“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say” – Bryant H. McGill
The Captain Hammer Project has taken a few interesting turns lately.
I guess before I go any further, I should mention that this will not be one of those posts where I turn on the lights and send the cockroaches of my insecurities scattering. I’ve got many more of those to go, and each one is a serious emotional drain. I find that making myself talk about those subjects requires a very specific frame of mind, and not one given to splits from other topics.
When I’m not jetsetting about the world as the faceman for Clever Monkey Games (MY GOD WE’RE DOOOOMED) I’ve been trained/conditioned to pull a lever for colored reward pellets at ye olde local newspaper. Recently, there was announced a corporate wide weight loss challenge, complete with FABULOUS PRIZES (TM). My department got together to enter the competition and citing my drive and determination (some might use the word “obsession”) nominated me as Team Captain.
This was interesting in that anyone who would look at me would not make the assumption that I was obsessive about anything but cake. (For the record, with very few exceptions, I don’t even like cake)
Strangely honored, I accepted the charge, though warned them that if I was competing for FABULOUS PRIZES (TM) I had zero intent on losing. I would be a cruel taskmaster. They all swore that this was what they wanted and agreed to be mine for the next six months. You know how it goes from here. If you want to follow me,
you’ve got to play hardball. So put in your earbuds, put on your track shoes, you know where to put the fork.
You bet they’re gonna take it.
So I have a different Captain to play for a while I relentlessly pursue the other Captain.
I went to a birthday party last weekend, where I was approached by 4 different people in different conversations who all commented on how impressed they were with my efforts and results so far.
It’s strange, I know I’m doing well. Putting those pictures side by side was a much bigger eye-opener for me than it could have been for any of you.
But compliments always ring strange and false in my ears, especially when it comes to my physical appearance.
For example, I’ve been told by a myriad of women (whose womb I did not crawl from) that I am a very handsome gentleman. Of those unknown numbers, I’ve believed exactly three of them, and even in those exceptional cases, it was not without great hesitation and doubt.
I’ve always struggled with the separation of “fat” and “ugly.” For many of us who should know better, myself included, the two are one and the same.
How could you possibly mean that compliment when you’re talking to me? I liken it to complimenting a child for a good effort to ease the sting of a clear failure.
So I cling tightly to things that showcase my other charms, intellect, compassion, a quick wit, a silver tongue, a penchant for the poetic and a broad sense of humor. Things that can’t be tainted by the shame associated with my weight.
It’s not enough though. I am who I am, all of me. There do not exist enough (nor could there ever be) non-physical qualities that could ever overcome the existence of or the issues I have given myself by my physical condition.
While I always employ tact in my dismissal of such compliments, it’s still a really bad habit with a darker root.
When I compliment someone, I do so not out of a desire to flatter, but in a moment of emotional overboil. It comes out because I’m excited for you regarding whatever I’m complimenting you on and can’t really keep it in.
I’m guessing other people have similar intentions when they pay such compliments, and my thanks to them for their kind words is to politely inform them that they are wrong.
So when people at this party are telling me I look great, people I’ve known for years and who have seen me a great deal heavier, my reaction is to smile demurely and thank them while inwardly rolling my eyes and thinking it’s not good enough because I am not where I want to be.
In my mind, I am still the guy in the before picture. Every single day I take steps to murder him, and every time I go to check how I’m doing, my efforts show progress. But my perception never changes.
Sometimes I wonder if it ever will.
Yikes. Right, so I was not planning to go on that tangent. This was originally supposed to be about an update.
Another 3 pounds of flesh have been sent screaming into the void, even though a bout with depression cost me a few days of exercise. I’m getting over that now so I suspect that as my activity levels rise (which they will because I will lead by example) and that my results will follow suit.
20 pounds in 30 days might be a little extreme, and I didn’t do it this month, but I’m ready to try again.
Oh! And before I forget: GenCon 2013 Housing has opened, and the feeding frenzy has begun for The Best Four Days In Gaming. At the request of a reader, I’m going to spearhead an initiative to spread the Healthy Gamer message and love this year and organize some kind of physical outing for the nerds who want to get some sunshine or raise their heart rate. Maybe a 1, 3 or 5k or some kind of physical game. Or maybe an angry mob chasing me with torches and pitchforks. That seems just as likely. If you’re interested in helping make this happen, reach out to me via any of the contact methods listed here.