A reader asked why I talk so much about being physically vs mentally fit. Good question. I’d dare say if you were a more regular reader *hint hint*, you’d know that I have used this blog over the last 8 or so years to try and work on my mental/emotional growth. From my perspective, it’s just the opposite. Lawd only knows I have my demons and have worked hard to exorcise them as best I can. Not an easy task but possible. I’m proud to say some I’ve killed off, others I’ve just beat into submission. And yes, even a few I still battle with. That is the nature of life.
I do spend time on a variety of subjects including religion,1 physiology, and psychology. I’ve always had a very metaphysical slant in my beliefs. One such book that was truly a revelation was Eastern Body, Western Mind.2 On the surface, it deals with Chakra development, but as you delve into the book it is clear the author has a strong knowledge of psychology. The combined outlook was a pivotal and truly life-changing read for me. It helped me identify and focus on healing fundamental parts of my psyche that were damaged and scarred from childhood. Seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book helped me.
Even if you don’t believe in chakras, I still highly recommend it.3 To this day, I can’t read the book w/o getting goose-bumps at some point. It was that profound for me.
As for the physical, having been very scrawny as a kid, I have struggled all my life to improve my size. Vanity certainly plays a role but I’ve mentioned here plenty of times the benefits of being physically fit. So yes, I do harp on my progress (or lack) in the gym from time to time. But, it is not the only focus in my life or even the most important. I wish more guys spent half as much time working on their inner demons as they did their pec muscles.
To this day, I still internally perk up when someone refers to me as big. While I was shoe shopping the other day, the sales clerk at Foot Locker referred to me as “a big guy such as yourself.” It was obvious he wasn’t trying to flatter me because he looked slightly embarrassed after he said it. I giggled inside because I still don’t exactly see myself that way. While my dysmorphia is not as pronounced as before, it still lurks in my id. I guess it is something you never truly get over. I don’t see myself as the scrawny kid I used to be but I also don’t think I see myself as I truly am.
As I always say, the important and often overlooked distinction is to find balance. Too much of anything can be bad for you. I don’t live for working out but I do spend the necessary time it takes to care for my body as well as my mind. I’m currently trying to see how lean I can get. It’s a slow process because I love to eat. lol