When the People You Love Hate You

Expected consequence of losing weight: People like you more. And it hurts.

Unexpected consequence of losing weight: People dislike you more. And it hurts.

Autistic to Jealousy

Like most humanoids, I experience a wide range of complex emotions: Happiness/Sadness. Anger —> Euphoria. Anticipation! Fear! Excitement! …Diarrhea. Usually in that exact order.

But unlike many humans, I have a mental defect. I don’t experience jealousy. In fact, I’m incapable of  comprehending it.  Important Exception: you better not touch my fucking man.

I know you don’t believe me – but what can I say? I don’t experience jealousy. I understand that it’s an emotion that must serve some evolutionary purpose, but seriously – I didn’t get the software update.  I also didn’t get the software that gives you competitive drive.

From the bottom of my heart – I don’t care if every single creature in the entire universe is more successful or prettier or less hairy then me.  In fact, I hope they are.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I am by no means at peace with myself.

I want to be more successful and important than I am. If I’m not important, I will die. And nobody will miss me. I also have to be flawless. Because if I’m not beautiful, then I’m worthless. So every flaw must be eradicated, beginning with my entire face.

But my sense of competition, however unhealthy, is exclusively with MYSELF.

..And I thank god for that. Because I get to experience nothing but genuine happiness and love for all of mankind. And even for most of dolphin-kind.

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with the exception of this smug bastard

So it’s hard for me, as someone who can’t fathom jealousy, to be the victim of it.

My natural preference is for everyone in the world to have as much success as possible. The more success EVERYONE has, the more likely it is that someone will be around to help my future offspring when an asteroid comes.

I can’t comprehend anything else. I can’t comprehend the complex emotion of simultaneously loving someone AND also wishing bad upon them.  Or even weirder – wishing that I had what they have at their expense. It doesn’t make sense.

I want to reconcile these apparently conflicting concepts, but this particular emotion is more complex than my limited framework allows.  I’m autistic to jealousy.  So I’m trying in vain to rationalize something that cannot be rationalized. Jealousy is a feeling that someone has.

Since I’ve Lost Weight..

Certain people have become suspiciously nice to me. As in way way way too nice. And I know in my heart that some people (most people) love and value me more at 135 pounds than my they did at 190 pounds. And it hurts like hell.

And Since I’ve Lost Weight…

Other people have become incredibly horrible to me. As in ridiculously, unnecessarily, absurdly mean.

…I’m talking Mean Girls mean. These are people who supposedly love me. And it hurts like hell.

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I just want to grab these mean girls and say, “What the fuck guys? Who does this help? WHY ON EARTH would you want me to hurt?”

..But that’s because I’m trying to take something as complex as jealousy and make it simple.  I’m trying rationalize things I can’t understand.

Trying to Understand

I  – for whatever reason – cannot comprehend what it means to compare myself to another person. My brain just isn’t wired that way. And I should consider myself lucky, because that’s a heavy burden.

But the drinkers of hater-ade, they have brains too. And their brains, for whatever reason, ARE wired that way. So their bad attitude is not really their fault.

I have to TRY to comprehend it. And when I try,  I imagine it must hurt.  Maybe more than their actions hurt me.

And I have to try to stay empathetic! Because I have flaws too. For example:

  • I eat a lot of chocolate
  • I have a history of being flakey, and
  • I never brush my teeth before bed. Don’t worry though – I brush compulsively throughout the day.

I’m not trying to be high and mighty here. I just recognize that I have choices. I can choose:

  • to take it personally, and therefore get mad, anxious and/or hurt; OR
  • to expand my consciousness by using this as a learning experience

I KNOW I have these choices, because I’m making them right now.

But what if jealous people don’t have a choice? I mean – jealousy doesn’t sound pleasant.  Would anyone REALLY choose jealousy over happiness if they truly had a choice?

I want to be mad! But I’m trying to stay humble because I don’t know what goes on inside of anyone’s head except my own.

This, I do for my own sake and sanity. Or at least I’m trying my best.

Stay empathetic my friends! 

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Be a Robot/Fail Forward

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“Failure isn’t a badge of shame. It’s a rite of passage”

– Tony Hseih, co-founder Zappos

One hashtag I check regularly on the WordPress Reader is “diet.” I’ll usually find a variety of posts ranging from informational to motivational to interesting to just plain silly.

There’s one type of post I find EVERY time. I call it the “wah wah failure post.” It goes something like this:

“Dear Internet:

Wah wah wah. I’ve only been on my diet six days, and already I’ve caved and eaten seventeen hamburgers smothered in cheese, marshmallows, and gravy.

I knew from the beginning that I was a fat stupid failure, and now once again I’m reminded of what a stupid fat failure I am.

Well, I figure if I already ruined this diet, might as well enjoy the weekend. It is Easter after all! I guess I’ll  start again Monday.

It’s hard staying motivated with this slow metabolism. So unfair! Especially since my sister eats anything she wants and stays rail thin. #ughhhh”

 

Stop Expecting Not To Fail

Why do people expect that they will declare themselves on a diet, and from that day forward – they will never fail?

In the whole of human history, no person has ever achieved ANYTHING without failing at it first. And no, I’m not talking about large or notable accomplishments. I’m talking about the basics. For example, tying your shoe.

How many times did you mess up tying your shoe before you finally got it right? Three times? Seven times? One hundred and three times?

