When you realize you’ve barely paid attention to a movie and still know you didn’t miss anything, because it’s boring as fuck.

And just like that, I’m back in Alaska. If nothing else, I can confidently say that I am so much happier on a consistent basis to be out of that household. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully explain just how bad things got for me in Seattle to my friends and family. It may not have been rock bottom, but it’s about as close as I’ve been in my lifetime.

I was trying so hard to find a job, ended up with well over 100 applications in the course of just under a month. Unfortunately, those translated to only one interview. It was for a “marketing” job, and involved a three step interview process. Seems pretty intensive, I thought, and I was thrilled when I was offered the job. That’s about the extent of the good news concerning that little foray, however.

It promised a whole, whole lot. “Make 80k within 9 months!” My spidey sense started tingling, but considering it was the only place that reached out to me, I dove in head first, determined to make the most of it. Surprise, it was a pyramid scheme. Well, they would argue against that point for sure, and there was one or two things that they did that meant technically they weren’t a pyramid scheme, but c’mon. It was for a sales position where we would go out to different retailers in the state and set up shop for a week at a time. There, in our booth that we would set up in store, we would sell certain items. Granted, most of the items they sold were actually pretty cool, so it was easy to buy into at first.

The gist was this: Once every half hour, make an announcement on the store intercom that free gifts are about to be handed out to “every special customer in the store right now!”. Then, once you get a few people gathered around your booth, you hand out a free little knick knack (like a keychain tape measure – good up to 3 feet!) and then launch into your spiel about the actual star of the show, which is the product you wanted people to buy. Do 16 or so of these “shows” a day, and hopefully you sold enough pieces of product to make the day worth it.

The hours were ridiculous. Morning meetings designed to go over the agenda and goals for the day went from 7-9 each morning. Then you had to grab product and drive out to your store that you were given for the week, sometimes as far as an hour drive from the office. Oh, and you weren’t paid for any of that. It was considered voluntary, for law purposes I’m sure, but if you weren’t showing up, that was a big no no. That meant you were only getting paid for the time you were actually at the store location. So 8 hours at the store + 2 hour morning meeting + commute time = ridiculously long days.

During the first couple of months at the sales job, I was still moonlighting at the retail store as well. I had originally quit but they practically begged me to stay on in whatever capacity. So 15-20 hours a week there plus the 50-60 at the sales job meant I was burning out, and quick. This was affecting my sales as well, as I was too tired to be the annoyingly bubbly person one needs to be to make the most of a job like that.

So I quit the retail job and hoped that the new focus would be reflected in the sales paychecks I was getting. Turned out not so lucky. I’m no mathematician, but I was looking at how many hours I was working and trying to figure out why my paychecks weren’t reflecting even my lowest of estimates. I was met with excuses about how it was the other jobs fault and after I quit, I should see a bump up.

So, the kicker is that first paycheck I receive after all this, and it’s even lower than my previous couple. And that’s when I broke. Talking to people around the office, I knew that paycheck tomfoolery was a common issues at different “branches” of this marketing company. I knew it was a pyramid scheme, more or less. I knew I felt like I was pushing myself pretty hard, throwing myself completely out of my comfort zone with the sheer volume of people I barged in on and asked to buy stuff from me, and the rejection that follows. And when I saw I wasn’t making any more from this job that I was at the retail job, I said fuck it.

As timing would have it, my friend from back home was in town and had asked me to hang out. I wasn’t 100% it was going to happen before, but after getting that paycheck I wanted nothing to do with that place, so I met up with him. Said I was done and never went back in. Admittedly, I played hooky a few days before I expressed that sentiment to the employer.

So I’m talking to my friend who happens to be moving back home. Tells me to as well. And then I was like, holy shit why not. I had to be moved out of the house in two weeks. Couldn’t afford a place thanks to the shitty sales job withholding money, or at least finding enough loopholes to screw me over. Part of me was happy to sleep in my car for the time being because I knew I wanted out of that house no matter what. But part of me likes sleeping in a bed under a roof.

I started to recap why I was so against moving back home, and I certainly have quite a few reasons, but the more I thought about it, the more I narrowed it down.

I was always kinda miserable back home, I wasn’t accomplishing my goals, and I didn’t find myself doing enough to warrant my time there. But wait. Just a second. That’s what I was doing in Seattle as well. To a much greater degree, in all facets.

I think my line of reasoning had always been that if I change my environment, then I would change myself. Something that I think back upon now and obviously find fault with, but it always seemed so logical. I think that’s why many people tend to do that same sort of yo-yo with this place. I obviously must not be the only one thinking along those lines.

