"Then puberty hit, I turned my fat into abs. I got stupidly ripped and started asking you mad?"
You mad brah? Yeah you mad brah? Fuuuuuuaaaarrrk Ima sickunt.
This may be the most embarrassing part of the story.
There was this internet personality named Zyzz. He got famous by being really ripped, wearing short shorts, and dancing around in public places while saying funny shit. My friends and I thought he was so bad ass. We would watch his videos and laugh hysterically then hit the gym and talk like him as a joke. On the surface it was a joke but deep down we all wanted to be a ripped sickunt like Zyzz brah. Rumor has it he died in sauna from a drug overdose. I think the Zyzz phase was high school but for me the getting ripped phase all started in grade 7.
I had graduated grade 6 and the summer before junior high I realized that my chubby belly had to go. Older girls had boobies. I liked boobies. Therefor I had to get rid of my boobies so I could touch their boobies. Simple. I got contacts, stopped wearing glasses, begged my parents for cool clothes, and so it began; I was going to be a stud.
The shame from my chubby years turned into an obsession with getting ripped from age 12 to 20. In high school I started tracking calories and macronutrients. Macronutrients are fats, carbs, and proteins which make up the calories. I had certain macro ratios I needed to hit and was doing bulking and cutting seasons. Bulking season meant over 3000 calories a day and cutting season meant under 2000. I was weighing spinach for Christ's sake. Not like as a ritualistic sacrement for Christ but as the saying goes.
If you know someone who weighs their spinach please call them and let them know that everything is going to be okay. Spinach is just leaves! Leave it alone. Pun intended.
6 days a week I would train hard and eat strict then on day 7 I would binge eat. They call this "cheat" day sometimes in the fitness world which is the perfect name to use if you really enjoy guilt tripping. Sometimes I would be sick for 2 days from how much junk I would stuff in my mouth on cheat days. The guilt would take over as I spent Sunday night in a food coma and then I would enter an aggressive week of dieting and training again. This unhealthy cycle would repeat for years. There are many different eating disorders and body image disorders that stem from not feeling good enough. From starving to binging and obsessing to barfing, we don't feel adequate so we design ways to punish ourselves. If the belief pattern doesn't change it is very hard for the toxic habits to change. You need to remember that you are good enough in the eyes of nature. You belong just as you are. Once you can feel that truth, you can give yourself permission to stop punishing yourself. That being said, if you're really upset about how overweight or underweight you are then this belief can be very hard to download. Start making changes to your health habits and internal dialogue asap. Eating out of boredom is very common in first world countries so we have a much higher risk of dying from eating too much than starving. Finding activities you really enjoy doing might be one of the best preventatives for avoiding food addiction. My transition went from eating too much food into being totally obsessive over health and fitness. It is a healthier option physically but I wasn't healthy mentally.
My head space was totally occupied by diet and looking good. I was so vain my abs became a party trick and whenever my shirt happened to be on I made sure it was a sexy shirt. I remember a phase in high school when I dressed like some sort of wanna-be business man with shiny belt buckles, slippery dress shoes, skinny ties, and whatever other stupid uncomfortable shit I could find. Was I trying to make the cover of Douche and Gabana magazine? No offense to people that enjoy business attire, I get it. Look good feel good. Unless it's uncomfortable, then you don't feel good. To this day I have a phobia around tucking my shirt in. Working corporate for 2 years didn't help with this either. Aaaagg we have to move on, I'm getting nauseous thinking about ties. Are they fancy bibs? Are they leashes for CEOs to tug on? Are they wrapped around your throat to remind you to shut up and do what you're told? I don't know. Ties are creepy. Unless your girlfriend uses them to blindfold you or tie up, but that's a different story.
I played soccer from age 4 to 18 and as I started getting in wicked shape I started getting cocky on the field. I'd rather dangle a kid into a confused pretzle than pass the ball. I had skills and work ethic but looking back I was probably putting on a performance more than trying to help my team win. Sorry team, love you.