You failed a lot at first. And then you got a little better. But, although passable, your knot was still probably not great for some time. Finally, you became a shoe tying expert. And once you did – you forgot how hard it was to get there. And then some bastard came along and invented velcro shoes. You become a nihilist. After all, what’s the point?

Basically, we are born with three abilities: suckle, breathe, defecate. Everything else we need to learn.

Our bodies are basically sensors and processors. We act then measure then act then measure until we get an action down decently enough to call it “not a failure.”  And we still probably suck at it. We have to fail more and get even better.

And Yet…

And yet, when you go on a diet – you expect that you’re going to magically summon some untapped reserve of willpower and never fail.

The foolishness is TRIPLE here, because:

  1. If your willpower were excellent, you prrroooobably wouldn’t find yourself in this current predicament (not that I believe in willpower, see my post here); AND
  2. Your body doesn’t WANT to lose weight. It wants sweet sweet homeostasis.

When you tie your shoe, your shoe isn’t fighting you at every step. 

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Or is it? 

..But when you diet, your body IS fighting you. And it wants to win badly.

That’s because your poor hot body thinks it’s dying. And you’re the sick nut who’s killing it. “Why won’t you feed me?” asks your poor hot body. But it only hears its own echo.

When you fight your body, you’ll win sometimes. But you won’t win every time. No big deal. You don’t have to.

You just need to fail forward.

You ARE going to fail. You will. So you need to fail forward.

Failing forward means taking accountability for your failure. Which is VERY different from making yourself feel guilty about it.

Be an alien robot from another galaxy. Don’t color your failure with emotions that don’t serve you. Instead, examine your failure with the disinterested mind of a curious yet mechanical being, programmed by a wizard lightyears away in a galaxy called “Disintrestrex Four.”

What are the FACTS behind your failure? Separate them out from the story you weaved yourself.

Robots don’t care about stories. They have no idea about your childhood or your mean aunt Mae or your white privilege or all of those terrible things your third grade teacher said to you when you accidentally killed the class pet.

Robots only care about the root cause of  your malfunction. They need to compile an error report to send back to the mothership, and they don’t want your humanoid opinion. They want facts.

Why do you fail?

I never fail, because I’m an exemplary person. Wink wink.

..But if I ever WERE to fail (WINK WINK), it might be because: 

  • I didn’t get enough sleep
  • I ate a carby breakfast
  • I drank a tub full of alcohol
  • I kept tempting foods in the house (ahem…girl scout cookies)

Knowing this list keeps me in the habit of making good decisions. And that’s enough.

You don’t need to be an angel like me to look and feel hot as Satan himself. You just need to make a lot more good choices than bad ones.

So know yourself! And know thyself! Even if those both mean the same exact thing.

Know why you fail, and how you fail.
Know that it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. And yet, know also that you’re not at all to blame. Losing weight is hard! Food is good. And your body is fighting you.

Finally, fail forward!!! 

  • Leverage your failures to learn more about yourself.
  • Use this knowledge to improve and refine your efforts.

How can YOU use YOUR last “failure” to improve your odds of success?

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Keys to Weight Loss Freedom: Expect Failure

In business, the mantra is that successful people not only expect failure, but embrace it.

In weight loss though, we expect perfection. If we “mess up” we often find ourselves at the wrong end of a downwards spiral. We compound our small missteps until they become disasters. And while we know it doesn’t have to be that way, we feel helpless to stop it.

I have lost 60 pounds over the past two years. But there were ups and downs. There were breaks. And many times I failed.  In fact, many weeks I continue to fail.

And I am happy about that.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I go an entire month without losing a single pound. And sometimes I gain three pounds. I NEVER feel bad about it, and I never lose sight of my progress.

Because even if I gain 5 pounds, 10 pounds, or 15 pounds – I’m still in such a better place than I was 60 pounds ago.

Sometimes I get my period, and other times I want to drink half my weight in rum and eat a donut. Sometimes ice cream happens, often pizza happens, and I can assure you that when froyo happens, I don’t go light on toppings.

Because here is the important part. I expect failures. I embrace failures. There is no way that I could expect anything else. Because horrible food is delicious, and it makes me happy. So there is no way I’ll have a perfect month or year. But I do have perfect days, and wonderful weeks.

A Promise to Myself

From the very first day that I embarked on this journey I promised myself that I would never ever experience guilt over food again. That’s because I know that weight loss is affected not only by our habits, but also by our psychological health.

Small failures are not a big deal. In fact, they are are a good thing. Sometimes your body just wants calories. And sometimes eating is fun.

Small failures include the dollar slice I drunkenly enjoyed with friends on a great evening. The birthday party where I indulged, and the vacation where I had the best time.

When I look back on them, they weren’t failures. They were indulgences, and I enjoyed them – just as I enjoy eating (mostly) healthy on a daily basis.

My failures are integral to my success. Because in the scheme of things, my failures were never failures at all. They were natural parts of the process.

No More Cheat Days

I don’t believe in cheat days. To each his own, I say, but they don’t strike me as part of a healthy mentality.

You are never cheating. You are making choices. Sometimes you’ll make good choices, and sometimes you’ll make worse choices. Make sure your choices are overwhelmingly good, and you will look great in no time. Just don’t punish yourself for the ‘bad’ choices.

When you lose weight the fact of the matter is this. Your body is starving. It doesn’t matter if you do it slowly or quickly, or if you take all the right vitamins and minerals. Your body wants things, and thats ok – let it have things, or don’t. But if you gain a pound, it’s not a failure. It’s a blip.

And remember that sometimes – just OK is good enough.

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