Despite what the title and I myself may say at times…I kind of do give a feck. I think we all do.
I care what people think about me to a certain extent…not so much in terms of my looks, but in terms of me…the real me, the inside stuff that makes me who I am.
I have been reading – again! – and this time it was an online article by a chap called Sean Kim. Now, I am pretty much going to plagiarise a lot of what he wrote…as it was so bloody resonant that I doubt I could improve upon it…although I might have an attempt – you know me, always up for challenge!
Living most of my life as a morbidly obese person – I am only 32 years old…but weighed over 18st at the age of 15…so I have been pretty bloody fat for most of my life – has taught me a few things. It taught me how to find my voice – as my looks never got me anywhere. It taught me that I had to be confident – or get ignored. It taught me that humour is good – but putting yourself down is not good. It taught me that boys liked to be my ‘friend’ – but not my ‘boyfriends’. It taught me that manufacturers of plastic toilet seats didn’t use people of my weight during the pre-manufacture testing phase. It taught me that car manufactures rarely considered the length of a seatbelt. It tight me that legging manufacturers rarely considered stretch versus density of material!
Some of what I have experienced has been good, some not so good. The not so good part has been a tendency to get too caught up in what people think of me. Although I am sure that there are plenty of non-obese people who share these concerns…it’s just that, for me, I went through periods of thinking that what I looked like mattered a lot…and as I was so fat, that surely this wasn’t a good thing.
I know that this is a load of bollocks now though of course. I just worry about that inner stuff instead!
So back to this article…Sean wrote (with a few changes from me!),
‘We‘re all guilty. Everyday from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us. We accept the status quo for what it is because everyone around us does.
We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it’s what we believe in. Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become moulded by how we think other people perceive us.
How are these trousers going to make me look? What will my colleagues think if I spoke out? Are those people talking shit behind my back? If I take this job, what will my friends and family think of me?
Just writing that paragraph alone gave me a headache…
It’s exhausting. It’s dreadful. It has to stop.
Living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think is a terrible way to live. It makes you become the spineless spectator who waits for other people to take action first. It makes you become a follower.
Worst of all, it makes you become someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything.
Today is the last day we live a life dictated by others. Today, we’re going to get to the bottom of the truth. Today is the day we stop giving a fuck.
No one really cares. Believe it or not, we’re not that special.
We go through our days thinking about how other people might be judging us. But the truth is — those people are thinking the exact same thing.
No one in today’s “smartphone crazed” society has time in their schedule to think more than a brief second about us. The fact of the matter is, when we do have time get our thoughts straight, we’re too busy thinking about ourselves and our own shortcomings — not others.
A study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have on average 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.02% of their overall daily thoughts.
“You’ll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.” — David Foster Wallace
It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.” This means that unless you have done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all.
I’ve always enjoyed watching performers trying to hustle some change at the New York City train stations. These guys simply don’t give a F@$%. (WLB here…he used the word ‘fuck’ earlier…but now he uses ‘F@$%’…how strange? Just say ‘fuck’ if ‘fuck’ is what you want to say…personally, I prefer the slightly milder ‘feck’!)
But the more interesting observation I made is how the spectators react. Rather than watching the actual performers, most people are looking around to see how other people are reacting. If people were laughing, they would start laughing too. But if people weren’t paying attention, they would also pay no mind.
Even when provided the blatantly obvious opportunity to judge someone, people are still thinking about how others may perceive them.
Once you understand that this is how people’s mind works, it’s a big step towards freedom.
You can’t please everyone.
It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations. There will always be people — no matter what we say or how we treat them — that will judge us.
Whether you’re at the gym, at work, taking the train, or even online playing Call of Duty. Even now it‘s happening. You will never be able to stop people from judging you, but you can stop it from affecting you.
Think about the worst thing that could possibly happen when someone is judging you or what you’re doing.
I guarantee that chances are — nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing.
No one is going to go out of their busy lives to confront us, or even react for that matter. Because as I mentioned before, no one actually cares. What will happen, is that these people will actually respect you for claiming your ground. They may disagree with you, but they’ll respect you.
Start standing up for what you believe in — causes, opinions, anything. You’re going to have people that disagree with you anyways, so why not express how you truly feel? (WLB here again…is ‘anyways’ a real word…see, I judge! )
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in life.”— Winston Churchill
I’ve learnt that it’s better to be loved by a few people you care about, than to be liked by everyone. These are family, friends, spouse — the people who love you for who you are, and the people who will be there for you during your worst times.