So I thought I could either stay in Seattle, continue to be broke and/or bumming money from my parents, struggle to find any sort of positivity in my day to day life, and be a general sad sack who had no way of ever doing right long enough to get his feet back under him? Or do I hit my hometown up once more to do a hard reset?

The third time I’ve moved back home after moving away. And it made so much sense. I need to do me. Mainly? I need to quit making excuses for myself. It’s why I procrastinate, and end up doing nothing.

I honestly believe one of the keys to personal happiness is having your goals and your actions align. So many people talk about hobbies, careers, educations, fixing bad habits, etc. without taking the necessary steps to getting to that same place. Walking the walk is the hardest part. When you pacify yourself with immediate gratification (for me – drinking, tv, video games), that takes away an opportunity to go after what you want.

I know when I say that I want to do something, that I do mean it. A large chunk of me, really, but perhaps not the most important. Whatever part of me that involves decision making and ambition didn’t get the memo. I figured those two sections would like, talk things over and I’d naturally just fall into success, but 28 years later, I realize it doesn’t work that way. It might in fits and spurts, but it never lasts.

So that change needs to come from within. I won’t magically become this ideal version of myself through moving away from a solid foundation and into the great unknown. In fact, I do know now what awaits me there (in my old, set ways), and that’s just more misery and grumbling. I certainly did not trust myself at that most recent point in time to improve my situation in Seattle. It was a bittersweet moment. To know that I wasn’t capable of getting out of the hole I had dug for myself was definitely a downer, but to realize it before digging it deeper was reassuring. Maybe something finally clicked.

And so I came back. To give myself as few excuses as possible. There’s nothing but what I do with this opportunity, and I don’t feel content to let the passive self win anymore. I need to take more action. To get an education, to get fit, to be reliable, and all these other wants of mine that I had hoped would somehow happen overnight.

It also helps to realize that my brain is a piece of shit. No. Seriously. I used to think it was just conflicted and that eventually all these motivating thoughts would come and it would almost be like an alarm clock chirping in. “Hooray body! What a day! Let’s go exercise and do chores and all the responsible things!”

If only. Instead, it just likes to talk about all the negative things in ife and play ‘what if’ scenarios for hours on end. So yeah. I would say that 99% of the shit that pops into my brain is worthless and combative, and should be ignored. Like I said, it’s a big piece of shit.

With this knowledge in hand, I’ve made strides in my first couple of weeks back. Now I still have plenty I want to do, but I’m starting to go about it. I tend to put myself in action before I give myself time to overthink everything, and as such it’s starting to change the way I think. Less “what if” scenarios and more about falling in line with my actions, as opposed to vice versa. Down just about 10 lbs already, which is encouraging as I came back home weighing the most I can remember. A personal high (low?).

Being out of that house in Seattle has certainly helped things. That’s for damn sure. Eating home made meals again since I feel comfortable in the kitchen. Way less fast food and ready made junk. The compulsion to drink is pretty much gone. Had a few days there where I slipped back into it, but I’ve been more sober in these two weeks than I had the previous two months combined, easily. And that, that’s real. Tough to think about.

Same turnaround could be said for exercise. 4 runs in one week as opposed to 4 runs in 4 months.

I’ve hoped for a spark to get me to change my life for the longest time. And I’m done waiting because now I finally understand it will never come. The only spark is the one that comes from within, when one finally just has to say fuck it and start doing things. That’s all I’ve ever lacked, is just a simple process of just doing the damn thing.

Once day I was randomly sitting down and wondering about having a kid, about what I would tell them about living their life. And after finding so many blatant differences between what I think one should do, and what I do myself, I could only shake my head.

If nothing else, I’m tired of giving myself excuses. I know my brain is going to try everything it can to keep me stuck in neutral. Content in it’s little comfort zone. Well, a comfort zone sure is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

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Like a song with only 3 chords

The quality of my life has never reached a lower point. I can say this with absolute confidence. I moved from my hometown to Seattle, and while I certainly didn’t expect to be living the high life right away, it has been a never ending series of struggles of various magnitudes.

Got a great job! Lost a great job. Car broken into and damaged to the point of expensive repair. Unemployed for two months, wiping out whatever savings I had. Snagged a retail job but have watched my hours yo-yo so much to the point where I’m only averaging 25-30 hours a week. That’s toeing the poverty line at that wage. Saving no money. Every time I manage to save up a nickel, I learn that I owe a dime to some pop up expense.

