I’ll be brief so you can spend your time reading Susan’s incredible post. She comes to a conclusion all by herself; no one is better than her, or you, or me. We are all equal. She even knock’s me off my “perfect pedestal” to realize it. No worries, I’m cool with it
OK, here we go. Let’s talk about the big pink elephant in the corner of the room that everyone can plainly see, and yet has been kind enough not to mention. That big pink elephant is me (no pun intended) and the plain truth of it is, I have been “d*ckingaround” for a few months now. Sorry for the blunt vulgarity, I sat here for quite a bit trying to figure out a way to phrase the behavior more delicately, but that nasty term pretty much sums it up. I lost 80 pounds, and then…. (insert the cricket sounds here) … nothing. I have been playing with the same 10 to 15 pounds relentlessly. I have become alternately frustrated, bored, resentful, wishy-washy, repentant, etc…; pick any ineffective adjective you want and add it to the list. What I haven’t been is on-point, purposeful, and producing results for myself, Peter, and you. I can’t speak for you and Peter, but itmakes me angry, and 9 times out of 10, when I’m angry, I eat. So the way I see it, it’s time to re-engage and change up my game to get the results I want, or walk away and gorge in peace, guilt-free.
So much to cover, where to even begin… Last week’s no-show, perhaps? Anybody wonder where I was last Friday? I hysterically begged Peter for a “get-out-of-blog free” card, and he graciously granted me a reprieve. My hissy fit had nothing to do with the blog or fitness, or anything relevant to us here- I allowed somebody to get under my skin and hurt my feelings. I am ashamed tosay I let bullsh*t get the best of me. Years ago, my best friend told me that I reminded her of the floating plastic bag that dances around in the breeze in the movie “American Beauty.” I hate to admit it, but she has a point. I tend to be “reactionary” and let life’s ups and downs decide my path for me- hence the plastic bag remark. Evidently, some things never seem to change, but change they must if I am seeking fulfillment and personal growth, right?
Since I just brought him up, let’s talk about Peter. I have this love/hate thing going on with him. I can only speak for myself, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone on this. We all love Peter. Peter is amazing. He’s inspires us, he’s upbeat; perpetually optimistic and always helpful. He has all our diet and fitness answers. We hire him as our coach and mentor because he helps us meet the goals we so desperately long to reach. He appears to have everything we want in life: health, success, happiness, fulfillment etc… For the longest time, I had Peter up on this pedestal in my mind. “Perfect Peter.”(Yes, I can picture him cringing as he reads this- Sorry Peter!) Despite knowing that he is human like the rest of us, I was buying into this façade or story that I had created about him. When I was doing well with my health and fitness goals, I thought that Peter was awesome, my long lost savior, an omniscient oracle of sorts. And when I wasn’t doing so great, I’d feel like I was letting him down, that I couldn’t possibly live up to his lofty standards and ideals, so why was I even bothering to try? Nobody else can be like “Perfect Peter.” Who is that positive and upbeat ALWAYS??? It makes me feel a bit likeJan Brady shrieking, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” when she finds she is always falling short in her endeavors, when compared to her older, prettier, smarter sister. There has been more than one occasion where I have bitten into something “forbidden” and gleefully thought, “F*ck Peter!” We won’t even discuss the fact that I love to draw, and that in my spare time, when I am feelingsomewhat “hostile” towards “Perfect Peter,” I have been working on a sketch of his face plastered onto a dart board loaded with a few well aimed darts sketched in. What can I say, I can’t sew- Voo-Doo Dolls aren’t a good option for me. ☺
So last week when I was upset and having my ridiculous meltdown, I found myself in a diner plowing through a huge cheese burger and fries, complete with a side of gravy.
