Weighing It Up

I weighed myself today. For the first time since the start of November. It is an activity which is loaded with meaning, because despite never being ‘a slave’ to the scales, it’s still a thing that lingers. It’s existence is enough to get me into a bit of a state. So, when I weigh myself, like I did, and I ended up being just under 16 stone, I could have cried.

For too long, the number on the scales or the size of one’s waistband, has been used as a way to identify people. People who a person has never met. There are a number of personality traits, which have, falsely, been connected to people who are overweight. Laziness, stupidity, dirtiness, rude, many more things which seem to be tied to a person being overweight. All without merit.

My weight has been a problem for years. I have faced comments about my weight since I was at school, back when I weighed way less than I do now. I always had a stocky build, my Grampie used to say I was ‘built like a rugby player’. This was enough for me to be bullied. And for me to understand that my weight is a reason for me to be seen as a horrible person. My mental health suffered so much, and eventually i turned to food to cope. I could eat away my problems. A coping mechanism I still have to this day.

I watched a video recently by a personal trainer on TikTok (Gavin McKinney) who said that using food as a coping mechanism was a good thing. It helps people cope with bad stuff, and means they are still here to see another day. When I tell you I cried after seeing that video, I mean I cried my eyes out. So the first think that needs to be done, is a find a new way to cope. Because if you don’t find a new way to cope, food is going to look like the answer again. That should not sound as revolutionary as it feels.

I am having problems with arthritis in my knee, and I want to make my health better, to ease the pain. Make myself feel better. Because that’s why things should be done, to improve one’s life, right?

I may repeat myself, as I try to figure all this out.

You Do You

What is the worst habit that you have?

Some would say smoking, not exercising enough, or drinking too much. I would say that most people’s bad habit should be talking about other people. Talking poorly about a person you don’t know, or only partly know.

A person only starts to think about this when it is them being spoken about. It is for them that an area turns quiet as they walk by, hushed voices giggling to one another. People speak, and sometimes their words get back to the person they are about. And when you are struggling to function, to hear others speaking nonsense can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Normally in this situation, people don’t realise the damage they have done till it’s too late. It can be hard to admit that the words that you have spoken could have really hurt someone. Because, that is never the intention. People talk rubbish about others to help ease their own frustrations about work, life, or whatever.

I know that I have been at both sides of this. I have talked crap, but I have also had crap said about me. And it is something that I have been thinking about a lot. I know that, personally, I want people to like me. I want to be friends with everyone. Of course, that is something that is not always possible, you cannot please everyone. And, to hear that people don’t like me to the point that they’d talk as soon as my back was turned, broke my heart. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. I would worry about something like this for weeks. I would analyse every little thing I did, to see if there was anything that would offend anyone. It’s compulsive and irrational, but I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve tried to change things. Focus on myself, and do what makes me happy. I wouldn’t purposely harm anyone or anything, and that should be my focus. Some people won’t like me, but that’s okay. I’m going to just try do what I like. Keep my mind busy, so that I don’t worry so much about what other people say. It’s easier said than done, though.

Brain explosion

A head exploding. Apparently.

Sometimes it feels like everything is too much. It’s like I have so much to try and focus on, it’s like my brain is going to explode. There is too much to get done, and I am far to indecisive to pick what needs to be done first.

There is so much going on that my attention flits between different things. I always have a list of things I need to get done, and every night I come home and do none of it. Which is bad enough. But I sometimes have time sensitive things that needs done, and I can’t do it. It’s like my brain stalls, and I simply sit and do nothing instead.

When I try to get myself moving, it is never just the one think my mind picks at. No, everything comes at once. ‘I have washing to do’, is joined with ‘I’d better study’, then ‘I still haven’t finished that book’. And finally ‘look at this political mess, everything is f#*ked’. Now separately these things seem okay, but, all together it’s another story. It all adds to my anxiety, the panic I feel when it seems like I can’t do anything.

It’s this feeling of failure, when I can even do the most basic of goals. I over-think and become overwhelmed. It’s not a nice feeling.

Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

A Good Kind of Challenge

Life can be very boring if you fill it with things you have already done. Things can get boring and repetitive. How can you expect yourself to get any passion or love for life, if you are bored. If you don’t find joy in things, it is easy to lose all energy and the will to do anything at all.

Sometimes, doing something new is good for you. It can get the adrenaline flowing, and give you a bit of a thrill. Being able to do something new can help you find a bit of self-worth. And that is something that should never been sniffed at. Every single person should strive to do things that makes them feel better. Because once you feel that feeling of joyous achievement, you can get addicted to it. Something completely different to the old feeling of dwelling on your failures.

I remember seeing something somewhere, which said something along the lines of, ‘if you fail at something, it means your journey isn’t finished’. Which is very true. If you are unable to do something, you either try, or move on to something else. Failing to do something shouldn’t be a bad thing. Think it was a bad thing, is what has stopped me trying so much in my life.

In my work, I had to do some, what I would call admin work. It was a headache, because it is the normal kind of thing I can get flustered over, but I didn’t. I just got my head down, and did my best. Which was all I could do. And I have left with the job completed and feeling quite accomplished. Normally I would pass on something like that, but when that option was taken away, I just did it. I feel in a good mood as a result. Which, considering how I have been feeling lately, is a good thing.

Gym Bunny

Today marked my first gym visit of 2017. I had a wee break at the tail end of last year, with the busy period at my work, and then Christmas. I can honestly say, that I missed the good feeling that I get from an hour or so working out. It is almost like I can be a different person, a less stressed, happier person.

I started going to the gym in May last year, after my work advertised a good deal with the local leisure center trust. There was no contract, so I thought I would try it out. I have wanted to go to the gym for years, but I was so scared. I am not the smallest of people, weight wise, I never have been, so I was really nervous about going to the gym. I think I always thought that people would be mean, like what I have experienced at other places. Something that has made me feel so stupid, and useless before. Total strangers thinking it is okay to berate me as they pass, because I am overweight. Not a nice feeling.

But, I pushed through my negative feelings for a change. And I went. And I discovered that there were people, just like me, using the facilities. Sounds stupid, but I think it is easy to assume that the only people who use gyms and such, are people who are already fit. Which is not true. It is people who want to better themselves, whatever their physical state. And, when I started exercising, I felt so much better. It felt like, all those anxieties that I felt upon initially walking into the gym, just went away. It was like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was an addictive feeling, and I started to go regular. I would spent time at the gym on my days off, and it really effected my mood.

I have been a wee bit stressed out this week, so I thought that I would take the opportunity with my quiet weekend, to get back into the gym. So I went today, and that great feeling came rushing back to me. Which has been a real boost to keep on track with my plans for the year, and forming new habits. Although, doing exercise was initially to get me fitter, it has been the improvement in my mental health that has kept me so interested. The shift of my goal from weight-loss to focusing on feeling better, was a game changer. It also meant that when I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted, I wasn’t disheartened. To be able to commit to things better, like I am aiming for 2017, I need to shift perspective on my goals. Hopefully I can figure out a way to do that.

Blog Your Feelings

I have spoken to quite a few people about the subject of writing a blog. Many people seem to struggle with the concept of writing about personal thoughts on a public forum, when you can’t express it to people in real life. And when I think about that, it does sound fairly strange. But I do have personal experience on why keeping a blog can help a person.

I have been struggling with various things over the last few years, things that are integral to who I am. And I feel that using this blog as a ‘think space’ helps me try and organise my thoughts. And it also is good to look back on, and see any progress that I have made. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much, but it does help. Particularly when I have a bad depression period, when I struggle to focus on anything other than my failures. It helps to see that sometimes there are better times, and that I can get through it. I find it reassuring.

When I first started blogging, several years ago, I read a lot of other blogs. Blogs which actually provided me with hope and thoughts that I wasn’t as different as I felt. And if you are having problems in life, I think it helps to know that other folk experience similar things to you. And by sharing my own stories, maybe it can help someone else. And I think, as people, that what most folk want to do. Help those who have experienced similar issues to ourselves. And as we search through life to become a better version of ourselves it’s only natural to want to document it.

