How many times have you been asked how you are this week?
How many times did you answer honestly?
I spotted this earlier and it made me think:
Why aren’t we honest when we get asked this question?
For me, I worry sometimes that if I give my honest response when asked this question…well, it might scare the person off. Or I might not want to worry them…or make them think that I am on the verge! Or I might just ‘get’ that they aren’t really that bothered about how I am, they are just being polite.
Do you ever ask that question and expect anything other than a ‘Fine’ in response? It’s like a casual greeting.
I would love to say that I am confident, I am positive, I am looking forward to my future, and I am feeling pretty fucking solid. But actually I feel tired, I am worried about what the future holds, I am surrounded by people yet feel lonely, and most of the time I don’t feel that happy. Most of the time I feel that I am hanging by a thread and veer between manically confident and happy and manically sad!
And if I replied with that when asked how I am feeling…well, how the fuck does the person respond? Other than signposting me to the nearest doctor to get pills of course?!
Over the years I have spent a lot of time searching for the root cause of some of my frustrations. Why don’t I feel happy when, on the surface, I have a good life? Why do I binge-eat? Why do I seem to swing between feeling like fucking SuperWoman and feeling like I want to hide in a blanket fort all day…and not get out of bed?
I still haven’t found that root cause.
I don’t think I ever will.
I think it’s just life. It’s fucking hard. Some days are good and some days are shit. The answer is that it’s just life and shit happens…it’s how we deal with the shit that counts.
I listened to a couple of guys talking about their lives yesterday. Their stories were really emotional and they both had worked fucking hard to stay around and not give in. One guy I found really compelling. He grew up in the same town as I did and has had some pretty epic stuff to deal with. He is working hard to be the best man that he can be for his family. There were no airs or graces about him – a really genuine and raw guy. I liked him.
One thing in particular that he talked about that really resonated with me was about energy, and how to use it positively. He talked about frustration or depression or anxiety as energy. You can either let that energy overwhelm you, and sit and wallow in it, or you can do something to use that energy positively. For him, he uses it to workout. He might go and have a tough workout or might go for a gentle walk and get some fresh air – depending on what he feels that he needs. I don’t know why this resonated with me…but it made perfect sense…he made perfect sense. There was no ‘poor me’ about him. He had fought to stay on a top of stuff…sometimes the battle got too much…but he kept fighting. And I thought he was pretty fucking epic!
Now, I know that the ‘How are you’ question is a bit of a conversation opener. It’s a conditioned question with a conditioned response. And I am not for one second suggesting that you share your inner woes with the MDs assistant in the lift at work, or with the guy taking your order in Nando’s…but maybe the next time a good friend asks you how you are, you could share a little bit and see where it goes.
Failing that, how about using some of that energy for some good.
Today – at Midday – whilst sitting in Freddie Freelander waiting for the next showjumping class to start, I began to write out a straw man for my future. The basics of some of the things that I want to put in place to help others. This old journey of epic weight loss is fucking tiring and hard work. I figure that – whilst only I was responsible for shovelling in the shit that got me this fat – I have somehow been given this situation to deal with…so that I can maybe help other people get over some of the hurdles they will face along the way a little bit more elegantly and speedily than I have! I already work with people from a coaching perspective – and this is life changing stuff. I just have more that I think I can offer…so I am putting the wheels in motion. I am going to get working on my plan…so if you have any suggestions as to what you might find helpful – then get in touch!
So the next time that I am asked, ‘How are you?’ – I can genuinely say, ‘I’m not fine, but I will be!’
On that note, I am buggering off. I want to watch some of the Tour de France and am absolutely rooting for Chris Froome…in fact, I will properly throw my toys out of the pram if he doesn’t do well!
Todays food has been okay:
I grabbed some smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and wilted spinach for breakfast.
For lunch I grabbed some yogurt with pomegranate seeds and raspberries.
And for dinner I had a chickpea tagine with meatfree balls and veggies!
I have had massive binge-eating feelings today and have somehow managed not to give in. I cooked my dinner earlier on and then split the portion in two – so I could eat one earlier on, and then one at my usual dinner time. I think this stopped me reaching for the chocolate truffles that are in my cupboard…and the jar of peanut butter that’s lurking in there too!
Thank you for reading,