Page 4 of 4 [ 61 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

NauticalCa
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 48

18 Aug 2009, 3:41 pm

I have some thoughts regarding weight, confidence and the like.

Ever since I found out about my AS, it's taken me a few months to digest the diagnosis and put it into perspective. I've had a tremendous amount of personal pain and a lot of challenges over the years. It's an all-too-familiar scenario for many of us on here, right?

Part of the way I dealt with the pain and sense of social isolation was to eat. Eating was comforting. It was neutral, free of judgment and felt good. And like any addiction, it was rooted in more than just biology. We all have the capacity for addiction, as our biologies are designed to reward the pleasure centres of the brain. And some addictions are honestly beyond psychological -- I'm not ignorant about the nature of being addicted to something. Biology, genetic predisposition and personal traumas factor into people's tendencies to gravitate toward addictive behaviour. But I digress.

Part of the problem for most people, Asperger's or not, is that our relationships with the very things we need for survival -- food, sex, altered states of consciousness, et al -- are also potentially our worst enemies. We know, rationally, that having a second piece of cake or a whole bag of chips is physically bad for us, but some of us ignore it because we can't shut off the need for pleasure. Our minds demand it beyond what is rational and reasonable. Fact is, pleasure is good. We need pleasure to make life worth living. The world we live in can be exceptionally hard and painful. But for some of us -- especially those with very deep reservoirs of unresolved pain -- it is very hard to cope. And we give into excess to cover for pain that's not been confronted. Afterwards, we feel guilt over our behaviour. That then turns into a sense of shame, which effectively allows us to continue with our behaviour patterns because hey, in our addicted mindset, we're lost causes anyway and the behaviour can't be stopped, so why bother confronting it?

This really does lead to the crux of the issue: self-respect and self-esteem (Note: I'm talking about people with psycho-social reasons for addiction here, not people with biological predispositions to alcoholism and the like).

I am feeling freer now than anytime in my life for one very important reason: for years, I had no idea why I was mistreated and loathed as much as I was by a lot of people or so gravely misunderstood or unappreciated. This created a deep well of pain and hurt that manifested itself in various addictions (food, excessive spending, drugs) that almost destroyed me. I have absolutely no doubt that my attractiveness to the opposite sex was little-to-nil because of this fact for years. The pain and addictions, which feed off each other like parasites, were contributing to destroy my self-esteem and wear me down.

Thing is, getting a name and label to everything I've experienced is freeing me. I'm happy about the fact that I no longer have to have reasons to hold onto the personal guilt and shame that it was My Fault the world didn't often accept me. I now know that there's no reason to be weak and self-loathing about my pain. I can now see how strong I've been and how my continuing and growing personal strength as a man will empower me to make the changes I need. I have done some amazing things. I've made mistakes, too. That's being a human being.

I will always be working on battling my addictions. I know the temptations to go overboard will always be there. But I also know that I have so many reasons to love myself, especially knowing I have Asperger's. I have done so much in spite of this condition. I have experienced so much in life in spite of a lot of ignorant assholes in this world.

I am working hard to lose 40 pounds that have been gained over years of bad behaviour. This doesn't mean I'll stop having a drink once in awhile, having a slice of pizza or whatever. I won't go to the opposite end of the spectrum and live a life of fanatical guilt over food that means I can't enjoy anything because Esquire told me I should look like a Greek God and dress like a movie star.

It means I have to say to myself: you are worth so much more than that chocolate bar. You are worth so much more than a momentary, fleeting moment of excess. You are good and worth appreciating. Pleasure can be good. But you can't truly appreciate something unless anticipation is part and parcel of it.

So what I'm trying to say is: you're a human being and you will have moments of weakness. You will feel despair from time to time. But quite frankly, don't let other people and the world we live in -- our sometimes-narrow, unforgiving, cruel and judgmental world -- tell you what you're worth. There's a lot of people and forces out there that want you to delve deep into the guilt-shame cycle. They want you to do it because you make a small proportion of them wealthy. They want you to be in unsatisfying relationships that force you to settle or make do with addictions that develop over time. They want you to feel bad, because it means they get richer. They want you to hate yourself, because then you'll go and buy things that will momentarily alleviate the pain. They want you to think of distractions that prevent you from really looking hard into yourself and asking, "Why? Why do I keep doing this when it doesn't ever make me happy?"

Feeling despair is when we feel dissonance between our real personal needs and our outside realities. You can change both. You have to believe you are worth it.



