Long gone are the days when I kept myself active, I was constantly out playing football with friends, running around for hours and it was something that I loved doing. Over time things began to change, football wasn’t being organised the same and for a lengthy period of time I found myself inactive. Looking back I wish I took more action to have done something about that knowing what the past ten years have been like of my life. Things started to go downhill when I turned 22 as being less active, eating unhealthily and drinking occasionally, especially stout, this took its toll. I found my fitness level had dramatically decreased, any time there was football which was few and far between I found myself struggling for breath and began noticing the increase in my weight.
I had suffered much depression in the past, during and prior to that period in my youth. I never quite understood the true meaning of concentrating on oneself, my self esteem had already taken a battering from the trials and tribulations I went through in the past in my younger years, however at least back then I had strong self belief, back then I could speak confidently of my ability, strengths and weaknesses, as well as my appearance, I felt good about myself in that regard despite the rough times I went through. Losing my fitness was the beginning of something that destroyed a large part of me.
I have great memory of many of my younger days when I went camping and hiking. When I was 18 years old and climbed Ben Nevis in October, 2002 I can remember climbing up Ben Nevis at a relatively quick pace and only began to tire by three quarters the way up, even then I managed to reach the summit with a lot more energy. It would be four years later in 2006 when I climbed Ben Nevis for the second time with friends, I noticed a considerable difference then, I still managed to reach the summit but was struggling at the best of times to catch my breath. Being fair to myself there was one point where two friends took a different route to the summit and myself and a few of my other friends headed back down the mountain path by about 30 odd minutes to see if we could find them, they had walkie talkies so once we found out they were at the summit we turned back up. With that being said however I knew I wasn’t as fit as I once was.
The change in my lifestyle being inactive took its toll on me, I let myself go and the drink didn’t help. I ate unhealthily and was binge drinking alcohol on the occasion with friends, part of me in the back of my mind was not pleased with the direction I went regarding my fitness and wished to do
something about it, I never had the same willpower which I wish I did. Too much of my own personal love life or lack thereof was deteriorating my self-confidence and once I lost the fitness and gained the weight it was a long road of endless pain and suffering.
It was around 2007 and 2008 that my weight greatly increased and knew I wasn’t best pleased with myself. Prior to the weight increase the only thing that truly affected me appearance wise was my eye astigmatism, I was never truly confident for that reason when having my picture taken, as my mum once pointed out that my eye wanders when I begin to tire. I always reminded myself however that nobody is perfect and if I stared myself in the mirror I could smile knowing I felt good about my appearance, the weight gain destroyed that in me and only now I’m beginning to turn things around. The weight gain itself took away my confidence to smile when having my picture taken. When I look back I’ve felt that way ever since and that was over 10 years.
My first ex-girlfriend was short lived, she came into my life so fast and was gone so fast after the sexual relationship I had with her, that emotionally destroyed me, part of the saying goes that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone and at that time it certainly lived up to that. My head was all over the place during that time period, part of me felt happy but I was also lost and once she kicked me out of her life it took me a long time to get over that. I never had the strength or belief in myself after that, it was soul destroying because I faced depression many years in the past and that horrible experience took everything out of me, I began to feel truly worthless, I didn’t have the energy nor did it cross my mind about getting myself fit again, at least not to the same level. I believed that time would be the healer but that proved to be a big mistake and one which I wish I could turn back the hands of time and change.
When I look back and realise time is not the only healer I can see a big part of what went wrong and the worst thing I did for so many years was thinking time would take care of itself and instead of truly understanding the meaning of concentrating on oneself to build self-confidence, I never did. I knew I was unhappy with myself but never crossed
my mind as such to properly do anything about it. Part of myself at that point convinced myself that someone would accept me for the way I was and I became too co-dependent without realising what I was doing. I was depending on others for happiness, to feel better about myself and all that led to was disappointment, after disappointment.
A year after the first ex-girlfriend I had a second relationship, this time it lasted a year. I am not proud of the things that happened and I blame having neglected myself for this reason. I tried to at least do some fitness stuff back then but nothing like how I feel today, I was still eating the wrong types of food etc and didn’t have the same willpower. The relationship was on and off and eventually when it came to an abrupt end it tore me apart, I found myself lonely and constantly guilt tripping myself over everything that happened and this really didn’t help the way I thought about myself.
When you go through a long sustaining period of self-doubt you begin to believe everything of it, it became a habit, something I expected like it’s part of me. A recent video I watched made me think and realise that it wasn’t me, that we as human beings can change, we’re not fixated and the only reason I was destined to that was the lack of self esteem.
I always had it in the back of my mind that I wasn’t pleased about how I looked, therefore unsure of myself feeling I wasn’t good enough for anyone whom I liked. Depression and anxiety would take over and cause me to do and say things I didn’t mean and each time a lassie showed interest in me, my lack of self esteem sadly scared them away. You could imagine what that would have felt like to have that happen persistently over so many years and not feeling good about yourself, you begin to feel debilitated. The neglect I left myself left me with co-dependence on others and convincing myself each time that it was just the wrong person, to have belief there would be someone. This wasn’t the case and only till now have I realised that.
I used to read certain self-help articles and blogs online looking for answers, however I realise a big part of my problem was the inability to stop punishing myself looking into the past. All positive thought of myself was put to the back of my head and disappeared. When I think back to the stuff I read it was a means to try and improve how I felt to give me something, although unaware I wasn’t truly concentrating on myself. Last year alone was debilitating, hurtful, soul destroying and took so much out of me, felt myself constantly crying inside to just end the suffering and finally coming across a lassie I really liked only to have scared her away start of this year, 2017.
Although I still get my sad moments as I am very empathic and negative thoughts try to creep into my head, once I began reading a book called ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ it opened up a whole new world to me, made me question things I hadn’t thought of before. An example of this was when I looked into the past all I saw was pain and hurt, all the negatives that dragged me down and that’s the only thing I thought of the past. However, as one of the tasks I came across it got me thinking back in the past of things which made me feel good about myself and to only think of those things. That completely blew my mind because in the past I neglected all of that by believing I’m not worth it.
One of the things it taught me was that we are goal striving people and made me realise that when I lost direction career wise start of 2012 and felt depressed, I felt better once I began pursuing something I found interesting; I did a test to find something and eventually after trying the travel and tourism thing I pursued TV operations with photography and since then I’ve been hooked. Understanding that we’re goal striving people changed my perspective, it made me realise that when we have goals we feel good about yourselves, when that disappears we lose purpose. One question I came across for self-help was to look into the past and think about what things made me feel low about myself, what was it that brought me down.
Something dawned on me, I knew I wasn’t happy at all about my weight and when I began asking myself that question and pin pointing the things that made me feel low about myself, I began properly setting a goal to tackle that problem once and for all. Although I get some flashes in my head of negative thoughts I battle with those thoughts by telling myself they’re not true and this was something I learned to do from the ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ book I had read. Despite that within the course of a month from February 6th, 2017 to this date I have managed to lose a good bit of weight in noticeable difference. I’m still progressing towards my target and feeling better for that already. I wish I could have taught my younger self this years ago, had I understood this back then I perhaps would have been in a different frame of mind and regained fitness a lot quicker.