By now, many people have seen the Xtranormal.com video, “Selecting a Gym in West Hollywood”. In fact, as of today, 8,699 people have seen it on YouTube, and on the original Xtranormal.com site, 13,753.
What many people don’t know is, I wrote it — along with my husband, Michael Ryan. We were just kind of checking out Xtranormal.com to see how it worked, and one thing led to another (fueled by extra indulgence in Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee, which was on sale at CVS the day before), and before we knew it, we had “our little movie” to upload to Facebook. I emailed about a dozen friends and just said, “You might like this…” without saying who wrote it.
We took a little break for lunch, about 30 minutes, and when I came back to see if anyone had seen it, I was pleased to see that 75 people had.
By Wednesday, over 12, 000 had.
I am very glad, and very grateful, that so many people saw, liked, and shared it. A little part of me was sorry that I don’t yet have 13,000 on my mailing list yet for my e-newseltter, “Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!”, or that I don’t yet have 13,000 subscribers on iTunes to my podcast of the same name. But I get it; people would rather be entertained by a 3-minute cartoon than read the “real” stuff that supports gay men’s mental health.
I worried a little bit about what “you guys” (dear readers) would think about a “serious” therapist writing a piece that rips on local gyms, stereotypes, and even uses mild profanity. But I would hope I could “let loose” a little without losing professional credibility. If we were to work together in my office, it’s not about silly stuff like this, even though my clients and I do laugh a lot and have a bit of fun mixed in with the real work of counseling/psychotherapy or life/business coaching. I’ve always been happy and proud that I am a member of the same community I serve, in which I both work and play, and there are times when I am speaking and acting in my “off the clock” mode, rather than “professional mode” — this video is one of those times. But I still am the same person. In sessions, we sometimes explore the various aspects of ourselves that everyone has, such as personal and professionals, for in the many facets of our personalities, each serves a purpose.
I could say more about the serious issues behind “Selecting a Gym…” about body image, self-confidence, a healthy approach to fitness, community resources, and self-esteem. But more on that later. For now, enjoy “Selecting a Gym…” for what it is — a lark, a moment of abandon, sharing a moment of mischief with my husband, and weekend fun being a geek with a trendy new software website (www.xtranormal.com)
But in the months ahead, I hope to give “my” community — the community of my gay male brothers — a little more to eduate, inform, and perhaps even entertain. I encourage everyone who has seen “Selecting a Gym in West Hollywood” to ask me questions, and tell me what they need to hear from me, as a gay male specialist psychotherapist and life/business coach. What kinds of issues do you want more about in my blog, e-newsletter, podcast — and — dare I say — xtranormal videos? I would be happy to help.
And…apologies to the gyms and the attendees we, uh, “roasted” in the video. Hope you have fun with it. It’s the only way to live. 🙂
While this little project was done in fun, I actually do work with gay men (and some straight women, lesbians, and straight men) on body image issues. They are actually quite common. Overcoming this challenge requires support and some mental (and sometimes physical) work, but it can be done. Counseling and coaching can help ease the burden of negative body image issues. For your free phone consultation about your specific challenge, please email me at Ken@GayTherapyLA.com, or call 310-726-4357 today.