Insecurity Manifesto

On February 9th I remember feeling particularly horrible. It was one of those days where I didn’t necessarily know why I was so upset, but everything seemed to set me off. The biggest emotion I experienced was intense insecurity, just being incredibly unsatisfied with myself. I felt alone, afraid, and beaten down.

In the New Year I’ve tried to make it a priority to escape from these lows by finding strength within myself. I haven’t been great about that, I rely a lot on other people to help me out. It’s ok to depend on other people, but it’s essential to have a sense of stable security from within. On February 9th, I wrote up a “manifesto” of sorts to remind me of the things I wanted to change that were causing me to feel insecure.

I never planned on sharing this, but I’m feeling confident today. Very confident. I have worked on maybe 4 or 5 of the bullets on this list and I already notice progression in myself. While maybe this is a cheesy Seventeen-esque list, I figure if I can get some value out of it maybe someone else can too.

I have made progress with some of this, but there are several things on the list that I blatantly disregard on a daily basis. Change comes slowly but surely, and I’m optimistic. Oh did I really just say that? I feel optimistic? What a breath of fresh air!

Take a look at my list, and decide for yourself. You can follow mine, or you can make one for yourself. You don’t need to tell anyone, you don’t need to make any promises, just refer back to it once in a while to remind yourself what matters. Remind yourself what gets you to that negative place, put those reasons on your list and attack them.

Let’s fuck shit up, I say!

My Personal Insecurity Manifesto

  • I vow to communicate clearly and express my needs without fear
  • I vow to not invest time worrying about what people mean, but rather will listen to what they say
  • I vow to demand respect from a partner, sexual and romantic alike
  • I vow not to let the way a man treats me define how I go about my day and feel about myself
  • I vow to value myself and celebrate my strengths
  • I vow to stop calling myself an idiot when I make a mistake
  • I vow to stop apologizing when I’ve done nothing wrong
  • I vow to start taking the advice I would give to a best friend in my same situation
  • I vow to stop making exceptions for behavior that bothers me
  • I vow to stop placing my personal worth in the way others view me
  • I vow to stick to my priorities and quit shifting them to accommodate other people
  • I vow to recognize when I’m spreading myself too thin and make an effort to lighten the load in any way possible.
  • I vow to stop projecting my insecurities into my interactions with other people
  • I vow to acknowledge when I’m feeling lonely and learn to be okay with feeling that way
  • I vow to enjoy myself and be fully present when I’m with friends, not letting my mind drift to negative places
  • I vow to stop being so hard on myself when things don’t go the way I want them to
  • I vow to use my mistakes as learning experiences, rather than replaying them in my head over and over.
  • I vow to actually take action on my insecurity rather than pushing it aside
  • I vow to stop giving in to my vices to numb the pain I’m feeling
  • I vow to be patient when I slip up
  • I vow to make my self confidence a priority in my life

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Giving Someone Whiplash

Yesterday I had an indoor soccer game. It’s actually called Futsal- basically a combination of Soccer and Basketball both of which I, at one point in my life, was a badass at. Grammar check there? Alyssa? Anyway- it’s coed. 4v4 and it’s in a tiny little gym that is 20 degrees too hot for anyone to function in without dripping sweat like a fat man at the County Fair.

I use this weekly opportunity to take out a lot of my pent up aggression. There are so many things I get angry about in my daily life- the fact that my shower is consistently cold after 1:00 pm, the weird colored zit on my left shoulder that I can’t figure out how to get rid of because I can’t reach it, and the perpetual feeling that I’m a stereotypical LA failing writer/standup comedian/woodworker.

I get fired up. I was born last in my family, after two men were first raised in my mother’s quaint and fertile womb. Marinating in their testosterone, AKA the ZEUS of hormones according to my book on the Male Brain.  The science people say I was exposed to this excess of testosterone while my fetus formed into my creepily delicate alien shape. I was destined to be more of a tomboy than other women. I was born to be a haughty, vulgar, aggressive bitch. And I absolutely love that about myself.

Yesterday, I was particularly fired up because of some FINANCIAL CRISIS SHIT that I love dealing with. In the Futsal game, I decided to take out my rage specifically on this balding man who was a foot shorter than me and highly aggressive. He kept beating me to the ball and making me look like a lanky idiot with my arms flailing about. He kept running into my stomach like a little charging bull. Like the little guy from Hercules with the hooves, the guy who is voiced by Danny Devito. I gotta imagine that as a (presumably straight? He seemed straight) man the last thing you want to be doing with a woman is charging into her stomach like an angry bull.

