Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's Pretend

I've been feverishly working on a book that entails my struggles with weight loss over the past twenty years, so I've been even more lazy about updating my blog than ever. It's kind of amazing that, after all these years struggling for a book idea, one should come to me (in the middle of spinning class, no less) about something that has been my constant companion since puberty. That being, my giant ass.

I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Maybe I was just too close to the whole process. Maybe the process itself had become so second nature to me that I stopped thinking about it as a big deal and more of, "Welp, looks like I'm packing on the pounds again. Guess it's time to try 4 billion diet and exercise plans that will have varying degrees of effectiveness but ultimately won't change what's really wrong with me."

Focusing on things that are wrong with me is just soooo me. It's what I do. I see something that is wrong, and then I try really hard to fix it. Sometimes, I succeed. I quit smoking, and I don't mean I just stopped smoking. I addressed the way I felt about cigarettes and addiction, and I changed it. And because I changed the way I felt about addiction, it changed the way I confront other addictive habits. I feel so good right now overall, so much closer to the person I've always strived to be. And yet, one addiction remains: The addiction to constantly focusing on my flaws.

I always felt that if I didn't fixate on some aspect of my personality that I considered to be flawed or bad, it would never go away. But in reality, I was picking at a scab so much that it was never going to heal, no matter how much Neosporin I slathered on it or how many Band Aids I piled on top of it. Remember when Mom always said to just leave it alone? She was right. I wasn't leaving it alone, though, so it got worse.

Now, I'm tired. I'm physically exhausted from hating myself so much for so long. You know how people say that no one will love you if you don't love yourself? It's wrong. People in your life will always love you. Your kids will love you, you parents will love you (or they won't, but that's their problem because that's kind of their job), your dog will love you. Your awesome friends will love you, too. But, although your kids and parents and dog and awesome friends will love you no matter what, they will get bored and fed up with your constant self-loathing. It will make them not want to be around you. Except for your dog, but that's because you carry bacon in your pocket. That's cheating. Anyway, what that saying really means is that people will love you if you don't love yourself, but they'll stop calling you to hang out and won't invite you to karaoke night at their house anymore.

So here's the deal: I'm finished with hating myself, with nitpicking on stuff that might be considered bad aspects of my personality by people who judge and evaluate such things. That doesn't mean that the self-improvement ends. Oh no no no. I will continue to improve because I'm learning to love myself, and loving oneself means taking care of oneself. But you know what? My ass is big. It's probably not going to get much smaller than this unless I start doing things that go against my quest for self-improvement.

I also eat too much sometimes. There, I said it. I try hard and mostly succeed, but sometimes, when I've had a particularly difficult day, I have more than I should. Even when the day is not particularly bad. Maybe something is just tasty and I want more. So what?

Oh, and also, sometimes, I turn people down when they want me to do something or hang out with them, just because I want to be alone or spend time with my family. No other reason. I just don't feel like it.

Occasionally, I am not as direct as I should be. I'm getting better, but I will continue to fail at times. Sorry about that.

I don't always want to exercise. Even when I've been super lazy and haven't exercised in three days. Or MORE, even! Sometimes, I just don't like it. Sometimes, I want to plant my butt on the couch with a giant bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and watch 37 episodes of "My Crazy Obsession". This probably means I'm lazy, another undesirable aspect of my personality. Meh. Screw it. So I'm lazy.

I have no patience with people who 1) tell me outrageous, unbelievable lies and then tell me I'm crazy for not believing them; 2) try to engage me in an argument just for argument's sake; 3) blame me for things that aren't my fault; and 4) tell me that I'm not working hard enough on something, or that I should have done something different with my life than I have. But especially that first one, about the lying. I probably won't give you more than one chance on that one, which probably doesn't make me the bigger person, but I don't care anymore.

I'm also asymmetrical, overweight, my eyes are bad, I have a slight speech impediment because my two front teeth stick out from chewing on my fingernails for so long, I still chew my fingernails, I struggle finishing things I start, I have ugly toes and I don't like scary movies so please stop trying to convince me that it's fun to be scared.

Some people may consider all of these things to be flaws. I sure have, for a long time. But it's just too hard to feel that way anymore. I've got a pretty full plate. So how about this: Why don't we all just pretend that I'm actually an amazing person full of altruistic tendencies and charitable acts who is endless patient with your bullshit and loves it when you talk about how much you admire the Blue Collar Comedy tour comedians? And in turn, I'll pretend that you don't need to use A LOT more deodorant than you currently use, you look really good in Spandex and the fact that you love crappy country music is an endearing quality instead of just a confusing and baffling one.

Okay? Sound like a deal? Good. I love you, too. Let's be bestest friends forever and ever now for reals.

4 comments:

  1. This is such excellent news! I love the idea of channeling decades of angst into creative catharsis, particularly when it could net you international acclaim and loads of cash. Then you could hire someone to do all that healthy eating for you! And I'm deadly serious about being an early reader, just as long as you'll return the favor -- I'm helping a friend edit his memoir about growing up gay in Seale, Alabama. You'll get earnest feedback on 'My Giant Ass' and we'll get notes on 'Sissyhick' (I say "notes" because let's face it, I'm a little thin-skinned for earnest feedback). Deal?

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