Deprogramming

I have continued listening to the Food Psych podcast. I’m enjoying it, though I am still hearing a lot of concepts in the abstract. I think I am far enough down the rabbit hole at this juncture to stop, go back & start at the beginning. This is not to say the beginning of the podcast. I don’t have that kind of patience, but there are some basic tools/strategies that I can pick up from the creator’s website. I like that she has lots of free support options. Naturally she has things that you have to pay for, but I’m not begrudging her that, she’s got to make a living; but she doesn’t push those so hard. She seems to genuinely want to share & help and I like that vibe. I respect it and it makes me more likely to actually hear what someone has to say.

What I have learned so far is how fully programmed I am and how much work I am going to have to do to undo that programming.

There is a lot of talk about ‘diet culture’. Going into this, I thought I knew what that meant but I am surprised to realize how pervasive it is. How damaging. What’s worse is realizing how affected I am by it on a daily basis AND how much of it I have projected onto my kid.

It’s little, insidious things, like complimenting someone on weight loss. I mean, it’s a compliment, so what harm can it do? Well, for me, it has set me up to chase those compliments, that validation; to only feel halfway decent in my skin if I’m able to fit into a certain size. To wonder what people thought of me before. To never be happy with things as they are. Getting a compliment like that essentially means that you are being looked at and evaluated critically, which is a terrible feeling. So if I don’t get that compliment, does it mean that I was evaluated and found wanting?

It’s the categorization of foods as good or bad. I have found myself at the stove, cooking up my steel cut oats, which are objectively ‘healthy’, unless you are low carb or keto, and I start thinking about all the carbs and maybe that’s why I’m fat or maybe it’s the raisins or nuts that I mix in. So by the time I’m done, I have this bowl of steaming hot nourishment that again, is objectively ‘healthy’ and I can’t even fully enjoy it because it feels ‘bad’.

I have a dessert that I eat, almost nightly because I like it. It’s plain greek yogurt with some protein powder, a splash of almond milk, a sprinkle of granola and some frozen fruit. I mix it all up and it’s got this great texture and it’s sweet, but not too sweet, tangy and crunchy and cold. Just all the way good. And again, objectively ‘healthy’. Then this morning, when I was fighting the intense urge to weigh myself, because that’s what I do on Tuesdays, I started thinking about how I was fat because of the two chunks of pineapple or peach slices that end up in the frozen fruit mix. It’s MADNESS.

And guess what? At the end of all this constant torture and self loathing, I’m still the same size as I was. So what is all this self flagellation about? I had a thought about a woman I used to work with who died unexpectedly a short time ago. I remember how just about every social media post was about her looks/weight in some way, about chasing this ideal. And now she’s dead and what life she had was partly wasted on all this bullshit.

It’s so sad. SO SAD. So now I have to figure out a way to unlearn all this crap. To catch myself when I look at myself and grimace, which is basically every time I pass a mirror. I think this will take a while, but if I can free my mind of this nonsense and actually start to appreciate this body I have for all the things it IS versus all the things it IS NOT (and doesn’t fucking need to be) then it will all be worth it.

The Psychology of My Tuna Sammich

I must start this by saying that I just made a tuna salad sandwich that was just delightful. I mean, I’ve made tuna many a time and this was not really special, but it was so good to me in that moment. I’m writing about it purely because it was a small thing that I was abundantly grateful for. I’m experimenting with some homemade panko chicken nuggets for dinner tonight. If they are even half as good I’m going to be very pleased.

OK, so onto other things. I found a podcast called Food Psych, because I thought that it sounded like what I was looking for. It’s anti-diet, has science in the description and psych in the title. I started with the most recent episode, which is about Hunger & Fullness, Satisfaction and Intuitive Eating. I’m not convinced this is the show for me, but I haven’t given up. They have discussed a lot of concepts so far, but in the abstract, relative to something else, so I haven’t really learned anything quite yet. There is a lot of talk about ‘disordered’ eating, which I initially thought didn’t apply to me, especially since I know others who truly struggle with food.

