New Year, New Me.
Its been a week since New Years! That magical confetti soaked holiday where you vow to hold up to your empty promises and give yourself a new Mantra for the new year. (Mine is DILLIGAF). As we get further and further away from that January 1st mid afternoon Veuve Clicqout hangover and you realize January 10th is approaching and you still don't have your rent money, remember that 2015 is finally fucking over and things are going to be looking up for you this year honey! This is your year girlfriend!
BUT what happens when you actually achieve one of these mythological resolutions? When you really dedicate yourself to growing up and taking that step forward into adulthood; Kissing away the cocaine fueled dance parties of the lower east side and replacing them with the joy of getting a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card for Christmas. This is my current debacle...
Before the new year started, I made a pre-resolution resolution to not gain the inevitable 15 pounds or so that I always allowed myself, you know because winter and hibernation and things. I had always gone through a pretty regular yearly cycle of Otter in the summer time and Bear in the winter time. I was okay with this. I thought, "weight is super easy to lose so I will just keep doing this cyclical weight gain every year." It seemed like a perfect plan. Until I turned 25.
For some reason, once my age turned 25, my body turned 43. I wasn't the innocent little whipper snapper I used to be. I could no longer drink Admiral Nelson whiskey all night and wake up the next morning like nothing every happened, I started referring to bars and clubs as "too loud," I started genuinely worrying about health insurance and finally figured out with that 401K thing is... I think. I was somewhat prepared for that inevitable leap into adulthood. What I wasn't prepared for was my inability to eat whatever I want and maintain a svelte figure.
I have never been the skinniest dude in the room. I was born 11 pounds, 3 and a half ounces and 23 inches long. I have always been referred to as "stocky" or "thick," while always maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I have allowed myself to always indulge when it came to late night munchies, I usually ended every meal with a sigh of relief and an unbuttoning of my pants to allow for my FUPA to settle and since we're sharing and we're all friends here, I can confess that I have, on more than one occasion, visited two fast food restaurants for one meal. I call it the Double Dipper. I basically have had a dad bod since I was 19 and i always thought it kind of fit me and MY life, for ME. I enjoyed food and drinking and it never got out of control. My stomach and my soul were both so very full.
All that changed after 25. Suddenly, I had to stick to diets instead of just lying about being on the trendiest one at the time, I had to use the gym to actually work out and not just cruise on hot guys, and most importantly, I had to stop the Bear in the winter cycle and commit to being an Otter all year round. My body just wasn't snapping back the way it used to. I couldn't just go to Yoga To The People a few times and suddenly look like TrimSpa Anna Nicole by Summer time. I had to really start working at it.
It was a terrible realization, but I decided it was better to dedicate myself to it now. After all, 25 with the body of a 43 year old is still younger and more adaptable than being 30 feeling like those garbage humans in Wall-E. I made myself workout at least four days a week, I got a membership to Mark Fisher Fitness, and I started researching and caring about my nutrition. For instance, did you know that the Bagel Bites commercial is a sham. You can't have pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening and pizza at suppertime. Believe me, I tried and all it lead to was the fattest, happiest three days of my life. I have even gone so far as to go on a no gluten, no dairy diet. We all know nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but really nothing is more embarrassing than asking for non dairy cheese and gluten free bread on your 19 dollar six inch flatbread.
So, I've done it! Whoo! I have lasted the holidays without gaining 15 pounds, I have a body that I can be proud of and I can only hope that this dedication leads to me having an amazing "acting/modeling" career or at the very least get me a whole bunch of attention. Because after all, why else are we doing this shit if not to get as much attention as possible. AMIRITE? However, I have hit a wall. I'm proud of my work, I know that having a good body will help me in my business, I want the world to see that I am committing a full year otter lifestyle, but I can't... no I SHANT become one of those monsters that are always posting transformation pics. Honestly the only transformation I am interested in is Maura's on Transparent.
