Tag Archives: taking responsibility

Everybody Has Reversals

One of my favourite movies is the little-known David Mamet skewering of Hollywood, the filmmaking parody called State and Main.

In it, supposed screenwriter Phillip Seymour Hoffman laments being kicked off his first movie.

The bookstore owner, played by Rebecca Pidgeon, says to him, “Well…  Everybody has reversals. If you were never down, how would you know when you were up?”

It’s a pretty universally held-belief espoused by everyone from Rumi and Kahlil Gibran to my neighbour Bob down the street.

Graffiti I love from Vancouver's Granville Island. Unfinished on purpose or interrupted? No idea. Love it.

I think we get it, right? Gotta be sad to know happy, poor to know rich, fat to know thin.

I’m identifying with the latter as I acknowledge I’ve been backpedalling against my own reversals of late.

I had set myself a weight goal in May and I’ve moved the opposite direction. I’ve been kind of mentally lost at sea as I’ve been screwing up the courage to make the journey to where I need to go: self-employment, et cetera.

That means I delved into emotional eating while I’d been on edge and in fear.

Failure is something I’m really scared of. So scared, in fact, I’d rather not try at all and have the excuse that I’ve yet to get around to it, than to do it and face-plant.

I’m getting past that in my (cough) old age now, and starting to have the “feel the fear and do it anyways” ’90s mantra pumping through my head, but it’s been taking a while.

I know what I want now, and that means the emotional eating has begun to become more obvious to me — I’m realizing what I’ve been doing, I’m conscious of the shame that has come with it, and the depression that comes with realizing I’ve been failing myself for a while now.

I’ve been trying to hide it.

But there’s only so much you can hide when you’re carrying around the evidence on your ass.

Seriously, right? That’s what it boils down to: Who the fuck do you think you’re kidding, there, tubbo?

Granted, I’ve only gained 2 pounds more than I started the summer with, but I’m still pissed off about it, because I know HOW to defeat it, and because I’ve fucking cycled more than 1,100 kilometres this summer — all for naught! All that sweat and pain and endurance so I could barely maintain my weight? Fuck!

This week some things are coming into play — I’ll be talking to a professional trainer to see what we can maybe do for each other. I finally made a connection last week with someone and we’ll see if it’s a promising venture toward the weekend. Here’s hoping.

As a result of getting a “yeah, let’s talk!” from the trainer, I realized “Well, I’d love to get the help, but you know what? I’ve done this all by myself before — I cut out butter, I ate better, I worked out 6-8 hours a week… I didn’t need a trainer then, and I don’t need one now.”

So, I decided I’d get real. I celebrated with a cheeseburger, but then I knuckled down and chucked out the butter, made some mental commitments as to what I’m willing to do, where I’m willing to go, and grocery-shopped accordingly.

I also decided that I don’t need a trainer, no, but I want one.

Sooner or later we all have to realize that we can only get ourselves so far on our own. There’s only so much we can consider inside our little brains and only so many experiences we can have first-hand. There’s only so much we can excel at in life without others’ help.

Eventually, help really is something we all need to accept.

I honestly believe the last five years of my life have been specifically about teaching me that it’s okay to ask for help and that it’s okay to turn to others. You can’t possibly know how far I’ve come, but I still have far to go.

Times like these are when I’m proud to say at least I’ve learned how to make the first move.

It’s been a very difficult lesson, gaining the humility that is needed to admit help is required.

The two lessons I’m most proud I’ve taken from the last 10 years are: 1) That I know I’m strong enough to overcome everything that gets put in my path, and on my own, and 2) That I’m finally comfortable asking others for help and admitting that I just can’t do everything, and that it’s given me a tremendous amount in life.

Where I’ve gotten myself is this:

  • I’m more than half-way to the body and the health that I’ve wanted all my life.
  • I’ve overcome most of my injuries to the point where my days seldom get clouded with the thoughts of pain and discomfort that used to swirl like blackness around me.
  • I no longer feel my goals are hopeless but instead feel anger that I’ve been letting them slip by because I know in my heart I should be all over ’em like Oprah on a ham.
  • I’m ready.

