Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Personal Update

It has been approximately a year since I became single, started eating right and exercising. I think it's time to an update to see if I have managed to maintain my healthy lifestyle.

As of this morning, I weigh just under 175 pounds. Which means that despite my attempts to get fat (candy, pasta, beer, lack of exercise), I didn't. I'm quite lean! The problems I was having in the summertime, where clothes didn't fit me, continues. I had to buy a suit for a work Christmas party because the blazer I bought in the summer doesn't fit. The major problem? I'm too lean.

I need to pack on the muscle and get broad again. I used to be intimidating. Now I am just skinny. I know this is a bizarre problem to have, but people don't seem to like the lean, they prefer the muscular. Unfortunately, packing on the muscle and maintaining it is a very time-consuming thing. One has to be determined and committed and I'm not sure if I am. I don't like weight-training. It's boring and I don't feel as good as when I finish a run.

However, my arms and upper body are starting to tighten thanks to hot yoga, which I started this week. It's hot but not hot enough to be honest. This is the first time I've done yoga since last year and while I didn't remember much, the leanness of my body means that I am particularly adept at yoga. Within a week I have become quite proficient in the "beginner" yoga that I am taught. Within a month or two, I expect to be fully bored with yoga. It will no longer be challenging. Which is unfortunate because it burns a ton of calories and relaxes me.

I plan on riding my bike to work next week depending on the weather, which is predicted to be around -3 or thereabouts. I have been riding on my bike stand here and there for most of winter, so I don't think I will have great difficulty with the first ride. Leading up to the date, I plan to ride a couple more times, more intensely.

In terms of my life, I am whatever. I feel very meh about things right now, and I am not quite sure why. However, my overly self-reflexive brain is analyzing everything and putting things into perspective. Without going too deep into my feelings (gross), I can say that I am somewhat depressed but I balance that out with days of manic happiness. I'm not sure what is going on with my brain. I am showing some symptoms of bipolar disorder, but it's not extreme on either end. It's intensely dangerous to self-diagnose especially off information gleaned from the Internet, but I know enough psychology and my own personality that my current swings between euphoria and depression aren't healthy. Whether this means I need medication, therapy, sex, love, a vacation, or a dose of reality remains to be seen.

I keep thinking I need sex and/or a girlfriend, but again, I feel ambivalent about both of these things to be honest. While I think sex itself needs to be liquidated of all the sociocultural things attached to it, my own anxieties about it (which are taught behavior - thanks society!) stop me from accomplishing any meaningless sex. It's fascinating as a self-reflexive person, but frustrating in that I know sex is deeply cathartic. I would feel better about myself if I could have sex or have a girlfriend. However, as I have shown, I'm not interested in either thanks to economic and emotional factors.

I'm just not interested in anything cultural at the moment, which is a definite sign of depression, or at least, my own manifestations of depression. This is not the first time I have developed delayed depression after a breakup, but what's interesting to me is that it doesn't seem to be related to the breakup. I barely think of my ex. In my less rational moments, I tend to be depressed about the burden of the future, and the impossibility of achieving any semblance of happiness and economic stability.

I'm guessing that I am not alone in this fear of the future. I assume that there are millions of middle class people who are slowly realizing that their dreams are unattainable in our economic climate and the postcapitalist system whereby the debt you bring on will always be bigger than the funds you bring in.

What am I going to do about this? Well, right now I am simply monitoring the swings and attempting to use inductive reasoning to determine the root causes or my depression, and I guess using deductive reasoning to determine triggers of general depression within (rather than without). I think any further dips into either end of the extremes will result in visiting a physician to medicate. I've been on antidepressants before. They help maintain an even balance for me. I could use that right now.

Why am I writing this all down? Why am I using my blog as a method of confession? Well, the answer is personal and cultural at the same time. Personally speaking, I like doing these personal updates as a way to temporalize my progress. It's interesting going back and seeing that my weight loss was -40 pounds or -50 pounds and seeing that progress as a timescale. On the other hand, culturally speaking, we are often compelled to confess on a massive scale. We're obsessed with doling out the personal info. Some of that might be due to the over-empathizing of Western civilization. Some of that might be due to the technologization of our lives and the removal of anonymity through Facebook.

I am not embarrassed about my own feelings or even my own self-reflection. Part of the stigma of mental illness is culture's oversensitivity. It's uncomfortable for people to discuss mental illness. I suspect that it is uncomfortable because people do not like to be reminded that it's fairly easy for the brain to lose control. We sleep easy thinking our mind has control over the rest of the body. Of course, this control is an illusion. We just don't like to be reminded of it.

On a lighter note, I am determined to go on vacation this summer. I have to go to Vancouver for my cousin's wedding (who is five years younger than I) which will be cool, but it's not really a vacation. At least I already have the suit ready to go. I want to go to Montreal again. I've been thinking about this for a few months and inspired by a girl I've been talking to, I am going to go. Or, when I am in Vancouver, I will stay a few extra days and go to Victoria or something - anything. I just want to travel. Nothing in Winnipeg is keeping me anymore. I am ready to move on. The excitement I felt about the possibility of the future has been minimized over the course of a year, but there exists a small glimmer of it within when I think about the size of the world and the things I haven't seen. Maybe this is what will help be out of my funk: getting out of Winnipeg. A psychotherapist recommended it to me 6 years ago. I have no excuse to follow up on that advice.

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