ToadOfSteel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,157
Location: New Jersey

20 Aug 2009, 9:14 am

I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...



Silvervarg
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 787
Location: Sweden

20 Aug 2009, 9:59 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...

Well, don't exercise, just do things the hard way. Walk alot f.e.


_________________
Sing songs. Songs sung. Samsung.


Janissy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 May 2009
Age: 53
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,450
Location: x

20 Aug 2009, 11:29 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...


You have to pace yourself, not injure yourself. Stope before the pain starts. But do something every day. A good way to get started is to follow Silverarg's advice of "do things the hard way". That means instead of saying "I will run 5 miles starting today" when you get winded walking 5 blocks, just do things the hard way for starters. Be inefficient (how counter-intuitive, but it works). Instead of arranging things in your home so you will have to move the least in order to get them, let them be inefficiently arranged so that you are constanly having to get up and move from room to room. Put things on high shelves that you use a lot. Now you have to do an arm stretch to get them. Walk up starirs instead of taking the escalator or elevator. Go in the entrance to a building that is on the far side. You have to walk down the sidewalk to get there. Now you have to walk upthe hallway once inside to complete the circle and get to your original destination.

Efficiency is the enemy of exercise. And the kind of exercise you will be doing by taking the most indirect (walking) route and using stairs and having to stretch up to high shelves will not be painful because it won't be sustained. But it has to be frequent.

After you've gotten yourself into a "moving more" mode for awhile, your body will be ready for something a little more. You don't have to join a gym. You can buy a set of freeweights and use them at home. Start small. Just a few reps of the lighter weights. Don't do it till your muscles are screaming. Just until you can feel it some. Increase your walking to running. But just run for a few seconds, perhaps 30 seconds at a time. They call this "microburst running". You run for 30 seconds, then walk for awhile. Then run for another 30 seconds, then walk for awhile. Over time, you shift the balance to longer and longer stretches of running. But you start with microbursts so you don't get that discouraging and painful stitch in your side.

The "happy" feeling doesn't start on the first day. If you pace yoursdelf so that you start slow and pace yourself so it doesn't hurt, you will merely be annoyed. It's so much faster to walk through the door in front of you rather than going around to the side and then looping back around through the hallway. You just added 15 minutes to whatever you are trying to do. Yes. But it was 15 minutes of exercise. Sneaky. And it works. The happy feeling starts when your body starts changing (and it will if you do this). It starts when you realize that you aren't winded at the top of the stairs anymore. MyGod! That was so much easier than it was last month! You could go up two flights of stairs instead of just one. And you do. That's a psychological boost to realize your body is stronger and more effective than it was even a month ago. As you continue, you realize your pants are looser. Where is that gut going? Away! All those flights of stairs are getting rid of it. More happiness. Going into the store to buy clothes in a smaller size feels GOOD. And the physical changes cause a happiness that is physical, not just psychological. When your body becomes stronger and more effective, you physically feel better. And what's that on your arms from lifting the freeweights? Muscles! You feel powerful. Crank it up to a heavier weight. It won't even hurt.

The endorphin rush happens to people who are already fit and exercising fairly frequently. If you chase after it before you are fit, you will just feel pain. The good feeling that is within your reach if you start now is that sometime this Fall, perhaps Halloweenish) you will realize you have more energy than you did in August and can physically go farther without getting winded. By December, if you keep this up, you will be buying yourself a Christmas present of new pants in a smaller size. By next Spring, if you keep this up, you will be ready for the challenge of fun outdoor activities that previously you felt unconfident about. Maybe you join a hiking club or something else in your area that previously seemed unreachable. Women join these too. You are now full of energy- which is attractive- and you are much fitter, which is also attractive. And you haven't spent the last half year obsessing about rejection because you were too busy taking the longcut instead of the shortcut on your way to work. Your mind is more at peace. Your body looks good. You are full of energy. You like doing physical stuff. THIS is attractive.

Go Go Go!



billsmithglendale
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2008
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,223

20 Aug 2009, 11:53 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...


If you're feeling serious pain, and not just fatigue, you're either doing something wrong or have the intensity too high. I recommend you do some research online or consult a professional. It is normal to feel somewhat crappy and overly tired the first 10 minutes of any vigorous aerobic exercise, but that wears off by about minute 20 or so. For weights, you really want to make sure you don't overdo it and hurt yourself.

