What’s this buzz term, “Glow-Up” all about? It’s a fancy-sounding term that sounds good — sounds fabulous actually. 

So what does it mean and how do I get some of it? Well, let me dive in and tell you three aspects of my life I changed to achieve the Glowing-Up you see today.

When the Body Shouts

Waking up is hard, the body aches, even sitting on the couch has become uncomfortable! I know this spot too! I’ve been there. In fact, just over three years ago I had pulled my back out so badly from tying my shoes that I could no longer sit, stand, lie, or go to the bathroom without groaning. But here’s the thing: my body wasn’t crying at me to give up, it was crying at me to do more.

The body will tell you when it needs more work developing strength, flexibility, and stamina. If you are having a difficult time walking upstairs, like I was or you are pulling your back out over basic movements, then it’s time to pay attention, get with a coach and get yourself in shape. Most of my personal training clients come in not suffering from overuse problems, but underuse problems or issues with balance (an area used than another throwing equilibrium off).

Find a coach, join a gym, take a spin class. Whatever you do, don’t give up and succumb to muscle relaxers and Netflix — this path doesn’t get much better than just that, there simply is very little glowing up to do from the confines of the couch.

When the Music’s Over, Turn on New Lights!

You know those times when you wake up in the morning after a weekend of strobe lit music pounding ultra-fest and go, “What on earth did I do… I feel like shit and never want to do that again” and you know it’s not because you danced too hard. Well, if you’re like me and those instances keep happening then it may be time to consider if the party is still actually fun anymore. Is it adding to my life or is it taking away from my life? Does it make me dance better, or is it an illusion?

One thing that kept me from stepping away momentarily from the party life was a fear of missing out. I was so worried that I’d miss the next best thing. But, trust me, the party life ain’t going nowhere and while you’re gone you may learn to enjoy it more.

I absolutely love going to festivals, pride events, and all-night jockstrap parties. But, these days I never wake up regretting it. The habits developed during time off helped me to turn on new lights and enjoy myself differently than before. It did, however, take some time away from the party to develop those habits. But, maybe it’s worth it?

Spice it Up!

I don’t mean your food, but I also don’t not mean your food. By spicing it up I really mean to loosen up around your attachments, opinions, and things you think you like and don’t like. Open up to new experiences, new ways of thinking, new friendships. You may find when you do this that some of the things you told yourself you liked you simply kept liking out of obligation. But there is more to life than that and these experiences help us to continue growing and glowing. Spread your wings, open up your life, welcome in the glow up that’s around you and keep on changing towards being your best beautiful gay self.


My Best Gay Self is a column by author, speaker, fitness coach and LGBTQ addiction and wellness advocate, Mark Turnipseed. He is also the Owner and CEO of Integrity Endurance, a network of personal trainers with the goal of fighting the opioid crisis through fitness. Visit www.markaturnipseed.com to learn more/contact or to find his book "My Suicide Race: Surviving the trauma of addiction, recovery and coming out."


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