This is one of ten shortlisted entries for our Things To Do Before You Die contest. We will try to make the winning idea happen.
"Inform The World About Lyme Disease" - Beth Ross
"Improving The Lives Of Dogs" - Emily Grossheider
"Becoming A Regular Size" - Will Holt
"Seeing Through Photography" - Jeremy Braun
"Live Like We're Dying" - Jonathan Winegarden
"One Wish Before I Die: Let Women Lead" - Claire Charamnac
"My Wish For A Buried Life" - Ashley Calarie
"The Dark Has Its Own Light" - Mary Rose Betten
"Thank You For Being A Teacher" - Caroline Cretti
"My Wish: To Be A Professional Pinup Model" - Alicia Leeman
I have been overweight all my life. I started getting larger when I was in kindergarten. I am about to turn 32 years old and would like to have the experience of being a regular, healthy sized person.
I realize that I have been internalizing a lot of my emotions for most of my life because of fear. I grew down in Alabama but was raised up by music and technology. Being a gay man in Alabama isn't the easiest of life's experiences. Homophobia, racism and extreme religious right wing thinking rule those lands. So I never really felt welcome in my own birthplace. I knew something good would eventually come my way if I had patience and just rode the ride. I luckily met a great group of like-minded friends, not gay, just awesome in equal ways to myself.
We all had some great times living it up in the backwoods of 'Bama, but we all knew that that place was slowly withering us. Long story short, 10 friends and I moved to Chapel Hill, NC. This area is much more liberal and accepting and a little less judgmental to folks with differing ways of life.
I am a much happier person since moving. I live my life as a "proud" person, don't get me wrong, I am not one of those gays that wear their rainbows on their sleeves (there is nothing wrong with that...). It's just that me being gay is probably the least interesting aspect of who I am. I have been blessed with genetic musical and technological gifts. The men in my family have always been involved with music. Great Grand Dad lead music at church, Grandfather plays guitar and had a radio show, Father has a music ed degree and plays guitar and piano, I went to university on a music scholarship and play 5 instruments.
Technology also runs in the family - Grandfather owned and operated a television repair shop, Father knows a lot about computers and taught them to me at the young age of 8 years, I have a degree in Computer Information Systems and have experience beyond my years.
I think that my hiding my sexuality caused me to build up a wall around myself... literally. By being morbidly obese, I had a great excuse as to why I did (and still don't) date.
So I never really had to confront who I really was openly. As I said before, I am no longer afraid of my greatness and am fully embracing an inspired vision of who I should be. I have attempted to lose the weight before but it isn't easy once you get soo large. My last truly earnest attempt was over a year ago. I was watching what I ate and going to the gym multiple times a week. I was doing great; I found my fire and was stoking it with all my will and intention. Then I had one of the most painful of setbacks... a herniated disc. This injury has completely derailed me. I fell into a spiral of depression (and pain) causing me to put on even more weight.
I decided right before Christmas of last year that I need to do something drastic. I realized that I needed to evaluate everything in my life. I was a travelling software consultant. I realized that I was using the travel as a crutch for not living my life to the fullest.
So, I found another job that didn't involve travel. Actually, the job found me. It seems when I started taking stock of my life and focusing on changing the things that weren't working for me... things just feel into place. I received an email two weeks before Christmas that a customer of mine was looking for someone to bring aboard. So I was basically recruited out of the blue, in one of the worst economy's I might add. Let that lend some credence to my skill set. I think not having relationships allowed me to overly focus on my career. It was another crutch.
I also found a new place to live. I had a roommate, whom I adore. But we were in a very sad place together and that needed to change. We were starting to cut each other emotionally and we both deserved better. Both of us were able to find different living situations that I believe are just what we needed. I am living alone, which makes it much easier to manage my life and what I eat. I used to eat out twice a day. Now I am lucky if I eat out twice in a week.
I am at a point in my life where I want love and a stable relationship. But who would want a partner like me. Hell, I would want a partner like me. I have changed where I live and where I work and what I eat. I am ready to bust out of the prison of obesity and live life to the fullest.
I am requesting a little help in getting there before this weight seriously makes me kick the bucket. Once I am healthy, maybe I can start working on another, more exciting bucket list. I've always wanted to try skydiving.
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