I guess I should get this out of the way first. This isn’t about low self-esteem or degrading my body. I understand those are serious problems that many people face, but this post isn’t about that.
I am ashamed of my body, but for different reasons than what you are probably thinking about.
I have high expectations for myself. You probably do as well. If you don’t, then you should because you are awesome.
If I look at myself as a video game character and the highest level I can achieve personally is level 10, then I am probably level 3. Now I don’t think I need to get to level 10, but there is no reason I shouldn’t be at a level 7 for most of my life.
So when I look in the mirror I see a body that I continue to ignore. I see a body that shows all of the decisions I have made over the past 10 years. It’s like my body is my own personal History book that I’m living out in real time and I don’t have the option to rewrite history.
Do I really not care about my body enough to take care of it? Sure I’ll go on streaks where I’m the healthiest person on the planet, but then I’ll slip up because I’ve earned it. But instead of slipping on a flat surface, I slip on the downward slope of an icy mountain and there is no chance of climbing back up to the top.
I’m ashamed because I’ve allowed myself to get like this. If I had kids I would preach to them the importance of valuing both your body and mind and I would be a hypocrite. If you’re going to do something, do it well I would proclaim and they would stare at me wondering why I am not following my own words.
This might be the part where you think I’m going to proclaim that I have no turned a corner. Nothing but awesome decisions from here on out, but that isn’t the part of the story I’m at yet. Instead, I need to understand why I continue to sabotage myself. Simply telling myself that tomorrow is the day I’m going to start getting better isn’t going to work because I’ve done it over 50 times before.
I’m ashamed of my body because I can do better and I’m not even trying to do so. It’s almost like I’ve accepted my fate to be a guy that sits at the computer and doesn’t get super fat, but doesn’t stay healthy looking either.
I’ve settled for something that I shouldn’t be settling for and that’s why I’m ashamed.
Every day is like my birthday or New Years in the sense that I reflect on what I haven’t done in my life.
Do I Want It?
If you really want something enough you will go out and get it.
That’s the scary thing about all of this. I believe that line above. I believe it because it lets me know I can do anything if I really want it.
If I want a fit-looking body then why don’t I have it? Have I sacrificed it for the greater good of something else? That’s what I would lead myself to believe, but I know that isn’t the case.
Getting the body I want doesn’t require 5 hours of working out each and every day. It requires an hour of working out on most days and eating healthy.
Where does that hour come from? It can come from the time I waste watching TV or browsing the Internet. There are small pieces of time that I can get back throughout the day. That one hour doesn’t mean I have to completely give up something else.
I just have to do a better job of finding those minutes. I know they are there.
I’ve read books on willpower and I have a pretty good understanding of it. It’s really a fascinating subject if you ever get the chance to dive into it.
The thing with willpower is that we do a much better job of making the right choices when we acknowledge that we need willpower to make them.
For example, if you stick a cheesecake in front of me and I ask myself do I want to eat this or not, then the answer will always be yes and I will end up eating it. However, if the question changes to do I need any willpower to prevent me from eating this cheesecake then the answer is still yes, but now I’m not eating any cheesecake.
The thing is, I ignore all of this. Why? Because there is always tomorrow.
King of Procrastination
On my tombstone it will probably read He will get to it tomorrow. Everything can always be done tomorrow.
Client project? Tomorrow.
Cleaning the dishes? Tomorrow.
Getting healthy? Tomorrow.
I treat my body like I treat school projects. Everything gets put off till tomorrow, but the scary thing is, with your body the deadline gets shorter and shorter.
Treat your body like shit, your timeline looks like shit.
Maybe I could add an extra 5 minutes of living with my family if I don’t finish this half bottle of Tequila. Nah, I’ll start tomorrow.
I don’t think it works like that unfortunately.
Look at all of these poor choices I’m making. I’m not ashamed of my body, my body is ashamed of me.
A Toxic Relationship
My mind has a toxic relationship with my body. My mind doesn’t listen to the body. I can be sick for 2 months straight and my mind will say it’s just a one off, but when it happens every year something is off.
When I’m fighting a hangover my mind tries to figure out the best way to drink the same amount next time, but have less of a hangover. Somewhere locked deep in the basement my body is screaming to stop drinking so much then you won’t have this problem.
The mind doesn’t listen.
My body wants to be proud of the mind. It wants to tell it good job, but it can’t. The mind keeps letting it down with its poor decisions.
One of the reasons why I wanted to create this site was because my mind needed some self-reflection. It can too easily move on to the next bad decision without thinking about the previous one. Thrive/Strive is here to show the mind that it keeps on fucking up and eventually it needs to stop.
I’ve let my body down. It has every right to be ashamed of me because I made it look like this and I haven’t done anything to fix it. I could tell you that this ends now and right at this moment I am going to fix things up, but I don’t want to make that promise.
Because I’ve made it too many times before. No, this time, I’m not making any fake declarations. This time, I’m going to quietly go about my business to show my body I do love it and I will do what is right for it.
I need to fix this toxic relationship before the body breaks up with me. I know I’ll never find another body like it.