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Day 5 – Where am I and where am I going?

In the previous post, I talked a great deal about the “mythological” concept of a gay ideal. In this post, I would like to define, in more measurable terms, what I believe the gay ideal to be, as well as to establish a reasonable goal for me to work towards.

First, let’s talk about my body weight. In fact, body weight doesn’t tell us very much, unless we think of it as a function of height. This function of height and weight is usually referred to as the “Body Mass Index,” or BMI. Now, let’s calculate my BMI and see where I stand! My height is 5’11” and I am currently weight 201 pounds. Using the BMI Calculator at the NIH website, my BMI is 28. According to the NIH, a BMI between 25 and 29.9 means that a person is “overweight.” A more “normal” range would be 18.5–24.9. I would also suggest that a gay ideal body sits within this “normal” BMI range. In order to make it to the “normal” range, I would have to lose 23 pounds. To be safe, I am going to make it my goal to slim down to 170 pounds, which I believe is a healthy and achievable goal that will represent considerable progress towards achieving a gay ideal body weight.

So, I bet you’re all curious! What does my overweight body look like right now? Here goes!

D5 D5-Profile

The BMI is a helpful instrument for people like me who have a high amount of body fat. However, there are limitations to this metric because it doesn’t take into account body fat percentage. So what is my body fat percentage? According to my fancy Weight Watchers scale, I have 28% body fat. However, according to Steve at Nerdfitness, scales such as mine can be very inaccurate. Fortunately, Steve has a nice images showing examples of what people look like at certain body fat percentages:

malebodyfat11 menbodyfat2

Using the examples above as my guide, I appear to be closer to the 30-32 percent picture than I am to the 20-22 picture. If I will make a rough estimation that my body fat is 25 to 28. What does having a body fat of 25 to 28 actually mean? According to Marc at Builtlean and the American Council on Exercise, a Body fat percentage above 25 constitutes “obesity.” Using the above pictures, I would define the gay ideal as being somewhere between 6 and 10%. I don’t think it’s at all possible to for me to get my body fat percentage down to 10%, so I will aim for 17% which is what the American Council on Exercise describes as “fitness” body fat percentage.

So how much fat would I have to lose to be 170 pounds and 17 percent body fat? After crunching a few numbers, I found out I would have to lose 27 pounds of pure fat and lose 4 pounds of muscle mass.

To summarize my goals: by the time of the cruise I want to be 170 pounds with 17 percent body fat.

Dan

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Day 1 – 150 Days to a Gay Ideal

In 150 days, on February 1st, I will be flying to Ft. Lauderdale, the Cruise Capital of the Caribbean. The following day, I will be boarding the 2014 Atlantis winter cruise through the Caribbean. That means I have only 150 days to prepare for the cruise.

This is not my first gay cruise. I went on the Halloween Mexico cruise in 2012. To prepare for that I managed to lose 25 pounds and get my body weight close to 200 pounds.

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Me and my friend Marc on the Carnival Splendor as we departed the Long Beach Port.

Almost a year after the cruise, I am taking this gay-cruising experience to the next level and continue my quest for a healthier, more fit and, yes, more attractive body. However, on top of just merely documenting what I am doing to my body and how I am changing it, I am also interested exploring why I am doing this to myself in the first place.

  1. Is it okay to be vain, to appreciate the stereotypical, athletic male body; and to desire to be that?
  2. Or is that sort of reverence and desire for the toned male body an intrinsically negative thing only causing self-hatred and low self-esteem?

I am not so much interested in answering those two questions for the world and making a uniform prescription to solve the problem of gay male body image, as I am in exploring those two sides of the coin as they pertain to me and my unique gay male body. This blog is intended to be utterly self-indulgent (a bodyblog by its very nature must be!) When I make a statement or comment, I am not speaking for any community, but only for myself. I am not looking to solve any personal problem or societal problem, but simply explore my own relationship with my body as I transform it into what I perceive to be a gay ideal body.

Before I go any further, I should clarify what I mean by a gay ideal. I chose the phrase “gay ideal” deliberately. It is not meant to suggest a standard that one must meet or surpass, so much as an almost mythological physique; unattainable, or at least perceived as unattainable. Everyone has their own idea of what is sexy and attractive ideal. Some people are attracted to those that are really big, really skinny, hairy, smooth, etc. I am going to go out on a limb and say that myself, like what I believe to be a majority of gay men think of a lean, yet muscular well-coiffed body to be an ideal aesthetic. I believe most men wish to make themselves sexually appealing to other men by achieving such a body. Put another way, if given the option for a man to change his body type to one of the following types:

  1. overweight
  2. skinny
  3. athletic

I am guessing the majority would pick 3. And I would like to move from 1 to 3.

It’s utterly unscientific, presumptuous and offensive to suggest that the majority of gay men find this body type to be the ideal. I believe it is at least reasonable to suggest that is the reality, even if it is not a popular thing to say.

So there, I said it, I want to be one of the lean, well-coiffed men. 150 days may not be enough time to transform my body completely, but I want to see how close I can get to this ideal. I want to exercise the discipline and restraint it takes to have a lean physique. What is it worth? What will it give me? How will I feel about myself in the end? Will it be worth the pain and sacrifice? Or will I even experience even cause me any sort of pain? How will I feel on the cruise? Will I be more self-confident? Will the positives outweigh the negatives?

And so I begin 150 Days to see just how close I can get to this gay ideal.

Dan