You’d totally get the title of this post if you ever played Portal (which you definitely should if you haven’t because it’s amazing). For those of you who don’t quite get what I’m saying, “The Cake is a Lie” basically means “You are chasing after an empty, unattainable goal.” Now not to be a Debbie Downer, but don’t you feel like this sometimes? I know I sure do. Society says we should look like the image on the left when really I’m feeling like the image on the right…
Can I ever really look like the image on the left? Nope. Totally can’t. I don’t care how much I go to the gym or how I watch what I eat, I will literally never have a body like that. I will always be 4’10” and I will always have a giant rib cage, broad shoulders and no thigh gap. This is my on-going motivation problem and why I never want to exercise or go to the gym. I would see images of women like these splattered all over the internet and on TV and I think to myself, “Well, self, you’ve got a longgggg way to go, so let’s just start tomorrow…” and I would proceed with the snacks and Netflix binge watching. TOMORROW. The tomorrow rut. Always tomorrow, never today. Do you see the problem? The cake really is a lie.
If I ever did make it to the gym, I would see the perfect bodied beauties prance about while I struggled to do a single crunch and would just feel even worse. I would see all of these expectations that I was clearly not meeting and then would feel like crap about myself. The bitterness, depression, and stress was consuming me. I avoid(ed) the gym because I have so many negative emotions associated with it.
This is why I (and some others) procrastinate. We put things off that make us feel bad or uncomfortable. I mean, avoiding it means it isn’t really there, right? That’s like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound and ’tis a flesh wound. In addition, I would get angry and think “Damn the man! I will just be the opposite!” and this was my way of rebelling to then justify how I was.
I want to be able to tell you that there is quick 5 step process to fix this sort of problem permanently, but that would also be a lie. Mostly it takes a lot of hard work in changing your way of thinking and also healing your own personal mental and emotional wounds. I felt like I was never good enough for years because of the advertising that was shoved down my throat and the people I surrounded myself with who reinforced that ideal. I didn’t just wake up one day and magically have awesome self esteem and positive self love flowing through my veins. I had to actively train myself out of my negative thinking. Every time a negative thought popped in there I would think of two positive things to offset it. I’m not saying I don’t struggle still (I mean it’s been a month since I went to the gym), but I don’t let turn into negative self talk. I just get up and get back on that horse again.
I found the most helpful thing for me at the beginning was to sit down alone and write out what I liked about myself. I would also answer questions like “Why do you want to lose weight?” or “Why do you want to change how you look?” or “What is your end goal?” and it turned out that I wanted to change it to meet other people’s standards, even down to what I wore and how I talked. I wanted people to like me and think I was attractive and pretty. It took me a long time to realize that I was already in my own way. Sure, I’ll never look like a tall, leggy supermodel. Here’s the thing though, that’s okay. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m someone’s. How boring would it be if we were all the same? I had to learn to live for what makes me happy with myself. I embraced my own style and what I wanted to look like and be like. Yeah, I’m a quirky weirdo but I think that’s awesome.
You may ask, well what else helped you? It couldn’t have just been writing down a few thoughts. You would be correct. I also found that if I took small steps towards my new goal was incredibly helpful. Instead of making lofty goals like “I’m going to go to the gym 5 days a week and be totally buff and avoid all sweets,” I would start with “I’m going to go to the gym one day a week, try to get 30 minutes of walking in a day, and try not to eat all the cookies in the cabinet.” See? Way more achievable goal and it still keeps me moving. Just like my mom’s old minivan, I can’t go 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. I had to start very simple. I’m not 18 anymore and my body doesn’t respond the same. There’s no shame in that. It’s just a fact of life. We all age. The realistic goals gave me a sense of achievement. I knew that over time once a goal became too easy I could always up the ante.
I found I was also more successful in getting myself moving and exercising when I included some of my friends. I think that everyone can really benefit from having a cheerleader and someone to hold you accountable. Plus it’s 1000% more fun when you have someone there with you can laugh with and who you know genuinely cares about you and supports you.
Peeps, every day is a new day. If you don’t get to work out one day, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m not saying just always put it off until tomorrow, but life happens. Sometimes it really does have to be tomorrow. I’m saying you have an opportunity every day to make things happen. This is your life and you should live it how you want to, look how you want to and be happy with who you are. God created us all exactly how we are for a reason and you’re awesome. It’s up to you how you want to be. If you want to lose weight to be healthy, that’s great! You got this! Hydrate, portion control and start with those small goals! If you want to exercise and run a 5k to see what you’re capable of, do it! I believe in you! Just start small and you can achieve big things!