Monday, April 2, 2012

That one guy who doesn't post alot

Hi.  My name is Copac.  You may know me from such things as DotDitWell videos with strange dolls with british accents, or from arguments with Jen about whether or not a hamburger is a sandwich (which it is, don't make me fight you again, Jennifer).

So, yeah, I'm one of the "authors" of this blog, but honestly I haven't really done anything related to the blog in quite some time.  I haven't even done anything with my own personal tumblr either.  

First off, I want to make it clear when I say that I take pride in being associated with you all as you work on your personal health goals.  Now that that's clear, I can say that I hate you all.

No, not really.  It's more that I'm jealous of you.  Or intimidated.  Or frustrated. 

I've probably posted this before but at one time, I was a multi-year member of Weight Watchers and had lost somewhere around 70 pounds.  I was close to breaking the 300 lb mark.  Then the wheels came off the wagon, or the engine lost it's steam, or the tank ran out of gas.  Feel free to pick the failure metaphor that you think fits best :)  I had been a member of a health and wellness committee at work, and had even given a presentation to my coworkers about my experience.  But something snapped.  And it all just went away. 

I think a big part of it was that while I was following the program, I wasn't doing it in a sustainable way.  I had a staple of about 3-4 dinners, and ate the same breakfast and lunch every day.  My workout routine was very regimented too.  Now for those of you who don't really know me that well, now's probably a good time to lay out some personality quirks that help define me:

  1. I'm what I like to call a "lazy perfectionist", and by that I mean, while I still want everything to be perfect, I seem to lack the physical energy to keep up with the demands my head makes, mostly due to depression.  My apartment is generally a horrible mess, but that doesn't stop the brain from reminding me about how it's a mess. 
  2. I've been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  Now just so we're clear, that's not the repetitive hand washing, or light switch flicking disorder.  This one kinda goes along with the "lazy perfectionist" in that in my mind, the world is supposed to play out in a certain way.  And wouldn't you know it, the way it's currently playing out is not how it "should" play out!
  3. I have a really strong aversion to change and the unknown.  Sometimes I'd call it a fear, other times not so strong.  I'm a creature/slave/"a guy habit calls when it wants to hook up but never tells habit 'Hey, I have feelings too, you know!'" of habit. 
  4. I'm a control freak.  If I'm a part of something that I can't guide and direct when things start to go wonky, I'm not usually a fun person to be around.  
  5. I am a certifiably picky eater.  Oh, and vegetables are the devil.  Except corn.  But those bastards took that one away from me and said "No, that's a starch, not a vegetable". 
So, with that out of the way, back to the whole wagon/engine/tank scenario.  My narrow little rut of a life at the time, while successful in terms of weight loss, was horribly inadequate when it came to fulfillment.  But thanks to the traits listed above, going off script (God, seriously, so many metaphors!) just wasn't an option.  Eating out was an exercise in futility.  "I don't know how big the serving is." "I don't know what the calories, fat, or fiber are." "All the things that I know the serving size and nutritional info are completely unappetizing to me!" 

To borrow a meme from younger set, I eventually just went all FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU *rage face*

So, flash forward a handful of years to today.  Rather than being at the point of nearly breaking 300 lbs, I'm struggling to stay below 400.  My depression, while relatively managed right now, has been trending at its worst.  Ok, I had a point to all of this.  OH RIGHT!!

So, Jennifer starts her transformation from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly....wait, scratch that, that'd put her way too close to bees.  Anyways, I see how Jennifer has been able to transform her life, and how it appears to be mostly fueled by sheer willpower and classic Jennifer bossiness.  And I hate to type this out, but it makes me mad.  I love Jennifer like a sister, and would never wish anything for her but the absolute best the world has to offer, and even then it wouldn't be good enough.  But seeing her do this so easily (completely irrational view from the outside looking in, obviously) or more appropriately seeing her continue to do it even when it's tough, should feel inspiring to me.  But it doesn't.  And that's on me.  Same thing goes for Carol's progress, and David's as well.  