I bodied up on him a little too hard at the end of the game going after a 50/50 ball that was headed for the wall, when we were tied 8 to 8. He got major whiplash and smacked his head on this metal lunchroom door thing (It’s funny to me that we played soccer in a lunchroom.) I felt guilty, I really did, I didn’t mean to push him that hard. He was totally fine- just annoyed that I’d shoved him and he looked like a little bitch (they called the foul, don’t worry.) I was a little shocked that he was so rattled. I’m hardly intimidating, I drive a Buick LaCrosse and wear Mom Jeans to work.

After the game, one of my male teammates gave me props for pushing up on the dudes. And I realized it wasn’t in my head. I was actually pushing grown ass men around (the other men on the team were normal sized, even huge, as opposed to my tiny victim.)

I thought about it. I started lifting weights in the fall of 2014 after I’d struggled continuously with my diet. I started lifting so that I could eat a lot and still look toned (always valid reasoning.) I started with just the bar on every single lift. I couldn’t even do the bar for several of them. I had muscle but it wasn’t substantial at all- just slight toning from prancing on the elliptical and sad leftover meat from high school sports. Kinda like Spongebob when he puts on those fake muscle arms and tries to lift the barbell. All looks- no power.

So just for reference- I started at 45 pounds for everything, that’s how much the bar weighs. Now I’m lifting 60 pounds over my head repeatedly, rowing 75 pounds, benching 95 pounds, squatting nearly 200 pounds, and deadlifting 220 pounds.

I’m sure if any of my former athletic coaches knew this now they’d hate me, because I didn’t give a fuck in the weight room (I spent as much time as possible just sitting on the leg press chair and sleeping) when I was younger and had a bright future ahead. But now I can do cool strong-person shit like easily throw the ball past midfield in soccer, do a soccer throw-in that looks more like a corner kick, make grown ass men scared of my grip when I shake their hand, hit a softball weirdly far even though I never played softball, free climb extremely difficult mountains on my first try (and thanks to Danica, Alex and Becky you crazy sons of bitches), and emasculate guys who are the same height as me.

Sometimes I feel self conscious because my triceps looks weird as hell, like Scyther the Pokemon.

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Or like a weird turtle person hybrid… Idk they look like flippers but they’re helpful? Sometimes I feel self conscious because I’m a bit bulky and feel like no straight man will ever be able to love someone so brutish who also has foot fungus/troll feet.

But overwhelmingly, I feel like a badass. I feel strong, I feel motivated, and I feel confident (most of the time).

The point of this post isn’t to rub my own dick (well that’s not the ONLY point, it is VERY erect though.) I am hoping that someone else reading this might get motivated to find a workout routine that makes them feel like a badass. I know several of my lady friends who started lifting are loving the way it makes them feel. I’m happy to help you find a routine that works for you if you’re interested. Not kidding- message me and either I’ll try to help you or I’ll ask my ripped-ass brother and he will weigh in.

I’m actually going to change my previous opinion on a something. This is an opinion  I’ve held for awhile and been very vocal about. Hypocrisy is something I don’t like to own up to, so enjoy…

Spin class is okay. CrossFit, is okay. Yoga, is okay. Running 18 miles in one day, is okay. All that shit is great if it works for you. TRY ALL OF IT. You find what works for you, commit to it, and I guarantee you will earn at least 4 happiness points for your Sim character over time. Who doesn’t want to see their little Sim self leap around with joy? The alternative is that horrible thing where the Sim needs to pee and looks up at you in agony while they wet themselves… Because you locked them in a room and removed the doors to see what would happen.

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My Weird Spectrum of Bodyweight

It’s Whatever Wednesday, for those of you in the corporate world it’s what that camel calls “Hump Day” heheeehhehe you gonna make it through the hump of the week? Yeah, you will.

I was thinking this morning about how much my body type has changed over the last three years. Since I think everyone probably wonders what they would feel like if they were 10 pounds skinnier, or 10 pounds fatter… I will let you know so that you don’t have to go through the strife required of the experience.

