Last week I ran across an article about a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. The title alone suggested this would be an appropriate book for me! In anticipation of getting the book, I first downloaded a Podcast where Manson was interviewed and had a chace to listen to part of it yesterday and a couple of points discussed hit home to me.
First off, it's not about not giving a fuck what anyone thinks, says Manson. There is a name for people like that - psychopath. Not something we should probably aspire to be. What it's about is caring about the opinions of people who matter in our lives, and not caring about what people who have no importance in our lives think about us.
I remember a while ago, Runkeeper re-posted a story they had done on my weightloss to their Facebook page. It popped up in my feed. I clicked on it and saw a few dozen comments on my story, mostly comments like "Wow! Amazing!" or something about it being inspirational. Among the comments was this little gem: "Still ugly! Weight loss don't fix ugly!" I don't know who this guy is who made the comments, but it hurt my feelings badly.
Now intellectually I get that some idiot who has no meaning in my life making this comment shouldn't matter. I should not give a fuck. But I did. And what Manson didn't say in the interview (maybe he will in the book) is HOW? Knowing you shouldn't give a fuck is one thing, but actually NOT giving a fuck? How do you get there?
The bigger piece that I got from the interview was him talking about that elusive search for happiness. He explained that no matter who you are, what you achieve, you will have shitty days. You should strive to just have better problems.
The example he used was saying that both Warren Buffet and a homeless man worry about money. But Warren's worries are much nicer to have than the homeless guy's. Sadness comes from thinking you can achieve complete happiness - a life without problems. Manson and the hosts went on to talk about celebrities who have committed suicide after seeming to achieve everything they ever wanted.
Last night I went down to our workout room and lifted weights while the dogs ran on the treadmill (they are going stir crazy with this weather!) I thought about the problems I had when I was morbidly obese. And about the problems I have now - like trying to maintain. Certainly my problem of needing to lose 40 ish pounds is a better problem than needing to lose 220 ish! And my problem of only running at a 9:15 pace for 6 miles is a better problem than not being able to run 100 feet at all!
I think that my entire life I was absolutely convinced that all of my problems were caused by being fat. And if I could achieve the miracle of getting down to 150 (for some random reason that was always the number), I would be gloriously happy and all my problems would disappear. And for some stupid reason I thought that once I got the weight off, there would be no issue with staying that weight with little to no effort.
Uhh..yeah. Not so much.
I am going to read the book and see if learning to not give a fuck will help get my mind - and body - to something that resembles a normal person. And if I lose 2 pounds that doesn't mean my problems will be solved, but they will be better...