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Being Bearly Healthy

Trying to be healthy in a body I love

I emerged on to the gay scene in the 1970’s.

Bullied at school for being the fat kid who was useless at sports I’d always been insecure about my body shape. The total confusion about my emerging sexuality only added to the adolescent angst of it all.

Whilst the penny did finally drop about why I was probably looking at men all the time it would be some years before I would discover the gay scene.

It was the late 1970’s and suddenly sex was on the agenda.

Except I was one of those Fats who, along with the Fems and Freaks, no one wanted to been seen with.

Welcome to the scene, or rather the shadows at the back of the bars. We wouldn’t want to offend our body beautiful brethren would we. Well that’s how it felt for me and probably for other men like me.

Then the Bear/Chub groupings started to emerge and I started to feel at home. Socially I was sorted, sexually too thanks to the chasers/admirers/cubs, or whatever they identified as, who fearlessly came out of the closet as liking body shapes like mine.

I still wasn’t happy about my body shape though. A lot of damage to my self-esteem occurred in those formative years, only to be compounded by increasingly shrill health messaging and failed yo-yo dieting, weight loss, weight gain and repeat.

Now as I near my 70th birthday I find out that a lot of the health messaging that has kept me on those diets and treadmills has been based on shite research and food industry skewed 'science'.

Until late 2021 I was a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure and resigned to failing health and increasing medication.

I now find myself no longer type 2 diabetic and with more energy than i’ve ever had, not on a calorie controlled diet, nor grinding away fruitlessly at the gym.

I’ve learned that my body, if I work with it, will take care of my health and weight. All I have to do is feed it the right stuff and stop obsessing about the scales.

The newer research tells me that my body will achieve the weight it is genetically programmed to be so I no longer need to think in terms of what my BMI is.

I still have to do the work around my body image stuff though.

I have learned all this firstly on a pilot health course my doctor referred me to and through broader reading about the science of it all.

That course is unlikely to be available for many in the short to medium term.

I want to share my learning with my community. A community that doesn’t have its health and wellbeing needs well met.

I’ve built this website to share that learning.

Gerard Gudgion