Saturday, February 20, 2016

Think About It

As children, we are reliant on our parents, siblings and other family members to act as our support network. Upon attending nurseries, pre-school and further educational bodies, we begin to develop friendships as our need to form a surrogate family grows. Some relationships blossom out of necessity and a sheer desperation for a form of love and recognition; other times it is pure serendipity.

As we grow and change throughout puberty, our personalities morph and, in some cases, chasms form between those with whom we once thought we had unbreakable bonds. Our needs change. Our desires become more definable.

As adults we develop working relationships and social partnerships. We fulfil roles in a variety of scenarios and alter our temperament to tailor each event and suit the denizens within.

Our constant need for others to interact with continues throughout our lives until we, probably, end up in a caring home where our needs are not simply confined to someone to wipe our backsides.

You will see the repetition of the word ‘needs’. It’s quite a complicated word for, despite everyone having them, we don’t freely admit to it. I have always needed friends and, quite frankly, have been reliant on them a little too heavily throughout my adult life. The problem is that, as others have grown up and found their life-partners, careers and created their own families, I have remained rather immature and infantile in my own desires and needs.

Finding myself back within the bosom of my family and unemployed, I have discovered (rather unpleasantly) that there is no one who needs me any more. Obviously, my own mother loves me and needs me to be happy, but as a being with little to offer, I have become superfluous to requirement. When I had my beautiful cat, Fizzgig, I had someone who genuinely needed me there to aid their existence. Sadly, I no longer have that role.

This is NOT a cry out for false platitudes but rather a statement of fact and clarity. When I find myself a job, I will probably have a different perspective on things, but at the moment I feel as though my talents are worthless and other people’s needs do not warrant my skills or presence. Maybe people engage in coupling for the sole reason to escape this dreaded feeling of being ‘unneeded’. To be loved, yes, but also to be relied upon. Without those who need us, are we lacking in any serious validation?

Mulder once claimed that Scully was his “human credential” and I instantly understood what he meant by that.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Let It Go

One of my favourite moments in the sublime, cult ‘90s sitcom Absolutely Fabulous is when Saffy explains to her mother that all one needs to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more, to which Edina replies “Sweetie, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.”

Although this line always brings a huge grin to my face, I wonder if it really is that simple.

A few years ago, I had managed to lose nearly 20 kilograms through excessive walking and cautious consumption, but I was indeed younger. So, last year, it wasn’t quite so easy.

Just like many frequent dieters, my weight fluctuates more than Chandler Bing’s. Why do I keep falling off the wagon?

As my birthday falls on the 200th day of the year (and I was turning forty), I decided in 2015 to create a challenge for myself – ‘200 Days Until 40’ – I even attempted to blog about it to force myself to adhere to the rules. I would list everything I ate throughout the day and wrote down the various attempts at exercise that included everything from walking to swimming. I even posted a picture of an incentive – the kind of body I would like to have. Admittedly, I was 39 years old and quite frequently the type of Adonis featured were way beyond my capabilities due to not being 20 anymore. Occasionally, there would be physical specimens within my age group – from Ryan Kwanten to Daniel Craig. The problem with these role models is that they are rather wealthier than I and tend to have a little more free-time, but it was a start.

However, despite all the attention to the blog, things did not go according to plan and I only managed to lose about 10 kilos over the course of six and a half months. As soon as the project was over, whoomph!, I was back to stacking on the blubber.

So, we need to ask why?

Quite often, those around potential slimmers will say, kindly, “You look fine as you are!” or similar pleasantries. The problem is that we aren’t happy with the way we are and quite often it can be down to mental health issues such as low-self esteem, depression, self-loathing and more. Should we be attempting to tackle these issues before working on our bodies or would the healthy body lead to a healthy mind? It’s a conundrum and one that cannot easily be solved with a blanket rule – it is different for all of us.

I loathe my current shape. If I force myself to strip and look at myself in the mirror, I am physically repulsed and disgusted. I am not obese (unless we listen to the rather strict ‘BMI’, which I prefer to ignore!) and some quite like my more solid frame, but I feel terrible. Hefty, chunky and sausage-like. If I wrap around a white towel whilst reflecting on my form, I look like a pig in a blanket (sans mustard)

How do I combat this horrendous self-loathing when it's hard to actually kick oneself up the arse when one is feeling so low?

If anyone understands where I am coming from, I think we all need to learn to let it go - try to be a little happier in our skin. It certainly doesn't help when we are constantly bombarded with images of the ideal body (this, of course, applies to men and women) and there is a certain stigma attached to depression (especially with men!)

I want to get to the bottom of this and I want to find a fine balance between being comfortable and happy with my body but at the same time, become fit and healthy.

I turn 41 this July. I have been single for over twelve years. I need to start to appreciate myself and my body. The best day to start doing this is TODAY.