I gave it more thought though, and realized that my eating is disordered, to a degree, and in the same way as many other people. The categorization of foods as good or bad, the shame of eating the bad ones and the boredom and feeling of denial of eating only the ‘good’ or allowed foods. I have realized for a while now that this is a harmful mindset, but never really thought of it as disordered, probably because it is so common and isn’t likely to land me in the hospital, at least not in an acute way.

Thinking of it this way allows me to be a little kinder to myself in my approach to fixing the issue. I’ve had these things drilled in my head for my whole life and yeah, it’s going to take a minute to unlearn some of these behaviors.

To that end the podcast has me thinking, and that’s a good thing. As long as it keeps doing that, I’ll keep listening. It is also important to note that even though my tuna sandwich was AMAZING and Emmitt offered me half of the second one he made, I declined, because I took a second to evaluate how I was feeling, and recognized that I was full. Then I thought, “but it’s so gooood!”, and then I thought about how the more I ate it, the less tasty it would be. I’d be stealing my own sandwiches thunder. Furthermore, if I decide I want more later, I can have it because I’m blessed to have ready access to food.

So, I guess maybe I’m picking more up from this podcast than I thought.

Bed or Pizza?

I went for a run yesterday. My knees were still not 100%, but I didn’t set out to break any speed or distance records. I just went out and listened to music and enjoyed being outdoors. My legs were super sore later, but luckily, my various massage implements arrived in the evening. I sat in my bed and tried them all out and am glad to report that they yielded results. I am not all the way cured, but I didn’t expect to be after one day.

I took today off from work for no reason other than to be lazy. I had no engagements, no plans. Nothing except working out in the morning, but that was going to be fun. I bought a set of workout dice and that’s what we use on Fridays. We call them Friday Fun Days and they are just that. Unfortunately, Emmitt woke up with a bad headache, so we had to shift gears.

We got his headache sorted out and then just chilled in the bed for a while, so relaxation day was back on track. Until the bed broke.

It was a weird, slow break, where one corner of the bed just sunk. The metal things that slot into the wood of the headboard leg just cut through the wood. This sucked and was also sad because I have had this bed for about 20 years and I loved my bed. It was nothing special, but it was mine. My first grown up bed. Naturally the mattress has been replaced over the years, but the frame was consistent. I was sad, but I had to laugh. Because, what the fuck else is there to do?

We took the bed apart and rushed its components out to the curb, because as luck would have it, today was bulk pickup day and we already had the mattress from my dad’s old bed out there. Then I set about vacuuming up about 8 years worth of cat hair that was under the bed. Gross.

As this was happening I was thinking about how we have to go get a new bed now, and how that’s going to cost money we don’t have but what choice do we have? And then it occurred to me that I don’t HAVE to do anything. We still have a perfectly good mattress and base, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve slept on a bed like that. Granted, I’ll probably bonk my head on the corner of the nightstand at some point, but I’ll learn and it won’t happen more than 2 or three times.

I’m thinking this was a test from the universe. A test to see if I’d respond as I usually do, and also to see if I would lose my shit and ruin my whole day by having a bad attitude. I feel like I passed the test. Granted, it ate into my relaxation time, I still haven’t finished putting the bed back together because I have to wash everything, but it’s ok. I decided I’m going to order pizza for dinner tonight which means I don’t have any more chores to do today except that bed and that’s good enough for me.

Sure, spending money on pizza when I have perfectly good groceries is not exactly responsible, but hey, it’s cheaper than a bed.

Self Care Experiment – Day… Oh Nevermind

Well that escalated quickly. This thing started out as an exercise to make sure I take better care of myself with things like breathing, mediation and stretching. By the end of day 2, I had three different lists, had started worrying about food again and was stressing myself out unnecessarily. So I’m pressing pause.

Over the past two days I have learned that I like breathing exercises and I will take that lesson and explore more things in the realm of guided breathing and meditation. I have learned that mainstream self-help type programs are not for me. It’s all common sense in hushed tones and teaches me nothing. No shade to those folks who benefit from these programs, I’m simply the type that conducts analysis on constant basis in my busy brain, so I’ve already hashed & rehashed these concepts ad nauseum.

