Monday, July 05, 2010
I was doing some reading this weekend about some other things and it struck me - what am I afraid of? What is it that has made me scared enough that I thought I had to add this extra layer of "me" to "protect" me.
- Was I afraid that I would get hurt physically? Was it something that I thought that if I started to exercise I might hurt myself? Maybe I thought that my body just couldn't do it. NO - that wasn't it. I checked with my doctor first and he gave me the go ahead and even gave me inspiration.
- Was I afraid of looking stupid? Would people point and laugh at me? This was an issue for me when I was little. You see, I was born with two of my ribs fused together on my right side. When I was little, this bump was very noticeable and that made me feel different. I even stopped going to swim lessons because I felt "weird". Maybe I didn't go to the gym because I would be that fat man sweating in the corner that other people would look at in disgust. NO - that wasn't it. It may have affected me earlier but as I got older, I seriously couldn't care what others thought. Once I got to the gym, I found that there were others JUST LIKE ME that were there working out. As for those ribs... I WISH I could see them now!
- Was it a matter of money? Did I not eat well and skip the gym because of the cost? Mmm - possibly. I mean, gym membership isn't inexpensive. Buying junk food is (I'm afraid to say) cheap and easy. By not going to the gym and getting fast food I could just save tons of cash. NO - that wasn't it. It occurred to me that despite the money I thought I was saving, a stay in the hospital after recovering from a heart attack wasn't worth it. Finding recipes on the Internet, Spark, South Beach, and others - I found that I could cook up healthier alternatives to that fast food. I bought small containers to keep my meals ready to grab and heat up to eat. The best part is that my office offered gym membership as a deduction from my paycheck. I never even see the money!
- Was I afraid of a relationship? Oh, this might be it. If I "padded" myself, then I wouldn't be attractive. I could just be comfortable being with myself and not have to try to be with someone else. Of course there were some that I was with and even then I might have thought that this extra protection would keep my heart safe. Alas, NO - that wasn't it. The heart can be hurt no matter what you do to try and protect it. The only way to not get hurt is to be totally alone and that isn't what I want. Granted, I have made the decision to not pursue any relationships or even to date at this time until I lose weight. Yes, part of it is vanity - but the other part is that I want to be healthy for whomever may enter my life. I guess it's a guy thing - but I don't want to be a burden to anyone because I am not healthy.
- Maybe I was afraid of change. I know that change can be scary. When things change in my life, I know that I would have to look at things differently. The friends that I had before may not like me any more. I wouldn't be "fat and happy" Ed. I would need to buy new clothes (hmm, another item for above and the matter of money?). I might have to go new places and do different things. NO - that wasn't it. I have learned a long time ago to embrace change. True - I get into my own personal groove, but I'm not afraid to try different things or go different places. Learning that change is good was a huge epiphany within myself and I will be scared for a bit - but know that in the end it's not all that bad.
- Maybe I was afraid that it would just take too much time. Ah, this is a good point. Time... It seems that there isn't enough time in a day. I have to work - I have to sleep - I have to eat. When is there time to exercise? When is there time to cook? This just may be it! Hmm, NO - this isn't it. Along with that matter of money - I thought just how much time does it take to recover from a heart attack? How much time would I lose doing the things I want? I listened to an audio book called "How to live on 24 hours a day" (From librivox.org). Granted, it was written some time ago, but it made a good point that each and every one of us has the gift of 24 hours. It is how we utilize this time is what is going to make all the difference. I stopped bemoaning the fact that I don't have enough time and just made a point to do things. I learned to just leave work and go directly to the gym. I learned to cook on the weekends so I had things to eat throughout the week. I learned to buy healthy foods so I could snack better and not want fast food.
The more I thought about it - I just couldn't pin point what my fear was. To be honest, I still don't know. All I know is that I just made the conscience decision to do something about my life. I wanted to live longer. I wanted that person that I am inside to be reflected on the outside. I know that this isn't an easy task and I will have times that I just want to give it up and let go. I didn't get fat over night and I'm not going to lose it over night. Only one day at a time and an inner determination not to give up.
If you are in an empty room and the light goes out so that it is so black that you cannot see your hand in front if your face. Are you afraid? What if you sit in that same room and close your eyes. The same thing is going on. You cannot see. The difference is external vs internal. If the light goes out - you didn't have control of it. If you close your eyes, you can open them again. It is a mind set. If you have the strength and faith in yourself, you can be unafraid of the external influences just as you can be unafraid of the internal.
We all have more strength within each and every one of us. It may not seem like it at times - but it's there. You just need a little faith in yourself, your friends, even a high power.
With that, we are always moving forwards to a better, healthier, enjoyable life.