Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Report about My Weight/Ongoing Mental Problems.

If you have known me a little while then it is possible that you know I have (more than once) been diagnosed (by non-medical-professionals) as having something called body dysmorphia.

It is a terrible thing! Not as bad as starving or freezing to death or going to prison or anything, but just utterly wretched on all other accounts.

Basically it means that my brain thinks that my body does not look the way that it actually looks. My brain thinks my body looks way worse than it does. This is at the heart of most eating disorders and (I think) has a lot to do with why people get into extreme body modifications (like those weird tribal loops people put in their earlobes).

Thankfully I know that I’m not as fat as I think I am, but there is still a part of my brain that is all like, “How did you get to be like this you fat, disgusting jabba?”

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I TOTAL jelly-rolled-out when I was younger. By like 23 or 24 I weighted nearly 250 pounds, which simply does not look good on a guy who is 5 foot 6. Here is a god-awful picture from back then (I'm the fat one on the right, not the strappingly handsome one on the left). Feel free to laugh and laugh and laugh …

Okay, are you done laughing? Thanks … jerk.

Anyway, it has been a concerted effort to get and stay skinny over the last six or seven years. I don’t drink soda (unless it’s a mixer!) and I don’t eat potato chips (much at all, unless I’m like at a Superbowl party or birthday or something). Every day I eat Slimfast bars for lunch and have long since given up on eating breakfast (who needs the calories when you can just drink coffee?!).

I’m sure you find all of this fascinating.

Well last year I started running and I have seen some benefits from it, though not nearly as many as I would like (given how fricken’ hard it is to run!). I’m not yet lean like a runner, but it has helped me lose some more weight and actually start to feel kind of like I am in shape. But then, recently, … disaster!

In late November I was handed a whole lot more responsibility at work, which has translated into longer, more exhausting days and so I just haven’t been able to run as much recently. Well the inconsistency is killing me, because now if I don’t get to run for five or six days, I start to FEEL all loose and pudgy and disgusting and like no one will ever love me again. And because of the dysmorphia thing, I look in the mirror and go, “OH MY GOD! WHAT HAPPENED!?” See, because in my head being even somewhat heavier than I was a week or two ago is tantamount to turning into one of those bed-ridden people that the fire department has to rescue by cutting a Volkswagen-sized whole in the side of a house.

The reality is that my weight tends to fluctuate by only five pounds or so if I don’t run for a week. So this week I have been running and running! Even if I stay late at work, I still go out. Even if it is all dark and scary! (What? It is totally safe; I have a red blinking wristband and everything!) Even if I am still sore from running yesterday!

This is a commitment I have made to myself and which I am trying very hard to keep. What I really want is to be able to say, “I am in the best shape of my life,” and I’ve gotten to the point where I could actually say that, but don’t because I still have this issue when I look in the mirror; my brain says, “Really? This is the best shape of your life?”

Some people live their lives subconsciously trying to please a mother or a father or some childhood sweetheart, well I go through life trying to please that little part of my brain that simply doesn’t ever seem to like me very much. I’m luckier than most though, because most of the rest of my brain thinks I’m awesome. So I have that going for me. I just have to avoid mirrors.


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