Perfect is Boring

There are countless articles, books and other forms of advice on how to improve yourself. They give you these set of rules on how to live your life to be what they consider a better person. They share their secrets to success in careers, health, relationships and more. They tell you to do this and do that. Some even tell you which people to allow into your life and which ones you should throw out like human garbage. But there is a bit of an undertone in this advice of “you aren’t good enough” or “you need to be fixed”. While like many people, I want to be the best version of myself… I’ve also come to realize the absurdity and self-absorption of it all (sometimes I forget). I think accepting some of these little so-called flaws and quirks are key to really being human.

So many aspects of our life revolve around judging. We judge others. Other people judge us. We adapt our behaviors and goals accordingly. We determine our self-worth and the worth of others based on our ability to adapt ourselves in alignment with those judgements. While judgements have a value, sometimes I think we are excessively influenced by them. What if we learned out of curiosity rather than because we feel obligated to get better grades? What if we chose our romantic relationships based on love rather than”practical” reasons? What if we didn’t give a shit about the conventional definition of success and did what we really wanted instead? I don’t think it would make society fall apart, I think it would make things more balanced.

If we keep looking at people through a lens of how they are “good/bad”, how can we expect to actually connect with them? How can we expect to have genuine relationships with people if we are constantly trying to assess if they are “good enough” and are constantly distracting ourselves in some way or another with those judgments? It is one thing to acknowledge the characteristics of a person and consider what that means, but I think in excess they can distract us from truly connecting with them. I think this may play a role in a deficiency of true compassion for both ourselves and others.

I think the only way we would be completely flawless in everyone’s eyes was if everybody didn’t give a shit about anything at all. Collective apathy doesn’t sound very appealing to me.

Flaws are beautiful. They are what make us human beings and not human fucking robot barbies.

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Dirty Little Secrets from When I was Fat

I thought it would be fun to spill the beans on all the irrational shit I would do before I lost weight.

1. Wearing black because it is supposed to be slenderizing.

2.Repeatedly bingeing at night, not eating enough the next day, then  bingeing again that night… and the cycle continued.

3. Wearing exercise clothes to make other people think you are coming from/ going to the gym.

4. I used to lie about my weight constantly. Like it’s just a number and it clearly does not change anything about what is right in front of you.

5. The Red Bikini wasn’t the only time I bought something that I had no plans of wearing in the present. When I bought The Red Bikini I definitely felt more of a pull from it, but I bought things I didn’t fit in all the time. Like buying clothes a size or two down will magically make you to lose weight. Being an optimist is only useful if you are willing to implement the solutions.

6. I used to order diet sodas with my fast food. Totally logical.

7. I had a habit of watching the Biggest Loser while flopped onto my bed and eating junk food. It was glorious.

8. I used to fake check-in at the gym on Foursquare.

9. I would tell myself I was going to start a diet on Monday which would give me a great excuse to go all out until then.

10. Most of the diets I attempted involved cutting something out entirely (no grains, no sweets, etc.). The result? Bingeing on that same food group about 2 weeks later.

11. I used to order most of my clothes online because I was embarrassed to go shopping in person. Then the clothes I ordered didn’t fit right. I kind of went on a mall rat phase when I first lost weight (I had no clothes that fit me anyways). Seriously, weight loss is a great excuse to take up shopping as a new hobby.

12. I complained about my weight all the time, but rarely would I actually do shit about it.

13. I would wear Spanx all the time. We’re not just talking when you need to look nice. I would wear them on a daily basis. I made a contract with myself that I would never wear Spanx again. I think it represents the idea of not accepting yourself and feeling like you are not enough (or too much, I guess).

14. I bought countless weight loss products, joined a handful of weight loss sites and researched anything and everything relating to weight loss. I had a library of nutrition books. I read so much about nutrition that when I took a nutrition class my senior year of college, there wasn’t much new information for me. I did the same with exercise as well.  I could tell you all about all the muscle groups to work. I knew countless strategies for working out. I pretty much had the nutrition facts of the menus of every restaurant I went to learned by heart (and brain). I looked up countless scientific studies on weight loss and how to best lose weight. I was fascinated by the subject. It wasn’t only with individual weight loss. I did a ton of research about the obesity epidemic, nutrition in the education system (or lack thereof), government policies that impact the health of the population. I was kind of embarrassed about how much I knew about it all while still being overweight.   Actually taking action on my own weight problem? Haha nope. Mind over matter only goes so far, I can tell you that much.

I think the source of a lot of these  behaviors were a sense of knowing there was an issue to be dealt with, but the only motivation at the time was external. There is only so far that wanting to look good for others, impressing other people and doing something to gain more acceptance in general can push you. If you really want something and want to improve yourself, the drive has to come from within, for yourself and your own good (at least for me it does). I didn’t start taking action until I had that spark go off, until I was able to see myself at my goal weight in my own mind. Up until that point I didn’t have the drive. I didn’t have a true inner desire for it or belief in myself. I had to see it to believe it (just not necessarily in present physical reality).