Over the past few weeks, I’ve been more or less sticking with a 1200 calorie diet. This has involved paying attention to portion sizes, avoiding junk food, eating more fresh produce (thank you SNAP!), etc. I’ve been walking my dog longer too, mostly at night because the heat is too unbearable during the day. And once I get my ADHD meds I’m going to start a more structured workout.
So far I’ve lost roughly two pounds, but I’m not really interested in reaching a specific weight. I’m more interested in changing my body composition, basically less body fat and more muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat I know that I may end up weighing more than I do now, so I don’t view my tiny teenage/early twenties weight as aspirational anymore.
Well, thats not entirely true. There definitely were things I enjoyed about being as skinny as I was back then, and sometimes I think it might be nice to be that thin again. The longer I think about it though, the more I think the reason why I miss being really skinny is due to missed opportunity. Like, the sex is really the main thing I miss. Being young and thin (thus “desirable”, at least as a girl) could’ve really opened up a lot of opportunities, sexually speaking, if I were socially adept enough and brave enough to be a slut. Being more sexually active and adventurous when I was younger would’ve been vastly preferable to what I actually ended up doing.
Realizing that my lingering desire for thinness is simply related to perceived missed opportunities that probably wouldn’t have happened anyway really helps keep things in perspective for me. Besides being socially inept, dysphoria also played a big part in my lack of sexual experience, though I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that the attention of straight men disgusted me and I was uncomfortable with my naked body being seen for reasons I couldn’t really articulate. It’d hard to be sexually active and adventurous when you won’t even get undressed around someone.
Now that I know I’m a queer male, men taking sexual interest in me, desiring me and flirting with me is - in theory – very titillating. I spent so long being desirable to the wrong type of men against my will – insult to injury, since I was already in a body that I hated – that the idea that I can be desirable to people (not just men!) that I would in theory be attracted to, and on my own terms, a big motivation to eat better and exercise. I know that sounds shallow, but its not just about being a himbo, its about ~Gender Euphoria~. Since I’m in a relationship I wouldn’t even let something progress beyond flirting. Just knowing that I’m viewed not just as a man but a desirable one is enough.
At the moment though, any time a man pays attention to me is because they think I’m a girl (bad) or because they’re unsure of my gender and are trying to figure out if I’m supposed to be in the men’s bathroom (uncomfortable, potentially scary). Just practically speaking, these are things I could do without.
So, I have no desire to be thin and don’t feel any pressure to do so like a woman would. I suppose the next thing to consider is if I have any unrealistic expectations about looking like a man. Do I feel pressured to look the way a man is “supposed” to look? I definitely think I used to.
When I thought I was a girl, I just experienced general discomfort that I couldn’t identify and articulate. Afterwards, I was able to identify specific things. I hated how short I was, I hated my big ass, wide hips, thick thighs, etc. Its been a few years since then, and I honestly don’t feel bad about these things anymore. I don’t think it was any particular thing that changed my mind. And its not because my dysphoria has let up. I’m just at a point where I realize I can’t change certain things about my body so they’re not worth worrying about. Also, being queer confers the added benefit of not “needing” to fit into a stereotypical image of masculinity. If cis men don’t have to be chiseled 6ft+ giga chads to be seen as men then neither should I.
When I start a proper workout regimen, it’ll be mostly to accentuate the features I already have and to build upper body strength. I’m not looking to become a body builder, what I want is to just preserve my ass (maybe upgrade it to that-one-statue-of-Perseus levels of ass) and not struggle under the weight of a particularly heavy box. Hell, maybe if I get fit enough I can get a warehouse job where I don’t have to talk to anybody because all I’ll have to do is lift things. I don’t think this is unrealistic.
Another aspect of my sudden interest in my health is the realization that, well, I’m getting older. I haven’t really taken care of my body, and if I continue to not take care of it, it will make being really old worse than it needs to be. I wanna be one of those old people that somehow never slow down mentally or physically, which I think might be the most unrealistic thing I want out of my body.
Back to the present. Losing two pounds is fine and all, but there’s way better short-term benefits to this diet than that:
1) I feel marginally better. Who would’ve thought that laying off the junk food and eating more nutritionally substantial meals would improve the condition of your body?? Of course I still feel like shit thanks to Depression, but physically my body feels a little less like shit.
2) I was really overeating before. Not only did I not pay attention to serving sizes, I also would eat when I was stressed or bored. 1200 calories a day makes me feel full enough on days where I don’t move much, if I move a lot I just eat more. I think another reason why I feel a little better is because I’m no longer in a perpetual state of food coma, and am trying to redirect when I feel compelled to eat for any reason other than hunger.
3) This is the most important thing: MY FOOD LASTS LONGER NOW THAT I PAY ATTENTION TO SERVING SIZES. As an unemployed loser, this is a big deal. Fuck “mainstream beauty standards”. Not having to go to the grocery store as much is the only reason anyone should consider dieting