I’ve been reminded of my tendency to immediately structure things into lists and to give myself hard & fast rules and deadlines. This is all counterintuitive because this is NOT how I live and has never worked to any significant degree in the past. What I actually need to learn are tools to encourage growth & change in a manner that is more complementary to how my brain actually works.

In the past, when I’ve made some major change that stuck, it was usually because I learned something new about behavior relative to brain chemistry, with a side of psychology. If I can understand more about what chemicals certain behaviors are triggering and why, I can work toward figuring out different, healthier ways to trigger those chemicals and therefore modify behavior.

So, I’ve got some research to do and that’s fun AND this experiment was not a bust at all, since I ultimately learned some things.

Self Care Experiment, Day 2

Turns out that I am a fan of breathing exercises. I do really feel a difference from them. I think it helps that these are nice and short, so I don’t feel the pressure of committing. It’s also a benefit to do them alone, because I always felt self conscious in yoga class when you were supposed to do the noisy mouth breathing. I tended to envy the people that were able to really embrace that. I also judged them, because deep down I’m kind of an asshole.

I don’t think I understand what I’m supposed to accomplish by ‘setting an intention’ for my day. I have intentions for today. I need to go to the store and do laundry, but I doubt that’s what they mean. Should I say I will be awesome while I shop for vegetables? I will fold this laundry like a boss?

Before low soft talking guy started in on day 13 of the program I missed 11 days of, he tried to sell me Campbell’s Soup for my wellness. Ok Niall, whatever you say. No matter how much you whisper, this shit is still a commercial and you’re not fooling me.

Day 13 is exploring whether the payoff of habits outweigh the downsides. I think this is an obvious no, because if that weren’t the case they wouldn’t have been identified as problematic in the first place. Naturally I would be better off not over eating and overspending, but this isn’t news, and up to this point, I’ve had no epiphany that is likely to make me change in a meaningful way. That doesn’t mean I won’t try again for the millionth time. I am in control of both of these things, theoretically, but there is something clearly going haywire between my plans and their execution. I need to find a podcast that will decode THAT. Then I’ll be golden.

The next podcast snippet was about relinquishing control, and accepting that it’s ok to let go. I agree with this, in some aspects. This departure from the message of the preceding entry is a perfect illustration of why this stuff is so hard to embrace. There are two distinct and different messages and they are both right in their way and the one a person may respond to on any given day is completely variable.

It’s hard to look for answers when you don’t really know what the question is.

Self Care Experiment, Day 1

I found an old half-filled journal in one of the boxes I pulled out of dad’s closet this weekend. I was using it to track my calorie and fat intake, because I was trying to get back into the 120s, because apparently my 2004 New Years resolution was to stop being so ‘fat’ at a whopping 139. I was also recording my burgeoning issues with alcohol. This shit is hilarious, and also kind of sad, knowing what I know now.

I also documented the death of one long term relationship, on 2/14/04 and an update about a new one, with the man I would eventually marry, on the next page, but many months later, on 11/29/04. By that time we had been living together since June. No moss gathered on this rolling stone. Also proof that my writing droughts are nothing new.

I thought it appropriate to start filling this journal up where I left off, a mere 16 years & 40 pounds later. This time, to track my foray into self care. I didn’t plan on the journal part, but the guided things seem to ask for it and I’m trying to follow instructions. Some of these notes will make their way here, because why not?

Starting my Spotify Daily Wellness playlist, I find myself rolling my eyes because this dude, in his super chill, quiet, slow voice, is shilling vegan supplements. Am I supposed to be calming down right now, or buying stuff? Ah, capitalism. Anyhoo… I’m trying to keep an open mind.