Worst of all is my living situation. Moved in with my then girlfriend and her family, but we split about 9 months ago and I’m still here. Still here. Normally, when I break up with someone, I go radio silence for a while. Helps me sort out my feelings about the whole thing, and usually allows the rekindling of friendship at a later date, if we’re so inclined.

But I’ve been stuck in this bubble for nine months. Right across the hall from her at all times, sharing a bathroom. Which wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the rest of the house feels like a snake pit as well. Her aunt and uncle (the landlords), routinely have these big loud arguments. Best part? Almost always in the kitchen. Half the time I say, screw it, and go and buy something to eat. Which doesn’t help my savings.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they were the type to feel ashamed and put the argument on hold as others arrive in their presence. People argue in private, that’s normal. But no, they carry on like they’re the only ones in the house. As a person who lived in a pretty damn stable household and doesn’t necessarily love conflict, this is a real struggle to deal with.

So I never relax. My ex constantly comes knocking on my door to try to small talk, but like I mentioned, I’m not there yet. I haven’t been able to distance myself mentally. So I give curt responses until she leaves. A closed door is no barrier, unfortunately. She don’t care.

And it’s fine, I get it. Try to be amiable. But I can be plenty amiable to people without barging into their room, ya dig? So I never relax. I don’t feel like this is “home”. I have nowhere to let my guard down, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. A little personal hell on earth, considering how much I enjoy just shutting myself out from the world to recharge at times.

Now, I’m certainly not innocent in all this. I’ve done fuck all to change my situation. I’ll take a step in the right direction, and then immediately feel content and burrow in. It’s hard to sustain momentum. Plus, I’ve gone off the deep end, drinking wise. I mean, when I was younger, I used to drink hard. Way too much, way too fast. Blackout every other weekend. Pretty destructive behavior, for sure, but it was usually refined to the weekend. But now?

Now I struggle to go consecutive days without drinking. It originated as a coping habit, for sure. Something, anything to remove me from the reality of my situation. But it’s only made things worse. Drinking is what lost me my job in the first place. I had a job where I was the only one in the office past 5pm for a couple hours, and not wanting to walk through the door to my “home” sober, I would crack a few open. Left a can in the trash one night, got busted. As I should have. Dumb.

Did that slow me? Not really, unemployment made it worse. Can you imagine all that free time I had to sit there with my venomous thoughts? My idleness? My complete feeling of utter defeat and anguish? Here was a life that I never asked for, couldn’t even fully grasp at how it arrived. To think of where I thought I’d be at 27, and looking at myself at that moment…well, I just had to turn to some drink for comfort. It was the only relief I could see for myself.

And I was that close to saving up enough to get my own place and move out. Nuts. I certainly don’t believe I’d keep drinking at the pace I have if I managed to get out of here. Find a place to feel safe for once.

Gone with the paycheck were the benefits. No more doctor visits, no more medication, no more therapy. While it hasn’t been a complete spiral, it’s been a life trending downwards. Finally I snagged a retail job, and that put me through the holidays just fine. Unfortunately, most of my paychecks were going to food and booze. Food, because the kitchen still is a war zone. Booze, because I couldn’t face reality.

But still I’ve managed to hold that job, and be a model employee just fine. There’s something about retail that I connect with. And I think it’s as simple as helping others makes me feel so much better about myself. Even if it is as small of a thing as directing them where to find the product they’re looking for. A sincere thank you kicks up some of the dust littering my soul.

On an aside, I had a nice moment on my run this evening. A man waved me down as I was going past, and was having trouble figuring out when and where his bus was going to be. A couple taps on my phone and I was able to direct him to the right spot. I was passed by the bus only minutes later, him on board. His gratitude was real and it felt good. I could have more moments like this in my life, but I’ve been too focused on trying to crawl into the smallest corner of “home” as I can, hoping it will all just pass by.

Okay, so this job worked fine for a while, and I grew content, but the hours started to dwindle and still I didn’t think to job search. It’s only these past couple months when I’m barely pulling 250 a week that I realize, things have to change. A full time job will be the first domino in correcting my life. Better job, better money, better savings, better living situation, better quality of life. I wholeheartedly believe that the day I move out of here will be one of the happiest days of my life. It’s that bad for me.

I’ve only been actively searching for a job just this week, but 30+ applications later, I’m feeling pretty good about my initial surge. I’ve also ran more days than not over the past week. Something I can’t say that I’ve done since, hmm  *checks last post* about a year ago. Yikes.

