I took more time than usual choosing an outfit this morning, because of two terribly conflicting forces. First, I was on my way to the first day of the National Gay Men’s Health Summit and, diametrically opposed to this fact, I went shopping for pants yesterday and discovered I now measure a 36 waist.

ScaleBelieve me, I know I have my priorities screwed up. And I should celebrate the fact that I have now been smoke-free for seven months, and clean and sober for 21 months. Funny how quitting cigarettes and crystal meth can wreak havoc with your waistline.

But I’ve bought into gay cultural norms all my life. The hair, the body, the gym membership, the dance floor, you name it. My recovery process has rid me of a lot of my old ideas, but standing in a Niemann Marcus dressing room trying to squeeze into a size 36 definitely tests everything I’ve learned about loving myself and accepting my aging process.

Fate laughed at me in that dressing room, and kept right on cracking up when I arrived at the conference today and saw the first scheduled workshop: Body Image and Weight Issues Among Gay Men. Hilarious.

The video blog will introduce you to some of the fine people at this conference, and a discussion with the facilitator and another participant after the Body Image workshop (sorry for the intermittent audio track problems). You’ll notice I layered my outfit, to little avail. Tomorrow, I’m considering a caftan. Or I’ll realize what a silly old fool I can be, and return to the comfort zone of my worn 501’s.

I’ll be at the Summit all week and hope to report back with another video blog. Meanwhile, please be well.

Mark

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