028E9: Mirror Self-Appreciation

Recent Progress Photos

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 221

I'm already 38 years old but it's only this year that I'm really starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. 

When I was very young, I was often described as a "lollipop kid" because my head looked very big on my small, skinny frame. After my very brief "growth spurt" in high school, my appetite for food resulted in me slowly gaining weight instead of getting any taller. Despite a LOT of walking in my high school and college years, I always felt chubby or at least pudgy, but looking back I really wasn't that bad. I just didn't have any sort of major muscle definition like what I could see other guys go through during those years.

When I started to live on my own, I really started to gain weight. And being a freshly out and proud gay man, I had to deal with a lot of rejection based on my appearance and I eventually learned to largely ignore my appearance and focus on winning people over with my wits, my geekiness, and my limited charm. And as the years went by, the pounds kept adding on. And I remained largely ignorant of them.

I have never felt all that attractive. Even when people said they were attracted to me, this was never how I've been able to look at myself in turn. I had invested so much into making sure that people appreciated me for who I was as a person and my personality and not the way I looked. It's not an entirely unhealthy approach to things since it gave me the confidence to accomplish a lot of things. But it also meant that I didn't really take care of my physical side. 

Then my keto journey began in 2018 and I finally started to lose weight. then I started jogging last year to keep pushing the weight loss. And this year I started to work out and have managed to keep up a general routine despite the quarantine lockdown and all the craziness. My mirror selfies have progressed from just meager efforts to somehow measure my progress to actually liking what I'm seeing. 

The objective side of me figures that the photos have become the best way to see how far things have come. My 2017 photos continue to shock me when Facebook or Google Photos dig them up because I honestly don't remember being THAT fat. I knew I was overweight but I didn't that big. And when I look back at those photos now, I can't help but wonder what other people were thinking about me because I don't approve of what I looked like then.

But now the flexing has moved beyond being just documentation efforts to actually *feeling things* as it were? I've incidentally held my own arm only to be surprised that I feel some solid muscle now - that my biceps actually have some decent mass to them. Recently I've been fascinated by my legs since they're coming along pretty well with interesting shape and form to my calves and the like. 

Who am I even? Who am I becoming? What is this transformation?

Life is too short for regrets, so I just keep moving forward. I use photos of my past self as motivation to get as far away from that version of myself as possible. I want to get better, get fitter, and maybe even look better. 

I'm 38 years old, but that doesn't mean I'm too old to appreciate a little external validation. This used to be an impossibility for me - at least when it came to my physical attributes. But now, one can only guess how far things will go. I doubt I'll become like a stereotype "gymfit" person. But I will definitely become the best version of myself - ever.


  1. You’re always the best version of you! But the better one is always a day ahead.

    Also, rawr!

    1. Better is good, too, hehe.

      Thanks David. Feel free to rawr me in person next we meet hahaha


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