Yes, I said the big word: Anger.

I’m fucking pissed, buddy. I’m mad. I’m bitter. I’m choked. I’m gonna kick some ass. MINE.

It’s all MY fault. It ain’t about the media or the government, life beating up on me or any of that shit. This weight I’ve regained is ALL MY FAULT and I FUCKING KNOW IT.

Oh, sure, you want to do the “Hey, love yourself” or “Embrace yourself and be gentle” la-la-love-in bullshit? KNOCK YOURSELF OUT. Ain’t my cuppa, honey.

It was THIS MOOD that launched me on the path that saw me losing 70 pounds, saying NO MORE, and going hard after what I wanted. It was THIS MOOD that said I’m entitled to better but only if I earn it first.

I’m not being mean to myself, I’m saying I’m better than this. I’m saying I know I can do this. I’m saying I have this in me. That’s love, man. I know I’m built for this. That’s love.

I don’t need to light candles, run a bath, and sing “Kumbaya” to myself, okay?

I need to put the fucking butter down, pay attention to when my belly is full, stop living the college dorm “HEY, LET’S GET BEER” life of excess that my summer has been. That’s love, man.

Am I pissed off at myself? Sure.

Am I gonna hold a grudge about it? Fuck, no.

By this time next week, I want my attitude to be “Hey, I’ve done well this past week. Let’s go windsurfing!” ‘Cause that’s scheduled for then, you know. That’s how we say “ENOUGH” in my world.

Kumbaya, motherfucker. Reverse this!

RANT: God’s Asked Me to Whale On Yo Ass, MoFo!

There’s a lot of attention being paid to polygamy and bigamy at the present, thanks to the arrest of that uberFucker, Warren Steed Jeffs. I know there are a lot of polyamorists in my audience, so I’m going avoid starting a war of words just because I disagree with the lifestyle.

(Disagreement does not equal judgment, so spare me the sanctimony, thanks! Do what thou wilt; just don’t invite me to the party.)

I want to say one thing, and one thing only.

CNN’s been showing these slighted polygamists who feel the world is up against them. (I may not agree with it, but I don’t think it should be outright outlawed, but that’s another argument for another time.) Naturally, the butthead I saw was excusing or justifying his lifestyle because he believes he lives that lifestyle in praise of God or as a means of being closer to God, or even because God wills it as such. Insert the justification you like best.

I am sick and fucking tired of everyone justifying their actions because it’s “God’s will.” No, people, it’s not God’s will. If you are religious, then you understand the simple premise of the belief that God gave free will to man so that man may choose and thus ultimately secure his own fate. You have chosen your lifestyle — whether it be that of a polygamist or that of a bake-sale/PTA mom. Don’t fucking tell me you’re doing it for God. Do it because you choose to, and have the balls to own up to choice, public opinion be damned.

I could turn around tomorrow and buy stakes in the best Belgian chocolate company in this city and scarf cocoa up my fucking wazoo, turning myself into some 400-lb ball of flab and say, “But God made the beautiful cocoa bean and I am simply choosing to respect the beauty of his creation by indulging in it! I’m doing it for God! My rolls of fat are a testimony to his greatness!”

Nuh-uh, sweetums. I’m doing it ‘cos it tastes so fucking good and I’m not getting laid so if that means I indulge, then I indulge. But it’s my choice, and that’s enough justification. “Because I want to!”

I’m really goddamned tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions. You’ve chosen. You live it. Be proud of it. Don’t tell me it’s for a God you’ve never had the privilege of sharing a beer with. You don’t fucking know what He wants, if in fact He even exists, so don’t presume to excuse your actions through Him.

A nation of pansies, that’s what this is. Fuck, man. God wills it, therefore it must be so. If that’s the case, then know this: God gave you a spine, but you CHOOSE not to use it, you fucking amoebas. Get with the program or check the fuck out, but spare me more of this bullshit.

(This goes for anyone on any side of the “God wants it” argument, whether Poly or PTA or Pro-Life or whatever. I’m just sick of the argument. Personal responsibility’s like some distant figment of the land over yonder or something. I, for one, think it’s time we remember what the hell it once meant.)