You also need to be sure to give at least one day's full rest in between most vigorous workouts, especially weights. All of us heal at different rates, and overtraining (working out too often and not giving your body time to rebuild and recover) is one of the main sources of fitness program failure. It's always better to err on the side of caution and wait an extra day or so if needed, and to start out slow and build just as slowly in intensity.

Don't listen to any of the "you need to do X amount of sets per body part and work out 5 days a week and blah blah blah" -- a lot of advice out there is from muscle heads who either have great genes for recovery, are doing steroids, or both. I can recommend some good authors if you want who aren't crazy roid head and who believe in safe and sane fitness.



LePetitPrince
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Mar 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,464

20 Aug 2009, 12:02 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...


Just run or walk ... or just MOVE IT!


.... just

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x3W6hutEj8[/youtube]



anna-banana
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,682
Location: Europe

20 Aug 2009, 12:07 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I also don't understand the whole "exercise makes you feel happy" statement either. I get the whole endorphin theory, but when I exercise, I don't feel good about it... I only feel even more pain. I can't tune out pain like other people can as it accumulates, so it just makes me feel worse. And don't even get me started with the following morning...

The only way I could ever feel good about exercising is if someone else made me feel good about it... positive reinforcement goes a long way with me...


that's exactly why you need to do it regularly, and by that I'm talking at least 3 times a week for at least an hour. when I started running I would get extremely tired after some 5 minutes, all red on my face, with my tongue flapping out and breathing heavily :p but I stuck to it and it only took me about a month to start looking gracefully while doing it ;)

and the endorphin high really is awesome now. it's obvious you're not going to enjoy it when it makes you feel so bad physically because your physical condition is low. but persevarance really does miracles, you'd be surprised how quickly your body adjusts to regular workout and starts actually craving it.

I'd advise you to add some activity to your routine, something that you enjoy, like walking or whatever, and just do it regularly, don't overforce yourself but keep doing it.


_________________
not a bug - a feature.


MissConstrue
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,046
Location: Missouri

20 Aug 2009, 1:08 pm

ToadOfSteel wrote:
MissConstrue wrote:
And TOS, I can pretty much identify your feelings of despair. I know exactly what it feels like, in fact I've gone to the extreme and tried to take my life for feeling like it was hopeless. But I found through so much counseling and rehabs that happiness or whatever isn't things you get for free. It has to come from inside yourself before you find it out there.

I keep hearing this, and get the idea that there's some merit to this type of statement... but there is one thing that keeps nagging at the back of my head about this: If I were to be perfectly capable of being happy by myself, what's the point of finding somebody to help me? It just seems like it's defeating the purpose is all...


OMG, You gotta be kidding me?

How do I define happiness and how do I define happiness since happiness could be anything. If you think happiness is found exclusively in romance then you are mistaken my friend. Most people who enter relationships like this come to find dissappointment just as those who go under the knife thinking they'll be more happier if they looked better....just to find out they still feel ugly on the inside.

I do not know how to word this in a way that makes sense to you since you seem to think happiness is everything even sex and that's not what I was defining as happiness. More or less content and yes....people who like themselves are more apt to being happy in a relationship. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you will have to involve much of yourself in the relationship just as the other person. You can't expect that person to involve all of themselves to you if you're not providing. And if you are not comfortable or like the very person you are, it is going to show.

When I say like yourself, I don't mean that you are going to be very content and sexually happy with yourself. You're bound to find flaws just as much as you're to find positives. It's human nature unless you're referring to that of a narcist....

So to sum this up, you're going to have to find it yourself.

It is obvious that no one can do it for you. I already listed my approaches in how I sought help for this problem. The thing is, I had to be willing to listen and see it from another person's perspective....


_________________
I live as I choose or I will not live at all.
~Delores O’Riordan


AutisticMalcontent
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 29 May 2008
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 459

21 Aug 2009, 2:16 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I know there has been a "give up" thread recently, and I've stated there and will say again that I have no intention of giving up...

But, anyway, the point of this thread is that I can't help but feel such deep despair that I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life... I get the idea of "if she doesn't like you, there's nothing you can do about it", and I can understand completely... I also keep hearing the whole "meet as many women as you possibly can" line as well, and while I try to get to know every woman that enters my social sphere (the activities I'm involved in), I still don't understand the whole going out with complete strangers thing...

The problem is that, within my social sphere, I see all the people around me hooking up (in many circumstances with other people in said sphere), but there is still nobody for me. Every woman I've ever been attracted to wants to be "just friends", and with one exception that allowed for a bit of playful (though not serious) flirting, they've all kept me at arms' length. Again, I don't blame any of them for that, it's obviously their own life and I shouldn't interfere with that. But at the same time, I feel so lost and alone... I feel as though I should give up and cut myself off from the pain of despair, but a part of me is so stubborn and refuses to give up, so I'm not even offered that small measure...


Toad of Steel,

I really do sympathize with your feelings of loneliness and despair. I, myself, have felt those feelings as well for a long time. I know what it is like to be rejected, and I know what it is like to feel that you will never be in a relationship or get married, and that you should give up. It is a terrible feeling.

However, what Sunshower said is true, you only truly give up and are defeated when you stop trying. However, there is an alternative to giving up, and I call it partial apathy.

Partial apathy is where you focus your life on other things that are not of a romantic nature, and only go on the offensive when you meet a girl you really, really like. For me, I focus on all kinds of things, learning facts and trivia, reading books, collecting swords, daggers, and knives, television, chatting online, etc. Since I focus all my intention of other things besides romance, I'm never really sad or depressed. I believe that when a person is alone without anything to do, negative or despairing thoughts enter their head. If you're always busy with lots of activities, it is hard to feel lonely.

Now I engage myself in all my interests and hobbies. I have yet to find a girl I am truly attracted to both physically and mentally, so I am more or less "apathetic" about 99.9% of women. But if I ever come across a girl who I find very physically attractive as well as mentally attractive, I will give her chase. It is not entirely giving up, it is ignoring until you find an irresistibly charming gal to go after, and in the meanwhile, occupying your mind with other things.



ToadOfSteel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,157
Location: New Jersey

21 Aug 2009, 8:26 am

Well that's actually what I try to do... in my case, burying myself in work at my church... it helps because, like you, I'm apathetic about 99.9% of women... I've said before that I only become attracted to a woman after knowing her for some time...

Anyway, it helps to an extent... I certainly don't feel anything different when I actually am around a woman, and it helps with establishing platonic friendships, but the moment whatever I'm doing to distract myself is over, the feelings of loneliness return again immediately... To fully defeat it, I would have to be working pretty much every waking moment... and then when I didn't have time to talk about the loneliness here, it would just build up over time until I snap and actually do become another sodini...



LePetitPrince
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Mar 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,464

21 Aug 2009, 9:10 am

zzzzZZZ



AutisticMalcontent
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 29 May 2008
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 459

22 Aug 2009, 1:42 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
Well that's actually what I try to do... in my case, burying myself in work at my church... it helps because, like you, I'm apathetic about 99.9% of women... I've said before that I only become attracted to a woman after knowing her for some time...

Anyway, it helps to an extent... I certainly don't feel anything different when I actually am around a woman, and it helps with establishing platonic friendships, but the moment whatever I'm doing to distract myself is over, the feelings of loneliness return again immediately... To fully defeat it, I would have to be working pretty much every waking moment... and then when I didn't have time to talk about the loneliness here, it would just build up over time until I snap and actually do become another sodini...


Hhhmmm, I see. You know, I'm glad that you mentioned that you work at a church, which means that you're a Christian. I am one as well, and considering that we have this in common, I would suggest that you pray to God and ask Him for guidance and support.

For instance, in James 1:5-6, it says:

“If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives graciously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Matthew 19:26 also shows that nothing this is impossible with God:

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

I honestly believe that if you talk to God with sincerity and seek His help, He will help you. I'm not saying to go to God and say "Please, let me have a girlfriend very, very soon." God is not some genie would grants wishes, but He cares about us and does what is in our best interest. When we seek Him out, God helps us, and it may be the way we expect, but it may be in a way we don't expect.

I know talking to God works because He has helped me with one of my personal, greatest struggles, and because I have asked for His help, He has given me the strength to overcome what has burdened me for so long. Surely if God has helped me, He can certainly help you out. If I were you, I'd pray to God and ask Him to show you the plan He has set out for you, and pray that if He has someone in mind for you, that He may in His kindest and grace show you that person, whether it be sooner or later. Good luck, Toad of Steel, and God Bless! :)



AutisticMalcontent
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 29 May 2008
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 459

22 Aug 2009, 1:44 am

LePetitPrince wrote:
zzzzZZZ


Come now, our discussions can't be THAT monotonous :P