight. (Overeating, though, will make me gain. Yay). I have one of those metabolisms that doesn’t respond to starving or eating less.
Looking back at my weight in the Army and when I was younger, I can see that the problem for me is, I don’t get enough exercise as I did during those times–or enough of the right exercise. Because, while I can do way more than I used to, I can only do certain things without risking re-injury. And I hate that with the red hot burning passion of a thousand suns.
I went on a full-fledged exercise binge when I discovered i could play racquetball again. And then I started working out everyday on the Gazelle and lifting light hand weights, too. Then POP! Blew a disc. Cervical disc rupture. Herniated Disco –and it took 8 weeks of special treatments, pain meds, and being in bed 99% of the time, to heal that. And I had to do it all by myself with no one to help me.
So, now, I do a lot of walking. I’m thrilled that I can walk 2 or 3 miles at a time, when not so many years ago, I couldn’t walk 2 or 3 yards. Preferable to the Crutches, and the scooter before that, and the wheelchair before that, I assure you. Yet, all this walking doesn’t seem to change my weight.
The upshot is, no one knows or cares about your physiological history or your challenges in the past, when they meet you for the first time. They only see the packaging. And while I try to make the package as attractive as possible, there’s only so much I can do with this extra blubber and the effects of aging. I quit smoking tobacco and now use electronic (vapor) cigs; I use Apple Cider vinegar on my skin because it gives it a vibrant and healthy glow; I use a Derma-Wand device on it too–it’s a home face-lift type thing; I take mega-vitamins and supplements in a shake everyday. I tan, I use coconut oil as a lotion, because it’s natural and beneficial in many ways to skin and system; I wear makeup when I go out in public and always fix my hair, and wear nice jewelry. I always try to dress attractively too–especially if I’m meeting anyone for the first time. As the saying goes, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. And while I don’t consider myself a sow’s ear, I still only have so much to work with.
What I want–crave–is to find someone who will not only be attracted to me, but to whom I will also be attracted, and that we will enjoy a harmonious lifetime commitment filled with love and laughter and hope and purpose.
And the voice in my head grunts, FAT chance.