June 29, 2023 5 Min Read
Matthew’s LGBTQ+ Story: How He Became Healthy & Found Pride In Being Gay
Everyone has anger. Everyone has trauma. And for many of us, we retreat back into our comfort zones of what we think we can control. When we feel a lack of empathy and understanding from others or when we feel like the world is spinning out of control, we seek an outlet. Maybe…
- We outburst at passing strangers to feel a sense of release and as though we’re actually being heard.
- We reach for the nearest comfort food to soothe ourselves and forget about the chaos.
TaskHuman Specialist, Matthew Stotts, has been there. As a closeted gay kid, who grew up in a conservative and religious household, he used food as his vice to cope with the trauma. His wake up call came at the age of 17 when he stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office—only to reveal he weighed 515 pounds.
His doctor gave him an extreme reality check in which he could take control of his eating and exercise habits, or be dead by his 20th birthday.
With no resources or sense of direction, he spiraled into a new battle of eating disorders—bouncing between anorexia and bulimia.
Then finally, someone listened and gave him a sense of direction on how to manage his weight loss in a healthy way. Matthew’s coworker took him aside and made him look at himself in the mirror—to confront who he had been avoiding all those years—and invited him to join her at the gym. Losing a total of 300 pounds was not easy—he struggled with the loss and gains, yo-yoing between set points.
When asked what he would tell someone who might be going through the same experience, he shared these powerful words…
“1. Don’t compare yourself to your past because you’re never going to be there again. That’s then, not now. 2. Start small. Understand that you have a journey and you need to trust the process.”
His weight loss journey and decision to seek out help with therapy lead him to finally build up the courage to come out to his family at the age of 23. He chose to share his newly discovered self by writing a letter and mailing it to his parents.
The outcome? Less than ideal.
Unfortunately, his family did not approve—or understand—his sexuality, at all. Instead, they believed he simply needed to pray the gay away and disowned him for several years. He did not let the lack of support from his family deter who he loved. He married his fiancé and was recognized by the State of Maine as the third legal same-sex marriage to occur in the state. Later, he would also be recognized as the first legal same-sex divorce in Maine.
Like many who battle with the decision to come out, his internal monologue of disappointing other people was the hardest part to overcome. He used that internal monologue to drive him towards success.
“There’s a reason why I work as hard as I do… Just to prove to people I am more than just a failure.”
With four college degrees, two businesses, and working as a coach, he has achieved a much healthier space for himself.
Matthew wants you to know that “you are amazing and cute as hell”—just be sure to say thank you when you hear that! He can be found on the TaskHuman app specializing in lifestyle change, developing healthy habits, weight, and strength training for those who are looking to feel empowered on their journey to optimal health.
Ready to hear the entire conversation? Tune in here.