Gabe Rocks!

Dipping into Aquafitness 🌊

Thankfully I’ve resumed swimming twice weekly. I have the ambition to increase this to three times weekly which is what I believe to be an important step to actually begin making measurable progress in losing weight. My primary goal for the winter and start of the new year was to maintain and enhance mobility. I believe I have achieved this, walking is still challenging but no longer insurmountable. I still have a long way to to when it comes to basic activities, but I’m gaining the ability to do more things easier.

A home gym in the water.

One of the things that has made my regular swimming trips more productive is that I’ve purchased these oversized foam dumbbells. They give me some of the benefits of doing free weights without worrying about balance or falling over. In between laps of the pool I will take a pause to do some basic exercises with them and I feel like they’re making a positive difference. For anyone like me, who is very overweight and struggles with basic tasks, I’d highly recommend getting a pair. They can really help make the best of the time you spend in the water, and help it feel satisfying to continue. Of course, you’ll want to get some inspiration by looking up aquafitness exercises on YouTube or elsewhere.

Some things are getting easier, but I must remind the reader that I am very obese. It is not easy being this big and it is quite hard to reverse. I am very lucky that I have a supportive family that is working to help me improve, but even in that situation there are many challenges. I’m very weary of the false dichotomy many are put in these days. If you love fat people you must enable them, or that if you’re not enabling them you must hate them. As someone who has dealt with a lot of self-hated over my weight I can personally attest that enabling comes from a place of pity rather than mercy. Mercy is accepting the situation as it is, and responding with kindness rather than anger. I can imagine very few things said about fat people online are as hurtful as the things they tell themselves.

As somebody who has been as stubborn and arrogant as anyone else, I would like to remind you that no amount of self-hatred is helpful. I believe this is because for some, a small amount can move them to action for a short period of time, resolving serious obesity requires more action over a longer period than can be sustained with such negativity. I believe the reason why so many fail to regain a normal weight is that the mental methods often employed to maintain a normal weight ultimately fail and backfire causing more suffering in the long run.

My opinion at this time is that actually reversing the damage done in getting this large requires reordering your habits, daily activities, and ultimately your mind. This is an immense undertaking, especially when taken on alone.

Motivational Memes 🌄

You can see the collection here but I’ve added two more videos that I’ve found encouraging and motivating.

Reading Progress 📕

I’ve completed Peter Breggin’s Book: Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions. It took me much longer than I had hoped, but here we are. I’ve learned a lot reading through it, first and foremost that it is possible to overcome even all-pervasive self-hatred and dread. I would recommend this book to anyone who has become numb from built-up frustration, or someone who just wants to learn to live without as much self-defeatism.

I believe I got a great deal out of reading the book over a long period of time, as it helped me reflect on and digest the lessons of the various chapters. Due to the course of my life, some chapters were particularly hard to read through, making progress very slow. A major point raised is that many of your negative legacy emotions such as omnipresent guilt, shame or anxiety are triggered by things outside the present. Regardless if the events were inside or outside of your control at the time, ultimately Dr Breggin argues it’s important to let go of those feelings and focus on living rationally and lovingly in the present.

As somebody who struggles with living in the moment for reasons brought up in this book, it’s helpful to have a frame of mind for how to begin to do so. Dr Breggin defines love as joyful awareness and that you can and should take the time to appreciate simple things in your life. If done right, you can practice applying this to those around you to live a more loving and present life. I’m still very far from putting this into practice perfectly, but I can say it’s been a helpful frame of mind for escaping the maze of my own doubts and fears.

The main reason I need to tackle this is that I recognize the degree in which my overeating has been emotionally driven. Through a troubled childhood, a stroke a few years ago and a grave family tragedy, I had learned to merely push frustrations aside and suffer the effects later. Later has come and It’s become clear that many of my daily activities were aimed solely at avoiding how I’m feeling in the present moment. Peter’s book does a phenomenal job at explaining how constant frustration or sadness can build up into a wall of numbness. It is reassuring to learn that this is not permanent and can be reversed.

In the book, Dr Breggin compares ordering your mind to tending to a garden. Instead of avoiding negative emotions, or distracting yourself from them, you’re supposed to identify them at the root, and refute them. By tending your mental garden you can then order your life to be more focused on loving others and loving life.

I chose to read this book because I have a high appreciation for how Peter and his wife, Ginger explain in COVID-19 and the Global Predators: We are the Prey how the measures taken during the Covid Crisis were an assault on the public. Due to my mistrust with the Canadian medical system as a whole, I decided to reach out for independent help to help understand my issues. I originally reached out to Patrick Phillips who does provide councelling. His approach didn’t work for me, but I appreciated his help. After this, I came across a series of videos by Dr Breggin Simple Truths about Psychiatry where I was reminded of his own distrust for the medical establishment and it recommended his book on overcoming negative emotions.

More Peter Breggin

With my self-help book of the year taken care of, my next book to read is Cybersecurity First Principles: A Reboot of Strategy and Tactics as I aim to regain my focus onto the technological space when it comes to reading. Reading itself may not seem like a personal health activity, but I believe it has many benefits in helping with weight loss. For example, if one is constantly overstimulated with digital distractions, taking the time to read carefully helps bring you to a calmer state. By reading you can disconnect yourself from the dopamine overdose of constantly hunting information and novelty and give your mind a proper pace to learn. I can’t prove it, but I’m convinced that racing your mind constantly itself correlates with either weight gain, or substance abuse. Your mind is precious, treat it with care.

Reply to this post

Swimming Weight
Prev B @ Next