So this weekend I spent an obscene amount of time watching Work Out. It’s a reality show about a personal trainer named Jackie Warner, whose workout DVD’s kick my narrow ass on a regular basis. It’s completely random but I love it, partly because I used to watch it with my mum and it reminds [...]
So this weekend I spent an obscene amount of time watching Work Out. It’s a reality show about a personal trainer named Jackie Warner, whose workout DVD’s kick my narrow ass on a regular basis. It’s completely random but I love it, partly because I used to watch it with my mum and it reminds me of her, but mainly because of all the girl on girl action it includes.
Anyway. As is the case with all reality shows I’m sure, Work Out includes a whole lot of highs and lows, ups and downs, hook ups and break ups, victories and disappointments. And one of the episodes I watched this weekend featured a woman who had been struggling with her weight for years and years, embarked on an intensive program with Jackie, and realized at the midway point of the program that she had gained 15 pounds. And she was fucking destroyed by it. I’m watching the episode, listening to her moan and wail about how she can’t believe it, she’s so upset, no matter what she does she’s always defeated, and I’m thinking to myself, “This woman needs to get all the way over herself”.
Now before I’m attacked by the anti-skinny police, let me just say that I am not without sympathy for this woman’s plight. Believe it or not, I am very familiar with the phenomenon of trying to lose weight and failing and feeling like you will never ever look the way you want to. I get it. It sucks and it’s hard and I can totally empathize. But still, the amount of caterwauling that went on in this episode just kinda made me sick. I had a similar reaction to Mo’Better Blues when Bleek went all basket case after he got beat down and couldn’t play the trumpet anymore. I felt like screaming “Life is tough! Get a helmet!” (that’s word to Jennifer Aniston).
Maybe it’s because I’m emotionally stunted, but I have the opposite reaction to life’s disappointments. You will never in your life catch me standing in the middle of a public place crying my guts out because I didn’t get something I wanted. I would sooner stand in the middle of the street naked than to have anyone see me that upset over something like that. Call it pride, call it what you want, but I’ve always dealt with my disappointment in private. If I’m not home I go home. I get in the shower and think it through or do a little dignified crying, and then if I’m still fixating on it, I go to bed
with a sexy man. The next morning I get up and act like it never happened. If someone asks me about it, I’m philosophical and positive about the experience, and then I either try again or accept that whatever I was trying to do is not in the cards for me.
I recognize that it’s not my place in life to judge or dictate how others handle life’s setbacks, but I couldn’t help but look at the woman in this episode with derision. Not simply because she was acting like her weight gain was some completely random act of God for which she bore no responsibility (it wasn’t – she ate too many cupcakes), but because I think all those histrionics are just so unnecessary and self-serving. Maybe this is me being an asshole yet again, but I just don’t get what all this crying and gnashing teeth and cursing the heavens is supposed to accomplish. It’s just such a waste of time and energy to me – you tried something, you failed, now shut up about it. Crying is not a time machine, it’s not a magic cure-all that will change the outcome, so just put one foot in front of the other and keep it moving.
It’s not that I believe that we should go through life burying our emotions and never allowing anything to affect us deeply. I know that disappointment is a difficult thing to deal with. But I guess I just believe strongly in the game face, especially when it comes to discouragement. I think that wallowing in what we’ve failed to accomplish just feeds a defeatist attitude in ourselves; and if we really want to overcome life’s setbacks, we need to just move past them and use them as fuel to help us hit our goals the next time around.
That’s how I deal with disappointment, what about you guys? Are you giant sucks like the woman in the show or are you more of a “put it in a bubble and let it float away” type like me? Is there a middle ground that we all should be striving for? Speak on it in the comments.