Now that I have this new confidence and believe that self control is possible for me, I'm stuck wondering if I should give in to my own hypocrisy and just #post4likes with hopes of become successful, because thats a thing now, or if I should practice modesty and humility and "Wait for it." It seems like my life and my 2015 especially was filled with waiting for people to notice things that I thought were apparent, but clearly weren't. We just don't live in that world anymore. We have to fight our way through the hashtags and selfie sticks to get noticed at the front of the line. As millennial Americans we are constantly told, "Make your own work" and to "outshine everyone around you." We see book deals, reality shows and performing opportunities coming from those who post frequently and shamelessly. We have tangible evidence of people using sex and their body to gain followers and eventually gain success. Everyone now has a platform to show their butt hole to America for validation and praise. I mean I'm literally writing in a blog, sub consciously Secret-ing that everyone likes it and I become am a star and get offered a Bravo reality show about being gay in New York city with my chunky jewish girl friends or something. It is the world we live in now, and it doesn't seem to be changing its mind any time soon. By suddenly becoming someone who cares about my body and is dedicated to fitness, I want that attention! Being an Instagram prostitute is now an inevitable path towards success. A few years back and the Kardashians would have been bankrupt meth heads living in a trailer with Julie from the Real World New Orleans and Heidi Fleiss, but today they are international superstars being idolized as role models. At first, I thought this pressure to post shirtless selfies affected me so strongly because I am an actor. Maybe it was most apparent to me, because I have been told by my profession that it was imperative that I lose weight, or maintain a certain look and have lost job opportunities because I was a little more zoftig than someone else. I knew that about the business and I have accepted that, but it seems like its not just the acting business anymore its everywhere.... EVERYWHERE.
With the power of social media in our day to day lives, the ability it has to make real careers, and the capability of it to force us all to seek validation from our peers, the entire world has turned into attention hungry monsters, dying for the 15 minutes of fame. Life has literally become a stage. It used to be people didn't go to college to study the arts, because the arts field is so competitive, but now, every profession is so competitive its like we are all going to a state school majoring in sculpture. It is a crazy race that we are all in and no one knows the rules. Life is what I imagine the movie Death Race is like, a bunch of hot people competing in a game that has no rhyme or reason and only the hottest survive. Meanwhile I'm watching the race like:
Going along with my 2016 motto of DILLIGAF, I leave you with this: No shade to the Fit Fams out there and to people who hope to inspire others with their weight loss posts and let them know that they can do it too. I get it, it helped me and I am sure it helps a lot of people, but I have never been that person so I'm gonna keep my clothes on and keep doing me. I don't believe that because you have lost weight, you should have to label you as the "Person who lost weight" the same way someone who comes out of the closet shouldn't be the "Gay person" or the most handsome charming person of your group should be "The Mike Millan" You know?
I can change my body, but I won't change ideals, so I won't. I will hold firm to the practice of not giving of fuck about collecting fans that just want to see my weiner and instead, practice modesty and maintain my dedication to a healthy lifestyle because its important to have a healthy lifestyle for like living, you guys. Besides, my biggest fear of all is being the guy thats all like #FitFam #gainz and then gaining the weight back. Like, what happens if I develop a thyroid problem or just decide to let myself go a little bit? Or if I totally Nutty Professor and become bigger than I have ever been. I want to be confident that I have maintained my sense of self no matter if I look like Mario Lopez or Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Letting the whole world see my naked torso after every work out may lead to my Bravo reality show, but I am certain that it would also just add to my already uncontrollable anxiety. I believe everyone should strive to be best at their mission in life and their reason for living, not strive to be the hottest kid in the class. After all, where is the hot guy from your high school now? Mine is balding and has three different kids from two different mothers.
I recently had a Facebook post about this topic and received nothing but positive responses from people asking me for the pictures of the transformation, so I guess, at the end of the day, its what the public wants to see. I am part of the minority, but I have decided it is important to keep real to my damn self and not turn into one of the #gymlife dudes that terrify me so much and instead continue to work on being a real, enjoyable and honest individual, because if you can't love me when I'm a hibernating bear, you don't deserve me as a jock. Can I get an amen?
- M M