A 45-year-old fat man trying to find his inner skinny dude.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rich and Famous

I like a blog called The People's Therapist. The guy is a lawyer who left the practice to go back to school. Now he's a therapist. What I find from his blog is that I'm (as usual) smack in the middle of the bell curve of lawyer insanity (yeah, I'm a lawyer).

Here's an excerpt from his August 15 posting about people wanting to be rich and famous:

The problem with chasing wealth and fame is that it’s a child’s mission, not an adult’s. At some point you must step out of childhood – that long, helpless period of your life – and move onto the independence of maturity. Instead of needing reassurance that you are loved, you can achieve independence by learning to love yourself. That big step into adulthood is an affirmation that you deserve love, and deserve to receive it from those you call friends or partners.

You needn’t crave attention as an adult, either. It feels nice, now and then, to receive praise for your work. But if you have your own attention – you’ve done the job of living consciously as your best self and winning your own respect – you no longer have to cry for mommy to watch you perform on the jungle gym. You can learn to feel safe and secure in your own abilities and achievements.

Security within yourself is worth more than being rich and famous. The ultimate goal is security in the knowledge that you have friends who deserve you and care about you, meaningful work that you enjoy and a partner who is a true friend and ally.

I put this here because I think the sentiment--about taking care of oneself is important to health in general and weight loss in particular. Overeating for emotional reasons--and really, what other reasons are there?--is how someone tries to take care of himself or herself. If you do this, you might be rebelling against something or someone. You might be trying to make yourself happy, to get some kind of pleasure. But that pleasure is fleeting and counterproductive.

I've seen some doughnuts lately that I wanted. But I like seeing my wrist bones more than I want a doughnut. I know that long term, I'm taking care of myself. I'm trying to convince myself I'm worth that.

I have lots of good friends who seem to think I'm a great guy. I like to say that the only red flag about my wife is that she likes me so much. The secret is, I'm kind of serious. I really think she settled. I don't know why she did, but I'm glad she did. Having said this, I feel compelled to say I don't feel sad or depressed. I'm just saying how I generally feel about how I measure up. I've been working for a long time--years and years--to feel about myself the way my dogs feel about me.

I read once that people who commit suicide are making a statement to those who are supposed to care about them. The first person who gets that message is the person who kills himself. So I'm trying to take care of myself, of my inner child as it were, so that I can live a happy life.

Additional note. These are things that help me every day:
Food is fuel.
Americans eat until they are full. Europeans eat until they are no longer hungry.
If you make a mistake, why give up? If you forgot to brush your teeth one night, you wouldn't stop doing it for the rest of your life. (That was from a WW meeting.)

1 comment:

  1. That's a great post! I like the way that ex-lawyer describes being an adult, it gives me a lot to think about. At almost 50, I only have so much time left to develop maturity :) But really I can see that reflecting on this idea would be helpful when tempted to overeat; framing it as a question of self-love and self-respect seems more useful and effective to me than thinking of it as self-discipline.