Thursday, February 23, 2012


I’ve still been struggling, though not to the same degree that I was before.  Several of my friends have reached out to me and expressed their support, which has been helpful.  The other night at my support group meeting, one of my friends suggested that I begin writing a food journal of everything that I eat.  The key though, is to show it to someone so that I can be accountable for what I’ve eaten.  I haven’t yet started doing that, but I am going to. 

Lately, I’ve found that I’ve had a very difficult time sleeping at night.  When this happens, I usually end up binging during the night.  I don’t necessarily believe that I eat out of hunger, but more likely out of boredom.  So here it is, 3:20 am and I am really fighting the urge to go and make myself something to eat.  But I came online and decided to write about it here instead.

I was doing some thinking earlier about my life and what I would like to do with it.  For those of you who do not know, I am a singer.  For the past two years, I have made a living as a karaoke host.  It is most certainly a unique job, and while I’ve enjoyed being able to meet some amazing people, it’s not what I dreamed I would do for the rest of my life. 

Last fall, one of my friends that I used to perform with went on a show called The Sing Off, a group acapella singing competition.  His group, Pentatonix, was crowned champion of the show and they were awarded with a record deal and a large monetary prize.  This year, another friend that I used to sing with, Baylie Brown, made it to the top 24 of American Idol.  She is poised to compete for the top 12, and will hopefully do very well in the competition.

Another friend of mine, Kacey Musgraves, recently signed a record deal with a major record label and is currently recording her debut album.  She has been opening for some big name artists, and recently announced that she will be touring this summer as an opening act for another big name recording artist.

I am insanely happy for all of my friends, and I wish them all the success in the world.  I’ve been paying attention to their careers and watching them as they climb the ladder of success. 

I’ve wanted to be famous for nearly as long as I can remember.  When I was young, my parents bought a toy microphone for me and my brothers.  It had a stand with flashing multicolored lights on the base, famous lights I called them, and I used to sing into that microphone and imagine that I was singing for a huge crowd.  I wanted to be famous.

After I appeared on Intervention, I had a very small taste of what fame can be like.  People recognized me when I went out.  I got to be on Oprah.  I felt special.  But the attention that I got wasn’t for singing like I had always dreamed it would be.  It was for my weight. 

I felt an incredible amount of pressure to look good and keep losing weight.  I had an episode at work where I passed out one day, and the paramedics were called to check me out.  Thankfully, nothing major was wrong, but while I was being checked out, one of the EMTs asked me how my dad and brother were doing.  He had seen me on TV. 

At first, I loved the attention.  I enjoyed strangers coming up to me and asking me if they could pose for a photo with me.  But after I lost my job and started gaining weight again, I suddenly found the negative part of being recognized.  People would ask me how my weight loss was going. 

A few weeks ago, I went to buy a new outfit for job interviews.  I had to go to the big and tall store.  At my smallest weight, I had finally reached the point where I could shop for clothing at most “normal” clothing stores.  I cannot put into words the thrill I experienced in just being able to buy a pair of jeans at Walmart.  Those days have passed.

I went to buy the new outfit a few weeks ago, and let me just tell you that it was humiliating in every sense of the word.  Being currently unemployed, I did not have a very large budget for clothing, so the salesperson who helped me chose a nice pair of dress pants that were priced reasonably.  I went into the dressing room to try them on, only to find that they were snug.

Anyone who struggles with being overweight can understand when I mention “weight distribution.”  By that I mean a person’s body mass when standing can be greatly different than when that person is sitting.  Gravity is not kind to a sitting fat person.  We tend to “spread out” a bit.

So when I wore the snug pants in a standing position I felt moderately comfortable in them, but sitting was a much different story.  They went from snug to impossible.  The salesperson asked me to sit and put on a pair of shoes so that he could take proper measurements of the pants for the tailor to let them out.  He chose the moment where I was nearly bursting out of my pants with him kneeling on the floor while tying my shoes to inform me that he recognized me from “Intervention”.  He then proceeded to ask me, “How’s it going with the weight loss?”

If I had no shred of dignity or compassion, I would have responded, “Well, Dip Shit, I’m here shopping for fat people clothing, aren’t I?  How do you think it’s going?”

The experience was truly humiliating.  I am not in the same size clothing that I was at my heaviest, but let me assure you that I’m not far off.  And it scared me.  I was embarrassed and ashamed.

So my perception of fame has changed.  I no longer crave fame the way I did when I was young.  I have a problem of letting what other people think of me affect how I live my life.  I let their perceptions of me affect my perception of me. 

I’ve heard it said that fame is like having a microscope on every part of a person’s life.  When life is good, that can become a very addictive thing.  But when life isn’t going the way you want it to, I imagine that the attention is unwanted.  Just the little taste of it was enough for me to realize that.

What I want to do is help people.  I want to matter.  If that means I matter to thousands or millions of people or just to the lives that I interact with on a daily basis, I am okay with whatever God has in store for me.  This life is a journey of finding peace and happiness from within.  It’s not always an easy journey, but I am doing everything I can to keep moving in the right direction.  And if I can help even just one person with my struggles, then my hope is that by doing so, God can help me find peace and joy.

I have no intention of giving up music.  Music is my life.  I do not know what God has in store for me, but I know that if I have faith and continue to do the right thing, God will prevail.  Regardless of how much I struggle, God can overcome all things.

1 comment:

  1. Josh, I can't say this enough, You matter, your friends adore you! And I know I can speak for a small group of us but Im sure all your other friends feel the same! We miss you on saturday nights, so much has happened and we love you!