Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A Long Journey: Loosing weight, getting in shape, and feeling good about myself again!

Here I am moments after weighing myself the other day (in early March 2020) and seeing that I'm finally down to 205 lbs! That means I've lost 25 lbs in total so far!
 
Most of my life, since my teenage years and throughout my 20's and early 30's, I weighted 150 to 160 lbs. Being so slim I had no trouble buying clothes off the rack at the store without trying things on. I knew that they would fit me because my body was the standard size that manufacturer's made clothes to fit. Back then I felt good about my body and being me. I liked to wear slim fitting clothes, especially spandex cycling shorts. In my 20's when I started working out and cycling, it gave me confidence and I quickly built up some nice muscle definition on my arms. By then I was comfortable taking my shirt off outdoors, and had no worries about wearing my speedo bathing suit at the beach. That was until 2008 when I was 34, just before a major health issue began to cause trouble for me. 
 
Less than eight years later in 2016, when I was 42, I was a completely different person. During that short period of time, I experienced a dramatically swift and, frankly, traumatizing weight gain which maxed out at 230 lbs! That's an increase of 80 lbs, an average of ten lbs per year! I was miserable, depressed, stressed out and confused. I couldn't figure out why I was gaining so much weight so quickly. Like a moth to a flame, I turned to food for comfort in my depression which certainly didn't help matters. I had to buy an entire new wardrobe not once but twice as I went from my familiar size medium up to large and finally extra large. Then at last I had a breakthrough with a doctor who was a specialist, and who told me that I wasn't crazy. There really was something wrong with me that was out of my control which was causing the rapid weight gain.
 
A comparison showing before and after my rapid weight gain.
 
To be honest, I'm hesitant to share this next piece of information, but I think it needs to be talked about more openly in our society with more understanding and compassion, as this is quite misunderstood. So here goes...
 
For reasons still unknown, my testosterone levels had crashed to become even lower than those of a senior aged man in his 90s. Along with my T-levels went my energy levels, my strength, my muscle mass,  my general mood... and yes, my libido too... which brought on the severe depression and weight gain. That's because testosterone doesn't just determine how well a man's sexual organs function, which is the general and incorrect assumption in our society. Rather, testosterone is the very "life force" that maintains the body's energy, strength, and weight. It's what allows a person to have the energy to simply live life.  Without it our bodies are essentially incapacitated.
 
I've been getting treatment for my condition for a few years now, and am finally starting to see the weight come off. So yah, low testosterone isn't a joke folks. It's a serious health problem that can steal a man's life away if it goes untreated, which is what happened to me for eight agonizing years. I couldn't do a single flight of stairs without getting winded. I had to sit down to get dressed after a shower due to fatigue, and showers had to be short because I couldn't stay standing up as long as I used to. Worst of all, I had to stop riding my bicycle because I didn't have the energy to peddle forwards, and I was only 34 years old.
 
As a result of this experience I now have a boatload of more respect for seniors because I have literally walked in their shoes. These days I get T-shots regularly, and will likely have to keep doing so for the rest of my life.
 
So my recent weight loss is for me the light at the end of a very long tunnel. I'm feeling so much better, and am watching how much I eat and avoiding certain foods. I also have energy to exercise and go for bike rides again. I hope to post an update soon to report even more weight loss. I especially want to loose another 5 lbs so that I'll be under the 200 lbs barrier.
 
I promise that if I ever manage to get back down to 150 lbs I'll post a selfie in my speedo! LOL... but I'll be happy if I get to 180!!! That's 35 pounds! I got this! :)
 
Update March 21, 2020: I'm now down to 202 lbs!!! Woo hoo! :)
 
 

Friday, November 29, 2019

If you're a guy who is into guys this is for you....

PLEASE NOTE: 
Due to the Corona outbreak the MAXpress Yourself art workshops 
have been cancelled until further notice.


MAXpress Yourself is the monthly workshop that I present for Max Ottawa, a health and wellness organization for guys into guys who live in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. The expression "guys into guys" refers to any guy who is into other guys, including gay, bi, 2-spirit, queer, and guys who are trans or intersexed. It also includes guys who may not identify as any of the above but are into guys, as well as guys who are questioning or curious, or are not out yet. So yah, any guys who are into other guys is very much welcome to join us at MAX Ottawa for any events, workshops or health services. Whatever your personal history is, wherever you are on your journey, Max Ottawa is here for the community so please come out and join us and make some new friends! Hope to see you at a future workshop!

If you have any questions about the MAXpress Yourself art workshops please don't hesitate to contact me at MAX Ottawa: mikey@maxottawa.ca

If you have questions or comments about a topic that is not related to Max Ottawa (such as my comic books or any of my blogs, etc.) please contact me through my personal email: mikey@pythorcomics.ca 

To learn more about Max Ottawa events check out "The List" on the Max Ottawa website!

Have an awesome day!!!!




Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fuzzy Pink Unicorn's Rule!!!


Hi all! Just hangin' out with my awesome fuzzy pink unicorn! A gift from my friend Stevie. Definitely something that every grown man should have. LOL!!! :)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pride Pepsi Can

  
This past summer, likely sometime in July (2018), I came across this Pride themed Pepsi can in a local corner store. I know it's just a Pepsi can so it may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me, I was quite taken aback and surprised to see it. In fact it still seems a bit surreal. 
 
Seeing this Pepsi can decorated with the pride flag, I instantly thought about my high school days in the late 1980's. I would often get a can of Pepsi from the vending machine in the school cafeteria to drink at lunch time while hanging out with my best friend. The cans were quite different then, and much smaller. Though, that's not all that was different. In the late 1980's it still wasn't considered a hate crime to beat someone up for being gay, or to write "fag" on someone's locker. Maybe if there was a witness to the beating the person could be charged with assault, but it wouldn't have been considered a hate crime. Getting the attacker arrested would also depend on the officer who showed up, as once they learned that the person who had been beaten was gay it was possible that the officer might decide that they didn't see anything worth reporting. 
 
By 1989, homosexuality (or to be technical "engaging in sexual activity with the same-sex") had only been legal in Canada for 20 years, since 1969. Social prejudice of any kind towards a minority group takes a long time to change, so in the late 1980's the outlook toward being gay was still quite derogatory. Gay folks were no longer being arrested for being gay like they were in the 1960's and earlier, but they were still being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their parents house, socially ostracized, harassed, bullied, and generally discriminated against in every aspect of their lives. Unlike today where some folks might purposefully chose to lead a gay lifestyle, such as having a gay fling or a long term relationship, back then being gay was not something that you signed up for or chose to be. It was something unfortunate that you got stuck with due to the whim of Mother Nature. The simple fact is, most people who are gay are born with a same-sex sexual preference and don't have the option to chose to be gay or heterosexual.
 
Fortunately I never experienced any violence in high school, nor was I ever bullied for being gay because I simply never told anyone that I was gay. I kept my same-sex feelings to myself. Frankly, I was much too confused about my gayness to accept how I felt. At the time I didn't understand why I liked guys so much and I struggled with the reality that I was sexually interested them. It confused me that I didn't have those same feelings for girls, but would instead look at other guys at my school that I thought were cute while feeling on the inside like I was swooning over them. I didn't want to be gay or accept that I was gay because having grown up in a catholic community I was taught that it was shameful, disgraceful, and perverted to be gay.
 
Of course I now know that's all a load of BS and I'm very proud to be gay. At the time however, knowing that I could be beaten up or bullied for being gay completely terrified me. Quite simply, I was a frightened teenager all throughout high school. For the sake of survival I supressed a lot of my genuine thoughts and feelings in order to hide my true identity from others, and from myself. Somehow, I endured this feeling of continuous fear from grade seven to graduation, essentially from 1987 to 1993. For me, the fear was just a part of being in high school.
 
Fast forward 30 years, so much has changed regarding gay rights that even the Pepsi cans have Pride rainbows on them! It's surreal to me, but it's a good feeling. Today police officers all across Canada walk in Pride parades to show their support for the gay community, gay teenagers are able to be openly gay in high school and take their sweetheart to the school prom, and colleges and universities have pride centres to make gay students feel welcome. It's a new world! And its one that at last I feel comfortable being my genuine self in, to be openly gay and to let my true spirit shine. I'll gladly drink a Pepsi to that! :)
 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A piece of my heart

Here is a poem that I wrote back in the 1990's, during my 20's when I was a young man longing for love...







Friday, July 13, 2018

In Memory of Gay Icon Tab Hunter


Singer and actor Tab Hunter became a Hollywood icon during my parent's generation. Although his rise to fame and the height of his career occurred well before my time, I was saddened to hear that he had passed away on Sunday, July 8 2018 at the age of 86.

I know little about Mr. Hunter and his career, and I can't claim to be a fan of his films as the only one I've seen, that I'm aware of anyway, is Grease 2 which is hardly a film one could reasonably measure his talents by. Instead, like many gay men my age, I'm mainly affected by Tab Hunter's sudden passing because of his role as a gay icon, and a very handsome one at that! It's understandable as to why he attracted such a devoted following of girls during the late 1950's, with his blond hair and his sweet smile Tab Hunter's looks were well suited to movie screens, on which he apparently spent a lot of time without a shirt... something that I'm looking forward to investigating further!

Yet quite remarkably, as with many other leading male Hollywood actors, Tab Hunter was forced to live a double life from his childhood in the 30's through to his senior aged adulthood, only recently confirming publicly in 2005 that he was gay.

His fame occurred at a time when society was so intolerant toward homosexuals that most treated the subject as being too taboo to even talk about, and as such for the sake of his career and more importantly for the sake of his safety and well being, it was not only prudent but necessary for Tab Hunter to hide the fact that he was gay. I find it ironic that quite contrary to the so called "controversy" of being gay, Tab Hunter seems to have been quite a gentleman and never did anything that was actually controversial... no excessive drug use or public incidents of drunkenness, no reckless driving, no forced sexual contact, no scandals what so ever! Evidently he was quite a respectable human being which, I think it's fair to say, is rare in Hollywood.

How sad and shameful that society forced a good man like Tab Hunter to live out the majority of his life in secrecy, concealing his true self and his true spirit from the world, just because he was gay. In the least, it's comforting to know that through it all he persevered to find a few steady partners over his lifetime. He also spent the last 35 years with partner and film producer Allan Glaser, who was quoted in the media stating that Tab Hunter's death was "sudden and unexpected".

Above is a YouTube video of Tab Hunter singing his hit song Young Love in 1957. He is sooooo adorable in this video! It's fun to watch as he  keeps breaking out into a big smile, as though he's trying to keep from laughing. Such a sweet young man! It's interesting that the song does not mention any suggestion of whom he is singing to other than a "young love, first love", and as such this can be interpreted as a love song for heterosexual or homosexual couples.

Tab Hunter and Roddy McDowell
Tab Hunter as he appeared at the height of his fame in the late 1950's.


Tab Hunter and Rudolph Nureyev

Tab Hunter... looks good with his shirt on too! :)

A more recent image of Tab Hunter, and his younger self from the late 1950's.

Allan Glaser and Tab Hunter


In Memory of Tab Hunter
1931 - 2018