Focus on these people. They’re the only people that matter.
You reap what you sow.
Worrying too much about what other people think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the way we think starts to become the way we behave. These individuals become people-pleasers and overly accommodating to others, thinking it will stop them from being judged. In fact, the opposite is true.
Most people don’t like push-overs and are turned off by it. The behaviour we use in an attempt to please others, can actually cause the opposing effect.
If how we think affects our behaviours, then how we behave affects who we attract.
This means that if you’re a push-over, then you’re going to be attracting others in your life who are also push-overs. Vice versa.
This can be quite a dangerous path to go down if you don’t recognise its consequences.
It’s been said that we are the average of the five people we hang out with the most. When we start to attract and associate with the same people that share our weaknesses — we’re stuck. We stop growing, because there’s no one to challenge us to be better. We start thinking that this is the norm and we remain comfortable. This is not a place you want to be.
Now let’s talk about the cure. Here are 5 ways to stop giving a fuck. (WLB again…see, he said ‘fuck’ properly here too!)
Reclaiming your freedom.
1. Know your values
First and foremost. You need to know what’s important to you in life, what you truly value, and what you’re ultimately aiming for. Once you know who you really are and what matters to you, what other people think of you become significantly less important. When you know your values, you’ll have something to stand up for — something you believe in. You’ll stop saying yes to everything. Instead, you’ll learn to say no when friends pressure you to go bar-hopping, or when a tempting business opportunity that distracts you from your business. When you have your values straight, you have your shit straight.
2. Put yourself out there
Now that you know what your values are, it’s time to put yourself out there. This can be done several ways. Here are a few suggestions:
Wearing a polka-dot sweater
Flirting/Asking someone out
Keep in mind that when you’re doing any of these activities, you have to speak your mind. Be honest with yourself and what you share, because the world doesn’t need another conflict-avoider who does what everyone else does. (WLB here again…I wonder if those who criticised me for speaking my mind recently are reading the ‘honest’ bit here – honesty for me is key…having one persona that you show some people, with another persona for others is, in my opinion, a bit of a sneaky thing – a bit shite actually – remain honest and nobody will catch you out!)
3. Surround yourself with pros
Surround yourself with people who are self-assured, and live life without comprising their core values. These people will rub off on you quickly. One of my best friends, Cody, has been a big influence on me. Having spent the summer with him, I’ve observed countless times where he strongly voiced his opinion on controversial topics. What I learned was that he was simply voicing opinions that people already had in their heads, but were too afraid to voice. People admired him for being so honest and direct, even when they disagreed with his views. Thanks for not giving a fuck Cody. (WLB here again – I am not sure that I have many friends like this – I think mine get bogged down by opinion and concern too…maybe I can try and be their friend who doesn’t give a feck!)
4. Create a “Growth List”
OK, now we’re getting personal. I haven’t told anyone this, but I have this list called the “Growth List.” A Growth List is comprised of all the things in life that makes you uncomfortable. These are fears, insecurities —anything that gives you the jitters. Here’s how it works – you start by writing all the things that make you feel uncomfortable. Then one-by-one, you do them. Once you complete the task, you move on to the next. Repeat.
My first growth task was taking a cold shower. I turned the water as cold as it could get, and I could feel my body shake before I even entered the shower. This was the inner bullshit voice in my head talking. It was hard at first. But surprisingly, it got easier the second time. Then even easier the third time. Before I knew it, my body stopped shaking — I was no longer uncomfortable, I’ve conquered my fear. (WLB here…a cold shower…a fecking cold shower?! As much as I love this article, I think the cold shower is a bit lame. I am sure that you can think of something more than a bit of cold water to ‘grow’…unless, like a lovely lady I know, you are planning on swimming the English Channel – that right there is fecking growth at it’s best! My first growth challenge was going out in public with my nephew to a quiet park – actually, it was a deserted park! Now, I am standing up in front of fellow losers and giving them my warts and all story…so the challenging growth stuff really works.)
This exercise does wonders. I have yet to find a better way to get out of my comfortable zone. You can read all the books in the world about being confident or getting over your fears, but if you don’t take action, you’re just someone who’s read how to ride a bicycle without ever having ridden one.
5. Travel alone
If you’re looking for an ultimate transformation that combines all of the points above, you should travel alone. Traveling with other people can be fun, but you won’t get the opportunity to truly get out of your comfort zone. You’ll be exposed to different social cultures, break social norms that you didn’t even know existed, and ultimately be forced to burst out of your small bubble. Bring as little as possible, and fit everything into one backpack. Plan nothing, except for a one-way flight ticket to your destination — figure everything else out when you’re there. Trust me, you’ll be just fine.
