Fuck this, fuck that & fuck them. As vulgar as this is to some, this pretty much sums up my general attitude prior to 2021. Nowhere in my thoughts, attitudes or actions was I supportive and positive towards myself and others.
This is just who I am.
Or is it?
To be happy and cheerful for others was just not who I was, not even close. I was stuck in a very toxic, victim mindset. This made me feel that I was somehow always getting the worst treatment when it came to pretty much anything. To others, it may not have seemed like it, but I wasn’t considering what other people may have thought or what they may have been going through. I was worried about one person and that person was miserable!
Why was I so miserable? Why did I become so upset? Why was I holding onto so much negativity?
Great questions. My best answers are jealousy, envy and comparing myself to others. This combined with an almost lifetime of being out of shape and having unhealthy routines.
I spent way too much time comparing my situation to others and wishing I had bigger, better, nicer things. I would also compare what others could do physically that I couldn’t do. This weighed heavily on me as I developed a negative mindset about it. I wouldn’t let myself be happy for other people or their successes because I couldn’t have it. I could, but I wasn’t open to learning how I could make it better or by putting in the work to change anything. It was just going to happen naturally, wasn’t it? At some point it was just going to be my turn suddenly and a magic genie was going to show up and fix it all. This is why the lottery make so much money off of us. We are just hoping for the magic Powerball or Lotto Max to show up and make all our situations better. I felt this way for so long and I just couldn’t turn it off. I kept up with my routines that I had always done, and it just kept getting worse and I became more and more cynical about it.
Most of my time on social media only made this worse. There are a lot of arguments about the proper use of social media and while there are courses out there on it’s use, I didn’t investigate learning too much more about it. I just carried on with my daily routine of checking, liking, and sharing posts. Most people, including myself, do not share the negative, miserable, and upsetting things in their lives. Sure, we share information about our loved ones that pass or that we had a bad day, but we don’t often disclose how much debt our latest truck, trailer, trip, renovation, etc. just put us in. AND the sometimes-crippling anxiety, pressure, and buyers’ remorse that we may feel about it. Ultimately, it is nobody’s business, but that shiny new picture on your favourite social media account of your new ‘thing’ drove me, in my old mindset, into negativity and envy land. Why can’t I have that? Why can’t I be like that? Why? Why? Why?
This social media trap is just an example. It can be anything that someone is doing that is in their benefit, nothing to do with you and for some reason a major problem. It can be quite easy to get caught in the glamour of social media. At least it was for me anyway.
My physical health was very heavy, and my mental health was not much better. I have always battled with my weight; although, it wasn’t much of a battle because I never really did anything productive about it. I played some minor house league sports but never put any real effort into my physical health. I didn’t have the best example growing up. My parents played sports to some degree and with some success in high school, but we didn’t have a very active and health-conscious environment in our home. All this did was make me feel that it wasn’t that important to be physically (and mentally) healthy. This caused me to feel that the little bit of hockey or baseball once a week was sufficient and I had no concern for my constant overeating and snacking. Even worse was when I got a bit older, and I could drive myself to the closest fast-food joint or convenience store. How could it be bad if it is what I have always done?
My unhealthy eating habits followed me around my entire life. Shift work, freedom to go whenever I wanted, working my own job, driving my own vehicle and the abundance of options available were too much for me. I used all the reasons and excuses to just keep my bad routine going. My routine consisted of the worst eating habits. I would easily justify a breakfast sandwich with my coffee every day, the biggest breakfast slam at my favourite breakfast place, supersized value meals with small burgers on the side for lunch, seconds and sometimes thirds at dinner and dessert, yes please! I knew this wasn’t healthy, but it was just what I was used to. It was just who I was.
I have reached the point that I will own every bit of the person I used to be, and I will give every bit of credit and then some to the people, places, programs, and content that have inspired me to be better, but this was not a quick transition. The people we meet, the circles we keep, the habits that we develop and the media we consume all play a huge factor in our creation. My version, with 36 years experience, had created all the habits and attitudes that managed the person that I had become.
It is not my intention to call anyone or anything out for this creation as I did this to myself. I let my attitude creep to a point that let the influence of other people, places and things affect my mood and general demeanor. I saw every opportunity to excuse my lack of effort and convince everyone, including myself, that it just wasn’t my fault. There comes a point where we are responsible for ourselves. If we are going to live our lives with no regard to the things we can do for better physical and mental health, can we hold this over someone else’s head forever? There must be a point where the blame, if we need to assign blame, falls on our own shoulders as we make our own decisions and continue to put things in our body that maybe we shouldn’t.
It wasn’t really aware of the negative attitude I had developed or any positivity happening around me. I could find the negative in just about anything AND make sure that those around me noticed it as well. In the pursuit of feeling bad about myself, I seemed to pay extra attention to the positive things I was seeing and the different versions of happiness and success that I felt I should have. As I stated earlier, I wasn’t prepared to do anything about it at the time; of course.
Changing my attitude and my mindset was not what I had originally intended to do. This entire journey started with me wanting to lose some weight and feel better. As I opened my mind to more help in the form of podcasts and reading/listening to books, I started changing the people I followed and the inspiration I felt. My output was drastically changed by my input. My cry for help and my decision to remove such a large part of who I thought I was, to take a break from drinking alcohol, truly gave myself a chance. A chance to try something that I had never tried before. A chance to become something my family could be proud of. A chance to be something that I could be proud of.
The major thing I needed to understand was that there was never someone or something on its way to ‘save me’. There was no genie, no Powerball, and no Lotto Max. It was up to me to make a change and become a different person. A person that old me would have judged and looked down on as if I was doing a better job. A person that finds the positivity in more situations than not. A person that encourages people around me to be better versions of themselves. A person that truly wants other people to succeed. A person that cares. A person that tries. A person that learns.
You can always change. You just have to get started.
Just put your shoes on.