As the podcast well & truly starts, I learn that this is the 12th day of a 31 day exercise and that there are 31 questions that are supposed to lead down a path of some sort, but here I am on day 12. Up to this point this exercise was supposed to identify some kind of behavior and today we are talking about the downside of said behavior. Um… so do I start over? I’ll have to look into it. I went ahead & wrote down some obvious stuff. Example: I overeat when I’m stressed out, and then end up gaining weight and feeling shitty. I overspend when I’m stressed out, because I have impulse control issues. Often I am spending on food. So I end up in debt, which stresses me out, so I eat more. It’s a snake eating it’s tail y’all and I’m fully aware of it, so I’m not sure if this helps. All I know is that the intentional, slow, soft talking is making it hard to take seriously.

Next up – a few songs. I like this part.

Next up – a guided meditation with Deepak Chopra. I’ve heard of this guy, but never listened to any of his stuff. Looks like today is the day. I give this one an 8 out of 10. The breathing exercise was nice, I felt good and calm after that. I found myself actually able to focus on my breath, which is rare. My mind is usually on walkabout. I did not follow the instructions on how to sit, because they wanted me in a chair but also to be comfortable, and I was more comfortable on the floor sitting criss-cross applesauce. I was asked to bring my attention to a sensation, then move my attention away from it, then back & so on. I don’t think I did this right, because it’s easy to focus on a thing, like a sore knee, but then to take that focus off and move it to, nothing, that was hard. I ended up just moving my focus from thing to thing because I never found nothing. There was always something. The good news is that I was so busy focusing on my knees and toes and butt and whatever else in my futile attempt at finding nothing that I wasn’t focused at all on things that usually stress me out. So maybe I did it right after all. Deepak lost stars because of a very distracting nose whistle.

Next up – Jarring transition to Capital One commercial, followed by Deepak trying to sell me his book.

Next up – Some songs. I approve.

Next up – Some weird ass spoken word poetry that was NOT relaxing, or enjoyable. Maybe just not my cup of tea.

Next up – A few more songs. I never object to this part and will no longer mention it, unless something notable occurs.

Next up – Inspiration. I’m supposed to journal about what I’ve felt inspired by lately. I’m not really sure how to answer this one. I started writing again, but I’m not sure what the ‘inspiration’ was. Given the flurry of activity and self care bent of the last few days, I think it’s safe to say there is some subliminal shit going on, manifesting itself here, but I don’t have a name for it. I think it may be a defense mechanism; a safe guard for my mental health. I feel ok about that answer because I have been focused on me and feeling good about it. So I suppose I’ll say my inspiration has been self-preservation.

The rest of the material for today is music, so I’ll call this done. I’ll be interested to see what is in store for tomorrow. I do think I’m way too critical for some randomly curated wellness program. Self-help generally feels trite as an industry, so I will likely seek out podcasts or the like that really speak to me, and probably not in a super-soft, slow voice.

Trying to Be Still

I hated feeling so angry yesterday. I talked to Emmitt about it and he suggested that I talk to dad. Seems obvious, right? But in that dark place it was the last thing that I intended to do. Time passed and I cooled down and decided to take his advice. We talked and he appreciates it all, but acknowledged that the change is hard and scary for him. I prepared him for what is coming next, (new desk & dresser), so he can plan and think and organize. He will do none of these things, and I know that he will sit with me in that room while we discuss every empty pill bottle and old piece of mail, but I will go into it with more patience and compassion. At least that’s the plan. In any event, I feel better having shed those negative feelings and I can get on with my life.

I went to see My Amazing Trainer Ralph this morning. I wasn’t really feeling like exercise, honestly. No big reason, just generally stiff and unmotivated. I chatted with him for a solid 10 minutes and then started complaining about my knee, to kill more time. My knees have been bothering me for a while now. Enough to prevent me from running. I didn’t think there was an injury, per se, but I did think that there was something going on that could become an injury if I wasn’t careful.

I have missed running. It’s my alone time. I’ve removed any distance or time goals, so I just run until I can’t, or don’t want to anymore. Ralph suggested we go work on it. I jumped on board, because physical therapy is better than exercise, right? Except no. I forgot that this shit is torture. Ralph finds every knot and sore spot and just focuses on it, no matter how much I squirm or scream.

