Bisexual Health Month has me heated up! This March, I’m using #BiHealthMonth as a prod to get me exercising again. Like many bisexual women, I’m also clinically obese, but in the most delightfully curvy way (or so my husband says every time he gets into bed). In 2007, while working for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, I decided I’d had enough of a size 28 life and embarked on a personal self-challenge to bring myself down from over 400 pounds.
A team of doctors including an endocrinologist, hormone specialist, and gynecologist diagnosed me with a rare hormone syndrome. Fixing my thyroid changed my life and allowed me to stop self-medicating with sugar (no more “coffee with my sugar” indeed). In three years I dropped 175 pounds and found myself able to climb stairs without collapsing every other step.
Initially, I signed up for a gym membership, but the pain and anxiety from the locker room really only fueled my stand-up comedy career, “Going to the gym on a Friday night is depressing. I had just finished tying my shoes when I looked up and saw a little person give me a disapproving shake of the head, that’s how sad I looked just getting ready! After walking around the gym three times, I considered myself pretty sweaty and went back to the locker room to rest. As I entered, I saw a thin woman weighing herself repeatedly on the scale and thought a joke might help her put it all in perspective. So I snuck up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around, I said in my saddest, most nostalgic voice: ‘I used to look just like you.’ The look of horror I received only confirmed my suspicion, 24hr Fitness would win yet again!”
So I “cancelled” my gym membership (otherwise known as “pay for the year, go for a day”) and bought myself a Wii Fit. The instructors were mindless, but I was able to commit to a change in lifestyle that saw me fitter than I’d ever been. Fast forward several years and I’m now a mom to an adorable two-year-old boy named Storm. I’m more settled into motherhood, and am better able to juggle life as a mom, step-mom, wife, bisexual advocate, and writer. For too long I’ve relied on running after my Storm to keep my heart pumping, plus my Wii Fit trainers no longer engage me as they once did. I decided to subscribe to Men’s Fitness for the latest tips (I generally subscribe to both men’s and women’s magazines, as a bisexual I find it lovely to see images of all genders, and as a wife I can cut out tips for my husband so everyone wins).
Men’s Fitness tells me getting bored with your workout is quite normal and provides 10 New Ways To Overcome Workout Laziness. “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels (a proud bisexual mom of two kids) has spoken extensively on workout fatigue as well, saying, "If you get a flat tire, you don't get out of the car and slash all three other tires."
Jillian and her wife have a multi-racial family with two young children similar to my own, and seeing Jillian style her daughter’s hair reminds me of my husband with our son before we gave him a “Storm-hawk.” If Jillian can run an empire, and bisexuals have a whole month dedicated to discussing their health, shouldn’t I be able to Zumba? Sure the Zumba belt wouldn’t fit me if I had two of them connected, but isn’t getting my heart rate up on a consistent basis what really matters? I want to be able to run after my son and catch him. I want to be able to speak well on behalf of the bi community in clothes that fit me beautifully and someday I WILL fit more than just a single ankle into a pair of skinny jeans!
To join the Bisexual Health Month campaign, follow the Bisexual Resource Center on Twitter (@BRC_Central) and use the hashtag #bihealthmonth.
Originally from San Luis Obispo, California, Faith Cheltenham is the current President of BiNet USA, a national non-profit advocacy organization for bi people. Faith’s been an LGBT activist for 15 years and is also an accomplished writer, poet, and stand-up comic. Faith is mom to two-year-old Storm, step-mom to six-year-old Cadence, and wife to Matt in a very modern family in Los Angeles.