I have always been a big man,big tall and obese. There are no sad tales, I dated in college, confident and did all the normal things. Of course most of my life, I like a lot of people, didn’t measure up to the images on the big and small screens.
So I dieted, I’d lose 50 pounds, gain 70 pounds, through the years I’ve have gained and lost enough pounds with to have created a TV family.
In high school, I sent away for a male version of a girdle. I wore it to some event, and I looked fantastic, everything was in check, I had a flat front. It squished everything, and I mean everything. By fifth period, I was losing consciousness because my boys were being crushed. With the girdle, you couldn’t simply reach in and re-adjust the twins…you had to unhook,zip, snap, and take the thing off. After the event, I dumped it in some outdoor trash can. I didn’t want anyone to come across it in my drawer and have to explain.
One year I lost over 100 pounds. That year, I wasn’t going back. In the past I kept my old clothes as insurance. (one never knows) but that year I gave away all my fat clothes. I went to jeans store (this was the 70’s) and bought myself the tightest size 34 jeans they had, of course this meant a few square bottom shirts, made of the finest shiny polyester money could buy.
From the moment I tossed those clothes,away. My world started to crumble. As I walked by a KFC, a wayward button would pop off. I could never sit on a bus, even if it where empty. I refused to buy a larger size because it meant failure. At one point I was down to one pair of pants. But God has a sense of humor.
It was a beautiful bright spring day in San Francisco, I had plans to meet with friends to see a movie. Witnesses tell me my pants had givin up the fight before I left home. Somewhere between Leavenworth and Van Ness the rear end of my pants had completely separated. The square bottom shirt (now worn unbutton with a tee shirt underneath) spared me from total humiliation. Until my one of my friends noticed as I was walking up the stairs to the theater. I stayed and watched the movie and my friends walked me home circled around me. A friend bought me a larger pair of pants at Macys,but they were too short. Several inches too short, so I wore those short pants downtown to buy longer and larger pants.
Fast forward to 2015
I have re-gained that hundred and them some. Still happy, losing weight now because of quality of life. The Kardashians have taught me to look for my better side. Through the years, I have found the fit, so I’m comfortable.
For the most part, I look pretty good. Especially from straight on. I am bright,cool, confident. How so never things changes from the side. I was at an event in Atlanta, and was photographed from the side. When I first saw the picture, I didn’t recognized myself. He looked familiar. It was me. From the side I my profile looks like Alfred Hitchcock. Of course this picture was taken Atlanta Journal Constitution,the city’s main newspaper. It was a worthy event, but there was no way I was going to share this picture with friend and family.
I am very aware of the camera and whether its stationary or a video camera I’ve mastered the angles. If you have seen me on TV, I am nearly always standing and the view is straight on.
I rarely look at myself from the side, one glance and I can hear the theme from the old Alfred Hitchcock TV show playing in my head.
A few weeks ago, a cable TV show asked if I would appear on camera. I agreed, and then went into a panic. Will they film me outside, from the side or straight ahead. Will I be sitting down and if I’m sitting down, will they film me straight on or from an angle.
I called a friend to ask for advice. He is regularly on camera and via video chat he taught me how to stretch my body and breathe.
On Monday, I felt good and looked good. I think I was okay during filming and I will know when it airs this fall. As I was walking to the parking structure, I caught a brief side glimpse.