I miss the soccer days. Weekend tournaments out on the road putting every ounce of energy into a simulation war game based on kicking a ball into a square. Hating the other team until the buzzer hit. Entering a battle trance with your comrades. Practicing weird drills to improve your chance of winning. Smelling your shin pads and developing a love hate relationship with the smell. Diving and pretending to be hurt... What? It's soccer! If you can't pull off a good dive then gtfo. Don't you watch the pros? They are 50% athletic genius, 50% acting noodle fish. Jokes. 80/20.
My dad was my soccer coach forever which was awesome! Until I became a grumpy teenager and started shit talking him. I would get benched during practice for being a punk. I deserved all of it and he deserved none of it. My dad was a wicked coach and I remember my friends and I loving him as a coach, even if I was a smart ass. Our team wobbled between tier 2 and tier 3 which means we were competitive but no one was going pro. In high school we did 2 Europe trips with the team. One year we did England and France and another year we did Italy. We did really well except for in London. We lost 13 - 0. They call it football because you use your feet. We call it soccer because we're not as good as them and think if we change the name to something stupid we can convince ourselves we don't suck as much? I don't know.
A nutmeg is when you put the ball through your opponents legs then move around him and get the ball. This basically means you made him look like a fool which means you look like a pimp. One time a defender on the other team kept pulling on my jersey and being annoyingly grabby. Finally I nutmegged him and scored immediately after. I danced around him and made some arrogant gesture in his face to celebrate. This earned me a yellow card and meant we were short a player. The other team scored immediately after. My father looked at me with deep disappointment. This is the price of being a smart ass.
I loved the team and all the journeys we went through. Doing something difficult with a team is one of the best feelings in the world. Whether it's playful, creative, physical, or community work, being on a team and having a mission bigger than yourself might be the most human experience ever. In relation to mental health, a team keeps you outside of yourself which helps reduce depression and anxiety. You get to focus your mind on tasks you believe in and overcome obstacles together. This builds trust and friendship which builds a safety net between you and self destruction. Loving relationships combined with interdependence creates a tribe and a tribe creates belonging. If you feel like you belong then you feel free and supported to live authentically. Living authentically brings humanity closer to truth and being closer truth means being closer to love.
To find the tribe that aligns with your truth you must take authentic actions that show the world who you really are. This will repel those who don't align and attract those who do. When you start walking your authentic path some bonds will get stronger and some will get weaker. This is normal because when you allow yourself to change and grow the way you relate to others will shift. This can be very uncomfortable at first because some of your relationships will weaken and this often makes people feel guilty or resentful. I've learned that this is an opportunity to continue loving, supporting, and respecting someone even if they don't align with the way I am changing. This applies to family members, friends, and lovers. There is no need for anyone to feel guilty about life changing. To expect everyone to change at the same speed and direction is stupid. If a relationship fades and you feel compelled to stay connected, lovely. If you feel like disconnecting completely, that's fine. You're inside of infinity and there are no contracts saying you need to be around someone forever in order for it to be a successful relationship. If you learned, grew, and had good times together it was successful.
These relationship changes will also be exhilarating because you will stumble into new relationships that inspire you and affirm that you are moving in the right direction. You can tell this simply by how good it feels to be around them. New relationships don't always mean new people. My relationships with my family and long time friends are constantly shifting because we are all constantly changing, hopefully. Often these changes can bring people closer together even if we aren't seeing each other as often. The love and respect grows as we grow and the relationship develops a deeper sense of support. These deep rooted connections feel like a vital part of the puzzle of feeling whole. New friends are great, but the roots keep you humble.
Relationships with new people are often the most efficient way to grow because they offer new challenges, perspectives, and opportunities. New relationships are like opening a different window to the universe. My favorite kind of new friends are the people that intimidate me with how much love and passion they pour into life. I try to surround myself with people that inspire me and slightly intimidate me because I am fully aware that I will adapt to my environment and grow as a biproduct of being around them. I also see myself as a vehicle for inspiration and try not to limit the amount of love and passion I pour into life. Sometimes I'm scared of others thinking I'm "too much" or "too intense" or "too silly" or "too honest."