All this had a catalyst, however. I recently spent a pretty fantastic weekend in Texas for my brother’s bachelor party. His group of friends, and himself, are all so accomplished. Home owners, six digit incomes, plans for the future, great circle of friends, stimulating conversation. Basically all the things I’ve either wanted or been missing. I still can only count the amount of friends I have on one hand here. Plenty of people like me, but I haven’t reached out to the point to cement any friendships. Because I’m ashamed of how I live. I keep thinking I don’t have anything to offer anyone.

I live with my ex and her family. Yikes. I drink to excess. Oof. I’m slovenly, completely unmotivated, and a depressive sack. Strike three. That’s what I keep telling myself.

But seeing what my brother and his friends have achieved? Seeing what kind of work they put in? Got me inspired. I don’t want to be this fat slob with no direction in life, the one that everyone keeps having to worry about. All I could think during my bro’s weekend was “don’t be a drag, don’t be a drag”. Because I’ve been as blah of a person as you can get lately.

One of the nights, I had a hard time sleeping. I had been reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, and got to a point where you find out what happens to Frankie. That’s vague enough if you haven’t read it. All I could think at that moment is Fuck, I’m Frankie. I’m the thing holding everyone back. They’d all be so much better off without me, no matter how much they say they do care.

And I brokedown a bit. That was a low.

I mean, it’s a weird comparison giving the situation in the book, but I’ve always felt like someone that’s just kinda in the way of my family. The black sheep for sure.

Coming back from the BBQ weekend (It was in Texas, after all) all I could think was, I’m not going to be this same person at the wedding. I’m going to have at least something going for me. Not having my medication has been tough, but I remembered the one thing that always helped, no matter what. Exercise. So, I’ve been running this week. With that exercise has come motivation (funny how it works that way), and I’ve slammed out applications like crazy. I’m not going to be here in two months, that’s my promise to myself.

I got dealt another bit of motivation upon coming back. I was feeling good from the weekend and sitting around the table with some of the housemates in a rare show of social activity for myself. Out of nowhere, my ex says, “Hey Joe, how long have we been broken up? I’d like to start seeing other people.” Which caught me off guard, and obviously made everyone else uncomfortable. Her cousin immediately buried himself into his phone.

My response? Well, yeah. That’s kinda how relationships work. But it was still a weird thing to blurt out. And then I thought, oh yeah, duh. You say, “let’s see other people” when you want to break up with a current partner. If you say “let’s see other people” nine months after you’ve been living with your ex, it means you met someone.

And I had mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I harbor no romantic feelings for her anymore. More often then not, I’m thinking, wow, can’t believe I dated her for two years. In fact, I’m thrilled because if she’s off with some dude, that means I get the place to myself for a bit.

But on the other hand, she’s continuing on with her life, whereas I’ve been basically stuck in neutral for nine months. And that’s the part that made me go, shit. And I started to bubble with jealousy at that fact. Started thinking, fuck that, fuck this, fuck her. But really, I shouldn’t be mad. At her. It’s myself that I’ve allowed to be so, well, pathetic. I mean, the best way to “stick it” to an ex is to live the best life possible, where she’s just seen me at my worst the entire time.

I’m probably the “ugh, I live with my ex” in her version of the story. And that sucks. And I aim to change that.

I was sitting here, before typing this out, thinking about how it’s gonna be all how “I’m inspired and have motivation and yadda yadda” just like a whole crap load of my previous posts. Yet nothing has really come from those. But it makes sense. I only write when I’m motivated, so of course that enthusiasm carries over. If anything, just look at the gap in time between this post and my last, and you can see just how little motivation I had.

I used to roll my eyes at how often my posts seemed like pep talks to myself, but you know what? I’m glad to post this one.

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Mile a Day Challenge – Days 15-18

Miles Ran during stretch – 8
Total Miles – 34.8

I was really hoping that running every day would help motivate me to post everyday, and I could get two birds with one stone. Or stride, as it were. But no such luck.

I have noticed that I keep slowly folding in healthier habits to my daily routine however. Currently day 6 of not smoking. I’ve been eating much less, and more healthy. The desire to drink has waned as well. I find myself having one beer and calling it good for the night. Before, I would hardly be done with one before I found another in my hand.

Like I said in the last post, I have started to get a little more adventurous with my distances. Over these past four days, I ran 3 miles twice, whereas I probably ran 3+ miles only a couple times in the first two weeks. Did 3 tonight, plan on doing just a light one tomorrow, and then gear up for 5-8 come Saturday. Feels good. Keep on keeping on.