Or that’s what I think, anyway.

I’m Addicted To You

I was watching some show on TV last night, that talked about how easily people can become addicted to things. Be it narcotics or sky diving, people get addicted the good feeling, that comes with a particular activity. Everyone has something that they are addicted to. Whether it is watching Coronation Street without fail, having a whiskey every night or topping up your fake tan. There is something that you can do every day without thinking, something that you do because it makes you happy.

If that is the case, why do people like drug addicts and alcoholics become the most hated people in modern society. They aren’t really any different to you, except they just ‘get their kicks’ in a different way. It is just their addictions can lead to problems with their own bodies, and behaviour problems that effect the general public. So the final outcome of their addiction may be problematic, but do they deserve the damning that the majority of people give them.

I don’t think so. If you expect someone to accept that you are addicted to looking and feeling a certain way, surely alcoholics and drug addicts are no different. They, like us all, are just looking for something to help through life, and make things easier. Everyone has something that makes life a bit easier to cope with it. So why demean others for doing the same thing?

Change because of defeat is victorious

I tried to explain yesterday,(indirectly) the difficulties that arise when a person has to admit defeat on a particular subject. As hard as it may be to accept, not everyone is born experts at everything. Sometimes we need to learn that the best way to overcome a problem is to face it head-on.

This may be something that is just as difficult, if not more so, than admitting that there is a problem. But if you ‘suck it up’ and deal with the problem, then look to change things away from the problem. Resolve a change can be the best, most productive thing to do in any situation. Again, it is a challenge, but that is a part of life, it is full of challenges. The only way a person will make it through life is to take on the challenges, pass or fail.

This idea has come from me trying to be positive thinking. It’s trying to find that silver lining that you hear about in all the songs and movies. And it has actually made things easier to accept and work with. This is so that I can make the change in my life, and turn things around.

Here’s hoping anyway

 

Look To The Other Side

How many times have you acted without thinking about anyone but yourself? Be honest with yourself. People act without thought several times everyday. This is not meaning to disrespect anyone, or to make anyone feel guilty. It is just trying to get people to acknowledge that we are all selfish, more frequently that we’d dare to admit.

I was watching this new programme tonight called Prisioners’ Wives, created by the BBC, focusing on women whose spouses had been locked up. The episode centres around Gemma, a young twentysomething who is happily married and 6 months pregnant. It falls apart when her husband, Steve, is arrested for murder and Gemma’s life is placed into turmoil. To the the police who speak to her like a criminal, to her work where she may lose her job, everything quickly becomes a mess. It focuses on what the criminal leaves  behind.

Now whilst, it may seem that I am refering to the criminal, not thinking about his wife when he commits crimes, but I am mostly thinking of other people. You can feel the nerves as Gemma feels people judging her on what her husband has done. And it is realising that you will NEVER know what a person is like 100%, and doing so shakes the very foundations of everything you believe in.

It’s the fact that people automatically tag you as ‘bad’, despite never doing anything illegal, and being as innocent as any victim. But yet, people outside judge a person as good or bad dependant on circumstances thrown at them, which is none of their doing. It should be the dury that judges a person, not the press or public. But yet, the innocent family of a criminal, gets subjected to public scrutiny and the ruthless press, who all need to quench their thirst on breaking stories, no matter who it hurts.

It is easy to say that you would never treat a person with us much contempt as what any prisioner’s wife may experience, but it doesn’t need to be that severe. It could be an old woman that you push pass to get on the bus, that ruins her day. It could be the kid who is called fat, when he is trying to exercise. It is the person you said you’d help, but forgot about the next day. Everyone is guilty of hurting others, no matter how accidental it is.

All that is needed is thought. Think about how you would want to be treated, if you found yourself in the shoes of anyone you deal with. Would you want to be shouted at over the phone, as you try to help a customer? Would you want to be shoved aside, when you are struggling to walk as it is? Would you like to be picked out for every insecurity you have? It happens every day, to every person. If you took a second, and treated people with a bit more kindness, you will make a difference. And that difference will come back to you, as good-will is contagious.