One of the big problems that my depression causes me is the idea that I'm not worth the effort, or that it's too late, and I can't overcome what I've done to get to this point.  And I  can sit here and type that I know that's wrong and it's the depression talking, but that son of a bitch has a silky smooth voice sometimes.  I feel like I'm standing at the foot of Mount Everest, that I need to be on the peak, and that I literally have no idea how to get there.  Obviously, I've got vast amounts of information at my fingertips, but going back to those personality traits I listed above, pretty much all of it triggers at least 3 or sometimes all 5 of the touchy points.  Yet I know that there's no magical Sherpa who will carry me to the peak of that mountain.  I've started to summarize my current state in the following sentence.  "In order to get to the point where I feel the way I want to feel, I have to do the things right now that I don't feel I could do unless I was already at the point where I feel the way I want to feel"  And that's a scary big leap of faith for this agnostic computer nerd who thinks that chances shouldn't be taken unless you can hit undo (CTRL-Z FO LIFE YO!)

So, where do I go from here?  Well, probably to the kitchen to get some water, maybe to the bedroom to put my jammies on....wait, hang on.  Metaphorically speaking, Copac.  Well, I have to do something.  I have to try things.  And I have to fail at them.  And I have to not go all rage face when I do it.  Do I honestly think I can do it?  Honestly?  (Yes, Copac, that's why you said honestly...dipshit)  As my inner voice there alludes to, no.  Right now, I don't truly deep down believe that I can do it.  But I've been wrong in the past, and I'll be wrong again in the future, so I'm gonna try to find a way to make a legitimate attempt at it.  I'm just on a reallllllly long road.  In some cases, it may be longer than others' roads.  I have a lot of work to do emotionally, mentally, and physically.  And there's no road map that'll tell me what steps I should take that will get me where I want to go in the fastest and easiest way possible.  I'm trying to exercise more now.  That's about as far as I've gotten.  

Holy shit, this post is long.  I don't even know if it makes any sense.  I think I'll stop here.  G'night! :) 


glittergirl said...

wow, i have so much to say about this post! where to begin?

1. i'm so glad you posted this stuff. i've been wondering what's going on with you. i had an inkling that this was how you were feeling.

2. writing this stuff, getting it out in the open, that's a big step. to borrow the mountain metaphor, you've taken a few steps up that steep incline. something to feel good about.

3. you really do have a complicated set of issues that make it hard to move forward. the depression, the lazy perfectionism, the aversion to change. it's a "perfect storm" of things that would make anyone frustrated.

4. the work you've done to figure out these issues and problematic ways of thinking and reacting, that's progress. another step up the mountain.

carol & i have been "cheerleaders" for each other lately. we are both trying so hard with the diet and exercise. the one thing we keep reminding each other is that it's all about "baby steps", the little things you do to improve. the smallest decisions (like not eating the pretzels someone brought in to work) are so important.

so my friend, just think of that long journey up the mountain as possible with baby steps. take a little step. rest up. take the next step. take a step in the wrong direction, embrace failure, and then go back to the right steps. wash, rinse, repeat. step, rest, leap, run, fall, get up, step, rest, etc...

we're all here to walk up the mountain at our own pace, but together. if i've run ahead, i'll always be there to reach back and give someone a hand.

btw: if you watch me racing up that mountain, you'll see me fall on my ass quite a bit. :)

Carol said...

Hi Chris,
I think it's so good that you wrote all this out. Like Jen said, it's a huge step. She is a HUGE inspiration, cheerleader, and support person. This would all be much harder without her.
I have been through so many diets, and so many failed attempts to lose weight - the biggest fail is probably when I lost about 45 pounds on NutraSystems. Then went right ahead and gained it all back, plus about 30 more. In the back of my mind, pretty much every day, is a nagging thought of "Is this yet one more time I try and fail?" I don't try to fight that thought any more. Now, I just try to answer it with "No." I can't put my body through that again.
It truly is small steps. Have one healthy snack. Try one different food. Skip one fatty, bad for you food. Those changes add up.
You CAN do this. Failing is fine - just don't let yourself be defeated. Try something different, try a new path. You WILL get there.