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Mile a Day Challenge – Days 11-14

Miles Ran during stretch – 9
Total Miles – 26.8

When it comes to staying updated through the weekend, I guess I’m slacking.

Anyhow, another completed week down. Two weeks straight running, and I’ve pulled off a marathon for my efforts. For most of the days, I’ve just been sticking to the single mile, content to keep the streak alive during days where I have zero tolerance for exercising. I’ve started to get a little more ambitious, however, as tonight I pulled off the first 5+ mile run in months.

Knowing I don’t need anything left in the tank during the single miles, I’ve actually been pushing myself at a solid clip. I’ve hovered around 8 minute miles a lot more than I’m used to, with my usual clip coming in around 9 or 9 and a half minute miles.

So, seeing as I was gonna be going for distance over speed for the first time in a while, I set out at a leisurely pace. Got through the halfway point and was feeling great. Being in Seattle, of course there is a sizable hill right near the last stretch of my run. I got through and onto the final straightaway, and was absolutely amazed at the second wind that kicked in. Could definitely feel the difference between this 5 miler, and ones that I’ve done in the past without running as consistently beforehand. It was just easier to get the legs moving.

Feeling great, and ready to make it through 21 days of running consistently.

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Mile a Day challenge – Day 10

Miles Ran Today – 1
Total Miles – 17.8

Yesterday was solid. For the first time in a month (since I started working earlier hours), I finally gave myself enough time to bike in to work. I really enjoy biking, and it’s a great workout. From my particular place of living, it is about a a half hour ride to work, all downhill, about six miles. It’s an easy ride to work, and I like to push the last little stretch of road to see if I can match speed with traffic. I can’t. Still fun to push myself though.

Of course, the flip side to this is that the ride back home is pretty exhausting and takes twice as long. There is a monster hill that I can only bike about a third of the way up in one go, then I have to walk for a bit. Burns my legs so good, and I’m panting from pure exhaustion by the time I get home. It levels out for a bit after the hill, which is nice, and my legs appreciate the difference.

So, I biked to work, then hit up the gym afterwards. Got some good lifts in. Now, while the morning was particularly beautiful, it was starting to crap out by the time I was getting off work. Decided to use the gym and get my mile in on the treadmill before I biked home, in order to warm myself up. It was quite cold otherwise.

So that was bike commuting for about 12 miles, including the nasty hill, weight lifting for forty minutes, and my daily mile. I was pretty wiped by the time I got home.

I didn’t stop there, however. I’ve been wanting to try a recipe for a while, so I kept the momentum and whipped up a pretty fantastic dinner of spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts. An incredibly easy recipe, but it might be one of my favorite chicken dishes now. Just so freaking good. Doesn’t hurt that I thoroughly enjoy me some spinach and feta.

Another thing that I’ve found myself doing more and more during this challenge is cooking for myself. Not only am I saving money, but I find it very rewarding, and fun too! I’ve tried my hand (for the first time ever!) at chicken teriyaki, breakfast sandwiches (fried egg, english muffin, sausage patty, and cheese), omelettes, and now this spinach and feta chicken. Those are all things I’ve wanted to try to make but never got around to. Not anymore. New found energy from consistent exercise means I’m trying more stuff that I’ve wanted to do. Nice.

Although, gotta say, the omelette turned out pretty meh. I guess I shouldn’t expect too much from a first attempt. Gotta keep at it, as I love me a good omelette.

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Mile a Day challenge – Day 9

Miles Ran Today – 3
Total Miles – 16.8

I’ve decided to drop the “consecutive days ran” thing. It was confusing to see “challenge – day 8” and then put that I’ve ran for 9 days consecutively. Instead, I’ll just mentally add one to each day and be pleased with myself that way.

Anyhow, it’s amazing how quickly my brain tries to get me to give up on things. Well, damn near everything. I like to think it’s part of my primitive brain thinking “I’ve got shelter, warmth, snacks, and entertainment right here, why would I ever go outside and exert myself?!” Then, as I step outside the door and start those first couple of steps, I get a cacophony of antagonistic thoughts.

“Why are you running? QUIT”
“You don’t even like running!”
“This is bad for you!”
“You’re going to suck this run and it won’t even be worth it. Turn back!”
“UGH this is so hard why even bother.”
“Okay now is a good time to turn around. you’ve done good. Quit now and lets get some taco bell!”