The good news is that my knee feels much better and I can can go for a run on Thursday. I ordered various kneading/knot tending implements from Amazon and I have been instructed to stretch & roll out my muscles after every workout, which I essentially never do, hence the jacked up knees. I realize that this is very stupid and I will do my best to follow instructions from here on out.

This leads me back to the thoughts I was having a few days ago about goals. I think I figured one out, and it’s going to be very difficult.

The reason that I don’t stretch or roll out or anything like that is because it requires me to be relatively still for a time. I do not like to be still. I get bored and antsy and I hate it. My old therapist, who I adore and should visit again just to catch up, once told me that if it’s hard for me, that’s evidence that it’s something I should work on. Makes sense, but I have avoided it religiously.

The hardest thing I can think of to do is nothing. So that’s what I’m going to work on. Every day, Spotify makes me a daily wellness playlist with some breathing exercises, mediations, a few songs… There’s probably more but I’ve only skimmed the contents. I’ve listened to three whole minutes of the thing and then I stop it. I stop it because it asks me to go sit quietly somewhere and my immediate response is, “fuck that shit.”

I can find time to do this. I will probably (definitely) hate it for a while, then maybe, like running, I will come to actually enjoy it. To learn from it. To grow from it.

Thankless Jobs

I intended to exercise this morning, but my neck hurt when I woke up, and then I sneezed and made it far worse. I was tired anyway, so it’s probably for the best. The flip side is that I could have used some outlet for my black mood, so here I am, hoping writing will help.

When my dad moved in, back in 2016, we thought it was temporary. We were providing shelter from a storm, literally. Time passed and we realized that he wasn’t going anywhere and we all just settled in. From that point on, there have been a series of decisions made in reaction to immediate circumstances that were not well thought out. I liken it to playing one of those tile puzzle games, which I am terrible at, we just kept moving things around. We moved me out of my office to make room for dad. Since it was my office, there was a large desk and other work surfaces and the closet was used for storage. The bed we had immediate access to was a queen, which was too large for the room, but given the immediate need would have to work. So we jammed it in there. It made opening the closet very difficult.

Time wore on and we had to make more accommodation since my dad wasn’t going anywhere soon. This meant a place to hang his clothes. Since the closet in the room was blocked by the bed and also full of my stuff, we got a little rolling wardrobe thing. It was relatively small, but took up what little space was left in the crowded room. We still thought this was ok, because we were going to quickly sell a piece of his property and get a new house for him. Right?!

I could bore you with the details of all the other small moves and adjustments we’ve made over the years but instead I’ll just say that at the end of it all, he had very little space, but had still managed to accumulate and stack years worth of bullshit onto every available surface, including the floor. This meant that I couldn’t even vacuum in there anymore.

The time had long come to make some changes, but I avoided it because it’s easy to ignore what lives behind a closed door and I knew it would be a battle to separate this man from his treasures.

When a bed became available, a basically brand new day-bed that was a size smaller and free, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. But I still did. Can you blame me?

I finally pulled the trigger yesterday. I kicked him out of his room and promised I wouldn’t throw any of his shit away without asking. I can say now that I did not break that promise, even though I really wanted to. He loves boxes and bags. If a thing came in a box, he still has it squirreled away somewhere, and the clumps of shitty plastic shopping bags are legion. I asked early on if he felt the need to keep some or all of these, given that a new one is provided for every purchase and we have a clump of them in the kitchen at all times should the need arise. He launched into an explanation of why he kept them, which condensed to ‘I take one when I go to the storage unit so I can use it to dispose of the DampRid bag’ – First, yea, you read that right, he has a storage unit that I pay for that is filled with bullshit he already forgot about, but he still hoarded up my house. Second, his bag reasoning was stupid. I didn’t say so, but I asked if he could just use of the bags from the kitchen and he agreed. So I won that battle, but the fact that I had to fight it was fucking frustrating.

Keeping in mind that he tried to justify keeping a million plastic bags, imagine the tedious stories I was regaled with in defense of every box. If I am ever put in charge of torturing prisoners, I have just the thing.