What it feels like to be…

On The Brink of an Unhealthy BMI: The lowest I ever got to during my gross skinny phase was 142 pounds I believe. I felt pretty cool at this point because all of my clothes were EXTREMELY baggy and I could get tipsy off half of a mixed drink. I disguised my weird habits by saying I was “trying to save money” while interning. I would put water on my cereal, eat expired Special K, and rotting bananas. Sometimes when I got super hungry it felt like my chest was caving in on itself. People called me a twig more than once, my ass was nonexistent and my jeans would have a diapery bagginess in remembrance of the ass that used to be… I thought I was finally sexy as FUCK but actually I was just a willowy hungry bitch.

My rating of this weight: Wouldn’t recommend it because it’s painful, unhealthy and impossible to maintain. Also DAT ASS is so necessary. Look at that NON ASS in the left picture.

Skinny but Not Dying: This was the weight I tried to maintain at the beginning of the weird skinny phase. I was averaging 146 to 148 and it was a failure when I creeped up into the 150s. I didn’t hate this weight, clothes were still pretty baggy and whenever I took showers I could feel my abs eating away at my fat reserves. It rewarding because the pounds were just melting off, I weighed in every week and was real amped to be successful. I guess if I were a lot heavier to begin with this would have been the “successful diet” phase. But this was pretty much just the beginning of an unhealthy obsession.

My rating of this weight: Also very difficult to maintain but very rewarding. Will never get back to it unless I want to whither back into a corpse. Dat ass, questionable.

Either Average or Shredded: Confusing title, but before I started lifting weights my average healthy weight was around 155. I had a regular amount of cellulite but my abs were pretty flat and dat ass existed. 155 was my original goal when I started my creepy skinny phase, but then once I got there I wasn’t satisfied. If I got down to 155 right now I would literally be the lightest weight I could possibly be without destroying my gainz. I kind of want to try it but the effort would be really exhausting.

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My rating of this weight: Cool back then, impossible to achieve now.

Old Dad Bod, New Average: Back in 2012 when I went abroad to Australia and ate whatever the fuck I wanted and never exercised I weighed about 165 and my muscle tone was covered with a layer of fat. Back then it felt like my entire body was wearing a glove. It was weird. But now 165 is pretty much my most consistent weight when I’m not being a careless piece of shite. I think your personal average is the weight you should strive for in any situation. It’s the way your body wants to be and it’s consistent with your lifestyle. You will always be able to gravitate back to this weight without much hard work.

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My rating of this weight: Learn to love it because unless you want to make drastic changes to your lifestyle it will probably be sticking around for a while. This pic is of the old Dad Bod but you can’t really tell.

Dad Bod Central: No one can really tell for me because my fat distributes pretty evenly over the course of my long body… But I have indulged in a lot of late night pizza, excessive beer, excessive cider, fried delights and ChOcOlaTeEEe. Let’s just say I can’t wear any of my jeans at the moment without being real uncomfy and my stretchy pants are occasionally making straining noises when I pull them on. I weighed myself yesterday and was at 170 which is a whopping 30 pounds more than I weighed three years ago. As long as I know this isn’t my new normal, I can live with the brief discomfort and self-loathing that accompanies it.

My rating of this weight: This is the weight you will feel when you’ve let yourself get away with too many “cheat meals” you hate yourself a little, but quickly forget that you hate yourself the moment another opportunity comes up to eat some shitty food. If you have any self control you should try to avoid this weight.

The lesson I’ve learned over the last few years is that the best kind of body shape is one that you can sustain. If you feel yourself straining to get by day after day, eventually you will crack. Eating so little that I felt dizzy when I got up from the toilet after a poo was absolutely not sustainable for my lifestyle or my mental health. Weighing in every week and doing cardio every single day also wasn’t sustainable, at least not for me. Getting drunk on wine every night and eating two enormous chicken kebabs without barfing them up, definitely not sustainable.

I try to make healthy food choices during the week and I try to limit my carb heavy alcoholic beverages, but inevitably sometimes I slip up. Rather than beating myself up and overcompensating with tons of exercise and restriction, I try really hard to be patient with myself in returning to a normal weight.

My advice for you is to find that comfortable place where you feel confident about your body but also fulfilled with your dietary decisions and lifestyle. You don’t have to create a diet plan or anything, just start trying to eliminate certain foods that make you feel like shit and then see how much better you feel. Be patient with yourself, you will ABSOLUTELY fuck up along the way. Even the fittest, most disciplined people I know have their moments of “why the fuck did I just eat all of that?”

If you really want to change your body, you can. Just be realistic about it ❤

 

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