Some Truth-Telling for a Change

I haven’t been writing a lot lately. You may have noticed. Jotting down a few ideas is a far cry from “writing”. When I’ve “written”, you’ll know it.

I don’t know if my writing’s any good on the cosmic scale of literary ass-kicking, but I know it’s usually honest, and that’s something I can be proud of.

Lately, though, I haven’t been feeling like I’ve been being honest with myself, so how in the fuck could I possibly be honest here? It’s been sort of a conscious choice to pull back a little, I guess, for want of protecting myself from admitting how unpleased with myself I’ve been and the lack of personal honesty I’ve had.

I still like my job, a lot. That’s been a really positive change in my life. It’s not about that. It’s not about my home, either, which has been just two steps away from full-on “rustic American crackhouse”, but which is now passably clean (and that was no small feat).

It’s about my body image. That’s the deal. That’s the problem. I’ve been really angry at myself for a while now. I’ve tried a couple different exercise routines, and they were both very problematic, but I could have prevented the problems had I been more practical in the outset. Now I’m onto something I think is working for me, and has worked for me in the past. So, that’s a start.

The thing is, I’m sure I have this reputation that you’ll pick up on if you go and read my backlog, in which I propose we should all love our bodies whether we fit in the mold of the “right” look or not. Every body’s a good body, you know what I’m saying?

But that’s also bullshit to a degree. That’s like latching onto some positive thinking methodology like “The Secret” and figuring that just thinking about it will bring you all you desire. Like I said, bullshit. Part of it is the thinking, but most of it is the doing.

Loving yourself and your imperfect body only works if you know you’re at least trying. You exercise some, and you eat reasonably well. If what you’re really doing is trying to convince yourself that you’re entitled to love and affection and physical respect because you’re a “good” person, and you don’t give a shit about what you’re putting into your body or doing with your body, then you can think all you like about being deserving of love, but you’re likely still gonna secretly hate yourself, no matter how you slice it.

So I know I’ve been eating badly and not exercising much beyond the last 10 days or two weeks or so. I hate what I was doing to myself. I’m also coming off a long, miserable winter of “stay indoors” weather and I’m about as seasonally affected as one could be. (See “seasonal affective disorder” aka SAD by clicking here.) But I’ve begun pushing myself, and I’ve talked to one or two friends to tell them the enabling of each other’s shitty eating habits stops now.

It doesn’t change the fact that I know I’ve been dishonest with myself — pretending I’ve not been eating badly, trying to tell myself my itty bits of exercising were a positive change — and it’s been keeping me from writing, from coming clean. Denial’s a pretty deep, dark corner to back oneself into, and it’s hard as hell to claw one’s way out of it some days.

So, I’m starting to like my behaviour again. It’s improving. Baby steps, but it’s improving. But what I’m really digging is the being honest with myself thing. I can’t believe how much loathing and disdain comes with lying to oneself about anything, even something as seemingly pathetic as a diet or exercise plan.

Honesty, though, in its most brutal forms is one hell of a powerful tool. Got to love it.

*(I’ve now taken my bicycle home from work [about 17 km] once this past week, but I’ve had three or four good rides in two weeks, and I plan to be able to cycle the 34-km round trip three times a week before “bike to work week” kicks in next month, followed by “bike to work month” in June. And, I got to tell you, cycling is incredible for my creativity. Stay tuned for that. And, no, cycling isn’t just another fleeting attempt — I’ve been very successful with it in the past.)