It won’t be easy initially, but don’t get discouraged. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable will grow with time. I continue to struggle with it everyday, as do many others. But you need to get started today.
The world is already full of people who obey the status quo. But the people who don’t give a fuck are the ones that change the world.
Be the latter.
Start living life the way you want, be fearless like you once were as a child, and always, always stand up for the truth.
Someone has to.’
WLB here again! Sean and his stuff is finished now. What did you think? I thought that it was good advice…apart from the cold shower…I am a hot shower kind of girl!
For me, this worry links back to our innate habit of judging people. I know that I do this at times – we all do. And as I know that I do it, I know that others do it too…and so I worry a bit. However, I learnt that what people were initially judging was what I looked like. What I look like is merely the shell I have been given to live my life in – or the shell that I have created. What I look like might reflect some of my life choices…but it doesn’t reflect them all. What I look like doesn’t convey my generosity, my love, my compassion, my joy of reading, my ability to get riled by ignorant stupidity, my need to support the underdog…
So if what I look like doesn’t matter – although I would like ‘it’ to be a bit smaller and more toned! – then why am I bothered? As I said before, I like to think that I live a good life…I help others – coaching, visiting my elderly friend down the road, provide free babysitting to help my sister with her shifts, voluntary work for charity. I try and educate myself. I try not to judge – but don’t always get this right. I am trying so damn hard to change my life. Yet people still make assumptions…they look at snapshots of my life and judge.
In the words of Sean – FUCK IT! If you don’t like what you ‘see’ then you don’t have to keep looking. I am going to do my best to live a life of fullness, of honesty, of giving something back, of grabbing life by the bollocks and not letting go until I am ready to stick this shell inside another shell and pass onto the next life.
Make everything count!
So that’s my ramble for today over and done with. It’s been a good day. I woke up this morning with little squeals of pain – I think those in the know call it DOMS…I call it achy fecking muscles. My training session yesterday was fabulous…but as he promised, he destroyed my upper body. I can’t lift my arms up properly and, without a ‘too much information’ moment, going to the bathroom has proven interesting today!
In order to sort myself out, I decided on a nice cardio workout to warm up my muscles. I spent an hour at the gym working, then headed to see the horses, then popped to Asda, and then went to see my old lady friend down the road. I spent a couple of hours chatting with her before I started flagging and needed to go and make lunch. Lunch was had, and dinner prepared. I caught up with emails and requests for help and advice, before deciding that a swim in a warm pool would be good. So that’s what we did this evening…although Mr WLB called it a day after half an hour…I was dedicated to the cause and did my full hour. There were some splashy gits in the pool tonight though – I got loads of water up my nose and almost choked…it makes me cry too when that happens as the chlorine stings the back of nose and throat and I hate it! Oh, and some plonker thought that me being nice and chatting to another chap in the pool meant something else…”You’re in there mate”, he said to the chap. I responded with, “The only person that is ‘in’ is that gorgeous bloke over there…who happens to be my boyfriend…and thank you for ruining a perfectly nice conversation with a lovely man – you tit!” Honestly…what did he think I was trying to do? Get my leg over in a public pool? Some people hey?!
Breakfast: Banana porridge (5 syns).Lunch: Quinoa salad with leek and potato soup.Dinner: Mixed bean enchiladas (2 x HEA and 2 x HEB).Snacks: Rice cakes with homemade hummus (9 syns).A gorgeous food day! My usual brekkie which fuelled me nicely for my workout. Lunch was lovely – I cooked some quinoa with a stock cube and rustled up a salad to go with it, whilst making a leek and potato soup…with leek, red onions, potatoes, garlic, stock and mixed herbs. Dinner was inspired by my recipe on Facebook the other day – but I kept my wraps flat…so a layer of bean mixture, with a wrap and cheese on top, another layer of bean mixture, with another wrap and cheese on top of this. It was the best post-swim dinner I have had! My snack was ace today too. I made some hummus – chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and Hellmanns lighter than light mayo – and blitzed this with a blender, and had it with some of the rice cakes which are 1.5 syns each. The hummus varies in syns depending on how much mayo you use – I used quite a lot and so mine was 3 syns…but you do get quite a lot of it, and you can use fat free yogurt instead of mayo and this makes it syn free.
Exercise: 60 minutes of cardio at the gym – elliptical machine, hand bike and treadmill, and then 60 minutes swimming this evening.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx