The bad

Everybody, and I do mean everybody, has some good and some bad in them. Whether we like to admit it or not, each of us has done or thought things which we would rather people never learn about. Some people really excel at hiding the bad so that nobody really knows it’s there, but it is. You probably know the type – always smiling, always going out of his or her way to help somebody, and never, ever saying a bad word about anyone. Though I’ve grown more cynical over time, I still believe the good outweighs the bad in most people. The thing I’ve come to realize over the years is that what makes a person essentially good (that is, way more good than bad), is that he or she acknowledges the bad, rather than tries to pretend it doesn’t exist, and that he or she focuses on enhancing and exhibiting the good.

Today, I’m attempting to acknowledge some of my bad. I’ll work on the good part later.

You see, I’m a problem solver by nature. I’m also a control freak – as in, I feel the need to either be in control of, or take control of, a situation. I solve problems and deal with crises of all sorts every day at work and at home. I’m that annoying person who will just do everything myself, because I want it to be done right. I figure that if it’s done right the first time, then there will be fewer problems to solve later. My friends, and the family who tolerates me, know to stay out of my way when I’m in that control-mode.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

But there is one problem I’ve had for as long as I can remember that I’m unable to solve. I wonder if I’m alone, or are there a whole lot of people out there who feel the same as me?

Have you ever just stared at yourself in the mirror and asked your reflection, “What is wrong with me?”

I do.

More often than I care to admit, in fact.

I mean, I’m smart and I know exactly what I am supposed to do to be healthy. What is wrong with me that I can’t seem to actually do it? People all around me do what it takes every single day. So what is wrong with me?

It’s depressing. It’s discouraging.  It’s a problem, and it’s one I’m completely unsure how to fix. In fact, sometimes it’s even difficult for me to identify what the actual “problem” is.

Is it my attitude? Is it some sort of addiction? Is it thinking that I have a problem in the first place? Is it eating too much? Is it exercising too little? Is it placing blame – on myself or on others? Is it feeling alone? Is it poor coping mechanisms? Is it guilt? Is it low self-image? Lack of confidence? Lack of courage? Maybe it’s some sort of cocktail of any or all of the above. Maybe it’s something I have yet to consider.

I only know one thing for sure. It’s scary to be a control freak and to feel so out-of-control of any aspect of your own life.

That’s how I feel about my health. Out of control. It seems implausible to think that a control freak like me might actually have a problem with self-control, but it sure seems to be true.

The last time I wrote, I was full of encouragement and confident in my recent success with adopting a healthier lifestyle. Today, just three weeks later, I write with resignation and my tone is likely far less inspirational. Such is the life of a chronic dieter – moderate flirtations with success and change, followed by the sinking despair of failure. I know I’ll rise from this slump and once again muster the courage to reach for carrot sticks in lieu of cookies, but for the moment I am content to wallow.

And there you have it.

The bad I’m confessing today is my controlling nature, which ultimately leads to self-loathing when I fail to control something I feel I should, which finally leads to self-pity. Next week, I promise, I will work to enhance and exhibit the good. Did I mention I have a tendency to procrastinate?