This went on for hours, until finally I cleared enough shit to get the bed out of the room. Then I had to clear the hoard from UNDER the bed. Once I could see the carpet, I filled the vacuum up three times TO THE TOP. I am sure I could have gone for four if I was so inclined. This is not a big room, y’all.

Oh, almost forgot.. I told dad before all this started that I needed him to just stay in the living room and let me handle this. He agreed, but every time he had to pee he would stop in and start touching piles of stuff and telling stories and being in my way generally. I haven’t taken Xanax in a long time, but man, am I happy I had it on hand because otherwise I would not have been able to stop myself from saying very hurtful things.

Once the bed was out and the floor was clear, it was time to open the closet. This was kind of exciting because it has been so long we had forgotten what was in there and also were hoping to find some long missing items. Since I had no real place to move this stuff, I ended up just chucking it all into my new office space, so I could go through it later. It was a sad affair, because I know how much space I have and I know it won’t accommodate all my stuff, so I will have to get rid of some of my sentimental possessions, like my wedding dress, to make way for my dad’s fucking box collection.

It was finally time to go get the bed. We had planned to stop and grab some food on the way, because I wanted to sit down and take a breath before round two began. The first place we stopped had a 30 minute wait. Fuck. Second place? Closed entirely. Third place, we didn’t even like but it was close. However, 25 minute wait. At this juncture, Emmitt is now super furious and I’m just starving and defeated. We decide to just go to Moira’s house to wait until she gets home to pick up the bed.

She arrives and opens up the garage and there are the components of the bed. Which is large and doesn’t look much like a day bed. I shrug it off. I figure it will all make sense when assembled. Except it doesn’t, because it’s just a regular bed. Fuck it, I can still push it up against the wall and it has a trundle, which I will just use as a giant under bed drawer. Except the hardware for the trundle is missing. No worries! The base is on wheels, so we can still slide it in and out and just keep it under there until the hardware is located. Except nope, because the bed is too big to go into the space available without blocking the closet AGAIN which would defeat the purpose of everything I set out to accomplish. I took another Xanax.

I wasn’t planning to move the rolling wardrobe yet, because while I had cleared out one side of it, the other side that had little shelves was piled high with his underwear and socks and various other dust coated bullshit. Including a watch, which I had been told at length could not be moved because it was solar powered. Because the sun is apparently only available on that patch of shelf. JUST. KILL. ME. NOW. Unfortunately, since I had to move the bed, the rack had to go. I chucked every shelf into it’s own box/bin to be dealt with later, moved the rack and moved the bed. Emmitt was still fighting his simmering rage while he puts together shelves we had no intention of fucking with that day so we could have a place to relocate dad’s crap.

Also, in the process of determining that we would need to move the rack, there was a part of his floor hoard which would need to go. This consisted of a pile of plastic shopping bags filled with things like vitamins and band aids. You know, things that could go into the perfectly good cabinet that is available for use in his bathroom. I decided to fight that battle another day, and just lined the foot of his beautiful, newly made bed, with garbage.

The shelves came in and I rapidly relocated his shit, and not a moment too soon because the dinner I ordered just arrived. Before we ate, I had him come into the room so he could see where all his stuff was and how much more room he had and how clean things were. He grumbled. I explained that I was going to get him a smaller desk and some drawers so he didn’t have to have his stuff on the floor and so everything would have a place and his space would be nice. He grumbled some more and I gave up.

We went to eat dinner and he complained about how his was cold. As I was heating his meal up, he effusively thanks Emmitt for everything he did today. All his hard work. What a guy.

As of this morning, my father has still not thanked me. I’m writing this, sitting in the middle of the disaster borne of fallout from a project wholly geared toward making a better life for him. I sit here prepared to spend more money and time to continue making his life better and I’m pissed. I’m resentful and my feelings are hurt. I’d like to think that deep down he is grateful, but I remember back when my sister did something similar and on a much larger scale at his old house. He still hasn’t forgiven her. To this day, if he can’t find something he blames it on her.

I don’t even know how to end this. It’s already far too long yet I am still feeling very unresolved. I supposed I’m just going to have to let it go.