When I finished feeding my emotions, I did something I never usually do; I ordered dessert. After that cheese burger deluxe, I was already full, and I really don’t have a sweet tooth. Why then, did I order the dessert? Peter had nothing to do with why I was upset, it wasn’t him I was angry with, I wasn’t even thinking about blowing my calories for the day (or so I thought)- yet I found myself devouring Baklava Cheesecake. See attached photo- it defies description.
Ok, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon here to realize the subconscious link connecting this Greek pastry with my Greek fitness coach. The Baklava Cheesecake was my own twisted passive aggressive stab at Peter, but more importantly- it was a grenade I launched to defiantly thwart my own progress. WTF? Who was I really angry at? My boss, Peter or myself?
I am at a loss as to how to sum this up for you, this seems like unrelated babbling, but it’s not. It took all these things going on concurrently, to shed light on my “a-ha!” moment. Too much to talk about here in just one blog, yet all twisted up in a way that makes it difficult to separate the issues; like life, it’s complicated.
Let’s go back to “Perfect Peter.” It sounds silly, but I have finally knocked his ass off the pedestal I put him upon, and now have him back down here with the rest of us. More surprisingly, I find that I like him better this way. Peter isn’t a phony, nor does he put on an act for us. He knows his stuff, and provides a service for us all. It’s his job to be upbeat, positive, and insightful when dealing with us. He never claimed to be perfect- I slapped that label on him myself based on silly assumptions and appearances. I never took the time to look beyond face value to see Peter for the real human being he is. I have been lucky enough to see Peter outside of a coaching session situation and have come to consider him a friend. The more I get to know him, the easier it is for me to relate to him, now that I see and understand that he struggles, gets tired, has problems etc… just like the rest of us. His success isn’t unobtainable, his strategies aren’t insurmountable. He is, or has been, where we all are now. Its impossible resent someone for being perfect all the time, when you finally realize, they aren’t. ☺
A few months back, at a Tony Robbins’s seminar, Peter told us about the power of “the story” that we tell ourselves; he explained how this “story” can prevent us from having the very things in life that we say we want. Peter spoke of how he was “spared” at birth, and that he came to interpret this to mean that he would only be loved if he were perfect, that he felt compelled to try to live up to unrealistic expectations, and that this legacy left him feeling unfulfilled and never good enough for many years. I thought about his story a great deal when I was mulling over the whole “Perfect Peter” thing above. It made me think about my own story and the effect it has had on my life. As a very small child, I was loved and treated decently.
By the time I was in elementary school however, my home life became quite dysfunctional and abusive due to alcoholism. The message I received loudly and repeatedly, was that I was “garbage.” I am not exaggerating or misconstruing statements here like a drama queen, I cleaned up the phrasing for you quite dramatically. I didn’t have to strive relentlessly for greatness like Peter, because nobody seemed to have any lofty expectations for me. I never needed to be perfect, or even mediocre, because when I fell short on something, it seemed expected, or at the very least, easily tolerated or ignored.
To know how your story affects you- you need to think, “What do I ask myself every day?” Then you need to answer how that question can make it impossible for you to achieve what you say you really want. The questions that rattle through my head most frequently are, “Why am I such a f*ck up?” & “Why can’t I get my act together?” This stopped me cold. These questions are the exact type of thing that someone who believes they are “garbage” would ask themselves; proof that I am still playing that tape in an endless loop. I have been letting “the story” I was told, unconsciously shape my life. I may not think I believe the abusive things that were said about me, but I sure am acting as if those statements are true. These negative beliefs make achieving my goals impossible; it does so because it gives me permission to “f*ck up” and expect little of myself.
This is not the best way to end the blog, but end it I must, before it becomes a novel. I won’t be slinking off with my tail between my legs to gorge in peace, nor will I allow myself to be buffeted and controlled by the breezes around me. I finally understand, that regardless of success or achievement, status, whatever…. Nobody deserves to be up on a pedestal. I am worthy and capable of achieving great things; I am subservient to no one. Next week, I will start to tell you how I am going to make the second half of my life fabulous; I’ve got this great new story…