Every day we’re faced with a battle against ourselves. Every day we get to accomplish as much or as little as we’d like. I just wonder why the daily battle is constantly an uphill one. Is it simply an issue of habit? They say that it takes around 30 days for a habit to kick in, so I’m wondering if soon enough my brain will be encouraging me to lace up the running shoes instead of the opposite.

Yesterday was some pretty crap weather. Pouring rain and blustery, and I was still feeling slightly off from the sickness the day before. Once again, I was confident in my ability to rationalize not running for the day. Even stopped by the store on the way home to pick up some snacks and beer to completely give in to the temptation. Once I got home, however, I immediately moved to throw on my running gear, knowing that if I sat down, any chance I had at extending the streak was over.

I’ve got to say that I rather enjoy running in inclement weather. Once you get over the fact that you’re wet, there’s really nothing it can do against you. Running keeps you warm. Besides, if you can get yourself out the door on even the worst of days, the sunny and nice ones are more like a treat, rather than a requirement, when it comes to exercise.

I’m further encouraged in this endeavor by the book I’m currently reading. I’ve always known and been intrigued by the benefits of exercise, as much as my actions tend to say otherwise. The book is called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.  It deals with just how vital exercise is to fully functioning brains, including how exercise increases neuroplasticity and even grows new cells, neurons, and connections. It showcases the efforts of a school in Illinois that revamped their PE class and made it a vital part of getting the most out of their students, including improved test scores and better social skills.

Every single page is littered with information and examples of just how important exercise is. For everyone. Reading it at night helps encourage me to begin each new morning with that in mind, so that I can lean on the information next time I “don’t feel like” doing something.

Seriously, as someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, exercise is the number one tool I have to combat these issues. Meds and therapy help, for sure, but even without those things, I notice the difference exercise instills in calming my mind down. Why I forget this and go months without being active? Well, I think we’ve all been there and asked that same question. But that was then. Today is now. And time to make the best of it.

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Mile a Day challenge – Day 8

Days Ran consecutively – 9
Miles ran today – 1
Total Miles – 13.8

Yesterday was a sick day. Was feeling bleh heading into work, and was feeling much worse as I was getting ready to leave. Knew I was going to skip the run, felt so bad. Funny thing happened on the way to the car. I was at the point in the lot where I could either turn left towards my car, or turn right towards the gym.

Before my brain could even rationalize not exercising, I found myself moving to the right, and eventually walking up to the gym. Shrugging, I figured, why not? Went ahead with some weights and a relaxed mile on the treadmill. The rest of the evening was pretty awful, but some nyquil and 11 hours of sleep does a pretty good job of clearing out a bug.

They say that it’s best to motivate by inspiring oneself, not deriding oneself. Now, that’s something I’ve always struggled with. I’m the harshest critic I know, but only when it comes to me. Sometimes I wish I could give myself the type of tolerance and understanding that I tend to allow for other people.

That got me to thinking though. I’ve responded real well to just a couple weeks of intermittent weight training and consistent exercise. My muscle memory is real, as already I’m seeing some pop to my muscles that I shouldn’t be seeing so quickly. It’s encouraging. I really think my body craves these types of actions.

Out of all my goals, being fit (and weighing less) has been a constant. I’ve always wished I was more in shape or looked better. Now, I’m unrealistically harsh on myself, and where I see a doughy mass of bleh, I know people would bristle to hear me voice it out loud. I know that it’s not rational, but unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the mindset. That’s always been a huge hurdle that knocks me back. My view of myself and the fit version of me that I idealize.

So I think I want to get as fit as possible. Exercise daily. Actually shoot for this goal, and set all others on the backburner. Really make this my focus. I’m not delusional, and I don’t think that all my problems will go away if I lose weight. I can be just as anxious, depressed, and self conscious at 200lbs as I can at 250lbs. It won’t automatically make me happier.

But it is a goal that I’ve always wanted. I enjoy moving my body around. I enjoy lifting weights. I love the feeling of sore muscles. Why shouldn’t I go for this? The amount of dedication it will take will be tough, but I like to think that if I can overcome this hurdle, that every single step of the way will be easier. I could hang my hat on the fact that I took the time and dedicated myself to a singular purpose, something I don’t think I can lay claim to at this point in time.

Every time I’ve stuck with exercise enough to where I’ve seen some positive changes, everything else slowly becomes easier as well. I find it easier to socialize, as the voice in my head saying that “I’m unworthy of their company, am too boring, etc.” fades into the background. I find writing easier, as the critic in me turns off to allow the creative part of me to flourish.

All these things can come from exercise. I choose to finally inspire myself, and in doing so, hopefully the self critique will subside.

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