I was at one of my favorite dive bars when the bartender walked up to me and said, “We just got in some great new beers. Want me to fix you up a flight?” (It’s a beer bar. It’s awesome.)
“Thanks, man. But I’m actually just going to have some Topo Chico tonight. I appreciate the offer.”
*Bartender stares blankly at me*
“Oh, you’re serious? OK. That’s cool, I guess. Let me know if you change your mind. Here’s your Topo.” You see, this was pretty uncommon for me to do. Well, pretty uncommon for anyone to do at a bar.
At the said dive bar, I usually did 2 things.
- Hung out with my friends
- Drank and ate to excess
It was part of my shtick and image at the time. I loved trying new beers (still do), but I had a pretty different definition when it came to trying a new beer. I wanted to try a full pint of it at least 5 or 6 times before I left. I drank so much beer, and when I drank that much beer, I would always eat a lot of food.
A LOT of food.
Copious amount of food. We’re talking 2 large pizzas without batting an eye here, people. Over a few years, that habit took its toll on my body. I was overweight, and all of the negative side effects of being overweight started showing.
But that was all going to change. I made the switch in my head. I didn’t need alcohol or a copious amount of food to be happy. I needed to do something for ME.
Now, I was caring about myself.
That might sound kind of funny to read, but it’s true. I was caring about myself a great deal now, and I didn’t need to drink a lot of beer or eat a lot of food to mask any issues or insecurities. Caring about myself meant doing what was necessary in order to live a happier and healthier life.
For me, that meant drinking to excess, and binge eating needed to end. And you know what? It was pretty cool to make that change.
Because it is really cool to care about yourself.
At some point during the hype of internet sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, NOT caring about yourself seemed to be the cool thing to do. We were barraged with memes about getting fat. We saw the glorification of blackout drinking benders. We saw the genuine lack of care for one’s own health and wellness.
People were trying to be cool and funny by not caring about themselves.
“Tequila probably won’t fix your life, but it’s worth a shot.”
“Abs are cool, but have you tried pizza?”
“I hope they open a bar named “GYM” so I can finally say I’m going to the gym.”
You get the picture. Everyone tried to be cool by not giving a single care about their health. They tried to throw sarcasm at their problems and hope the likes on Instagram made them feel better. The self-deprecating humor was a cheap and unoriginal shtick to get a meaningless and shallow chuckle.
In the past, I know I did that more than a few times. It was way more fun to crack the joke, “Don’t worry, I’m a fitness professional” as I cracked open my 6th beer for the night than it was to actually say, “No, I don’t need anymore. Thank you.”
Looking back on it now, it was pretty sad.
But people thought I was funny (maybe) so I had that goin’ for me, right? Never mind the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t performing well in the gym, and I wasn’t happy in my own skin. People thought it was funny and I was cool, so it made it all better.
Buying into the hype of internet sarcasm just made me a more unhealthy and sad person. I gained a ton of weight. I tried to find comfort in how much pizza I could eat every Friday night. I masked a drinking problem with the label “craft beer connoisseur.”
It wasn’t until 2017 when my wife and I decided to REALLY dive into our health/wellness and become better examples for our clients that I realized how genuinely cool it is to care about yourself.
- I was a better husband.
- I started sleeping better.
- I started performing better.
- I got into great shape.
- I was confident in my own skin.
Basically, I was caring about myself, and my whole life improved.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re beginning a new journey of self-care and self-love, I want you to know that I think you’re so damn cool.
It’s so damn cool that you turn down a night of drinking so you can get to bed early.
It’s so damn cool that you drink water at the bar when out with friends.
It’s so damn cool that you can say NO to your friends.
It’s so damn cool that you make time for your workouts.
I just think it’s so damn cool that you care enough about yourself to make some positive changes in your life.
Keep it up. It’s worth it.