Goals and Resolutions

The new year has me thinking about resolutions and goals.

I started with resolutions and realized I don’t have any. I am actually pretty content with things as they are and I am not particularly compelled to make any big changes. There are, of course, myriad little things that I can work on in the name of personal growth, but nothing so significant as to require a label or action plan.

Today I went to see my Amazing Trainer Ralph and he asked me about goals for the year. In my mind, goals for the year were conflated with resolutions, so I told him I had none. He pushed back and insisted that I need something to work toward. Something just for me. I still have no idea what that should be. He told me to pray about it and I will, but in the meantime, I decided I’d write about it and see if I have any epiphanies.

The first possible goal that came to mind was to write more. Or at all. I was on a hot streak for a while there, but after a time it started to feel like an obligation and I stopped enjoying it. Then, as time passed, any little thing I thought about writing down felt stupid. Why I felt like I needed some magnum opus to just write a blog after a few months away is a mystery. It’s not like this is groundbreaking stuff. Part of the issue was also that opening this site meant catching up on some people that I followed that have been pretty productive in my absence. I feel some weird guilt for not having at least kept up with that, but once the writing started to feel like an obligation, everything ancillary did too.

Before I started this, I really debated whether I should go back & read everything first, including my last few blogs so I could remember where I left off. I realized that this is ridiculous because A) no one is keeping score and B) no one gives a shit if there is a break in the continuity of the story of my exceedingly boring life. How self absorbed am I to have even considered that?

So, obviously I am writing at this moment, but I’m not making a goal of it because I don’t want to hate it and it’s not that serious. I considered making goals relative to some of my other creative endeavors and came to the same conclusion. If these are things that make me happy, I should do when they make me happy and not do them when they don’t. If that means I write only sporadically, so be it.

That takes me to the next obvious, and exceedingly popular, goal categories; fitness & weight loss. Yeah, fuck that. I came to the conclusion a while back that I’m fine as I am. My body is fine. It is not ‘perfect’ but it is mine, and what the hell is perfect anyway? I have wasted far too many years of my life wishing I was thinner and I’m not doing that anymore. I am quantifiably and demonstrably healthy and if my pants are too tight I’ll just get bigger pants. This isn’t to say that I’m going to eat cake all day, this just means that I’m going to continue enjoying my generally healthy diet with some indulgences when I feel like it and I’m not going to think about any of this stuff in the context of my weight or whether it’s good or bad. It’s food and if I want to eat it I will. I fully understand (and always have) that eating like shit consistently will make me look and feel terrible so I don’t. I weight what I weigh and that’s fine. The end.

Exercise has been fully integrated into my life at this juncture, so it’s not really something I have to work at anymore. I miss it when I don’t do it, so that will continue. However, I don’t see myself setting any goals in this regard because I don’t care if I can run farther or faster than anyone. I’m not competitive in that way, not even against myself. At my age, I listen to my body and I push it to make sure I stay strong, but what I’m not going to do it push it beyond its limits in pursuit of some stupid goal and end up injured.

So at the end of this, I have no more insight than I did before. I don’t have a goal. Is it ok to just be ok?

Still Annoying

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last wrote. At that time, I had just started logging food again. That lasted about a week. No big surprise there. I abandoned it and convinced myself that I just didn’t give a shit about it anymore. Then I proceeded to eat everything.

Shortly afterward, I started my second period of the month. So I ate everything else and found some more things to eat.

I lamented my stupid period and shook my fist at the skies and cried out for some sort of divine assistance. Divine assistance came, but not in the way I would have hoped. Instead of just magically fixing me, I was struck with the realization that my hormones were clearly out of whack and that my diet was probably the primary contributor to this issue.

So, faced with logic and shifting my focus from weight to health, I am embarking on another attempt at a lifestyle change. I’m bringing Emmitt with me this time.

I may be successful, as my mindset has shifted. This is often the state that precedes real change, for me at least. This is now something I want to do, vs. something I have to do. Time will tell, but I feel good about it.

It is annoying that I’m on this topic yet again, but it’s my blog and I have nothing better to say. So, it is what it is.