American Glutton vs British Shame

American Glutton vs British Shame

The internet exploded the past couple of weeks with images of the body transformation of actor Ethan Suplee. Why this suddenly went viral I don’t know. It is obviously something he has been working on for some time, but it seems to have just broken the internet.

American history X image of Ethan Suplee

Having only binged watched all of My Name is Earl last year (and might I add – THAT ENDING!! C’mon now! To paraphrase Dean ‘Thornton Read” Leaner the disappointment of the My name is Earl ending was the “most significant televisual event since Quantum Leap. And I don’t say that lightly“. And I do not say that lightly either!)

*Deep breath and move on..*

SO! Having watched all 4 seasons recently, and knew of Ethan from his other previous roles in American History X, Mallrats and Butterfly Effect, I was just as stunned and impressed when I saw the transformation pictures.

2019 image of Ethan Suplee

I am someone who has struggled with my own weight and image for probably the past 6 or 7 years. As you may remember from my first blog, I have also been dealing with my social anxiety and depression within this time too.

In 2014 I shocked everyone and announced that I was going to train and complete the Ipswich 1/2 marathon. I ate well, cut my weekly drinking sessions down to maybe once or twice a month (I still wanted some enjoyment!) and trained under my brother’s guidance at the workout equipment he had in his house and did lots of street running.

I’m not sure how much weight was lost. I don’t own scales and didn’t weigh myself, but I lost a good amount of weight. I was even starting to actually feel better about my body transformation. It was heading in the right direction

(I also ended up raising £1400 for charities)

Unfortunately, because I hate running, I got back in to bad habits of wrong food and not exercising regularly. Before I knew it POW all the weight lost was put back on again, and a bit more as well.

Image of me before 2014 Ipswich half marathon

Fast forward 4 years, my mental health was still scatty and I was extremely fed up of the way I looked.

I had tried numerous attempts at keeping fit and phases of eating better, but it always fell apart within a week or two.

One unexpectedly happy, positive and motivated day in 2018 I decided to do something drastic again. I signed up to the Brighton 2019 Marathon.

I told people, created a just giving page (total raised was £700 in the end) and got to work again. This time I got myself a personal trainer, Taylor. Well she was ruddy wonderful!

She’s the first person to ever get me in to a gym. Completely understood my anxieties and even took her time to make sure I was comfortable in entering the gym by myself.

Taylor did a glorious job at getting me fitter and made me work hard for it. I did street running as well as gym training.

My personal trainer, Taylor and I in the gym
Taylor, my personal trainer, who made me feel so comfortable in a gym.

April 2019 came, and I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life – I completed a marathon.

I still hate running, but now have a half marathon and a full marathon under my belt.

Again, I’m not sure exactly how much weight was lost – it wasn’t quite the body transformation I went through before, but I did still lose a lot of fat.

Image of me holding my medal for completing 2019 Brighton Marathon

That was 9 months ago, and guess what? I got lazy (again), my motivation dropped (again) and I have put that weight back on (again).

I don’t believe in diets as such, as they always seem more hard-and-fast-fads, which are generally not maintainable in the long run.

Going back to Ethan Suplee, when I found out about his body transformation I went and followed him on Instagram and found out he has a new podcast, called American Glutton. I have listened to both episodes available and love his story.

What struck me most about this, is he said he used to hate eating in front of people and would always be when he was alone. Whereas I feel I have to exercise alone and without anyone knowing.

This got me thinking, ‘why‘? I think it’s because I’ve had so many ‘I’m going to start doing x amount of time on the exercise bike x amount of days’ and no matter how small the objective I never, never stick to it.

With the marathons I told people straight away, because then I couldn’t back out as people were raising money for me and had an expectation of me. Without this I don’t seem to be able to find the determination to do this level of fitness just for myself.

So, when I do try just to get healthier just for myself I inevitably don’t get anywhere with it. Then I feel embarrassed and shame that again I tried and again I can’t stick to it.

2020 image of Ethan Suplee

I feel pathetic that I know what I need to do, but I just can’t stop being lazy and complacent enough to do something about it.

When I get in to this mindset, you would think that the determination would kick in and I’d start to do something. Not with me, ironically it pulls me deeper in to a depression and I head to food and drink for comfort. Thus the cycle continues!

Seeing his transformation has given me hope that I’m sure somewhere along the lines something will click with me. Something to help me find the motivation to get fit off my own back.

While raising money for charity is a good thing, there is only so much I can really do ‘in a bid to get fit’. Of course, this also comes with the awkwardness of asking everyone for the money as well.

I don’t know what the answer is, to find some will power I guess! Maybe I need to take a leaf of out Willam’s book and keep trying until I see the Schooner! Maybe one day that schooner will make itself known to me?

Moving on though, (as I feel this post already sounds self pitying, and that is not my aim!) I want to hear from people who have had similar mindset. Anyone who find it hard to keep the motivation to exercise sufficiently enough. I want to hear from people who used to feel like this but somehow managed to break that mindset – how? What worked for you?

Perhaps this post is more ‘thinking out loud for my own analysis’ and isn’t really going to help anyone, but I wear my heart on my sleeve, so some blogs will be like this.

Hearing your stories and suggestions may give me inspiration for what will work for me, as right now I feel I’m stuck in my rut of trying to be good and better but failing almost straight away and then diving in to a depression because of it.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Ethan Suplee and anyone else who has made a dramatic lifestyle change and body transformation toward a healthier you.

American Glutton podcast image of Ethan Suplee

You are amazing and I admire your strength to do so.

Go listen to American Glutton – new podcasts drop every Wednesday :

Episode 1: Introducing An American Glutton
Episode 2: Kevin Connolly: Actor, Director

Love

Ray X

p.s. The pictures I used of Ethan in this post and the main image are his images taken from his Instagram page.

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