There are a few different situations when it seems like time grinds to a screeching halt and minutes can feel like hours. For example… holding a plank, waiting for someone you’re interested in to text you back, and that awful stretch of time between
Steven Seidel Posts
My toxic trait is that I cannot seem to control myself around a lot of things. Usually it’s things like guys who don’t treat me well, or things I don’t need from Ross, but it’s marked down even more from it’s already rock bottom everyday price so how can I resist?!? I won’t be talking about either of those things today, mainly because I have to save SOMETHING to talk to my therapist about.
It was about 20 years ago, I was living on my own in Colorado. I was in my mid-twenties, footloose and on my own. Things were going great, until they weren’t. I’m not really sure what happened, because it creeps in on you, or at least it did on me. It wasn’t like one day I woke up and decided I couldn’t leave the house. But that’s where my depression took me, to the point that anything outside of my house seemed like an impossible task. I was convinced I was too ugly and too dumb to be out in public. That I shouldn’t subject anyone to have to look at me or have any sort of interaction with me. I did have to leave the house for work, which some days would make me sick to my stomach or some days leave me contemplating suicide. It was an all day process trying to convince myself that it would be okay to go, that I could somehow make it through a shift. It helped that I worked at an alzheimer’s home, the residents didn’t care what I looked like or how I acted. In fact, that was probably the best job I could’ve had given the circumstances. I also learned during that time, which was probably the better part of a year, that I could go to Subway and get a giant sandwich that I could use for a couple of meals. Although, I would always feel bad for the person at Subway who had to make a sandwich for me.
Yesterday I was talking with someone who wanted me to give them some advice on how to get back to the gym, how to get back into working out, maybe even an exercise routine. I could have answered him with the usual list of reasons why it’s important to exercise and take care of ourselves, but the truth be told, I think we already know those reasons. Instead, I turned the question back around and asked him why he wants to get back into the gym, back into a routine of working out. If slim summer bodies and six-pack abs were really what inspired people to workout, we would be some of the fittest people on the planet. It’s pretty much guaranteed that every month, every fitness magazine on the stands promises us the newest (not to mention easiest way to get cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted) but it turns out that getting cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted are horrible, extrinsic motivators. Soon after we realize our genes weren’t sewn together by supermodels, and that in the real world we can’t be constantly airbrushed within an inch of our life, we give up on the whole “working out” thing because it’s too hard and we’ve already set ourselves up for failure by making unrealistic expectations our only goal for doing it.
As I was guiltily eating the last piece of pizza, I started thinking about our perception of the ideal body image, our unhealthy desire to be perfect, and how many of my clients would be horrified if they could see me now. I don’t think it’s much of a secret that in the world of gay men, the relentless pursuit of having the perfect body is a favorite pastime. In some instances, that drive towards perfection can help us to achieve our goals and can be a powerful motivator. But, as with most things, there’s a fine line between what could be considered a healthy pursuit of what we want and an obsession with perfection that can lead to serious consequences. The airbrushed ideals of what we think we should look like have contributed to roughly 10 million men with an eating disorder including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. And out of those 10 million men, it is estimated that 42% of them identify as gay.