Monday, 24 December 2012
I won't deny it: I was a fat bastard back in the day.
I was fourteen, and weighed somewhere in the region of 90 to 95 kilos. For those of you on the Imperial scale, divide by 0.454 to get the equivalent in pounds, which is 198 to 209. Oh yes, I was a fat bastard. My school uniform had to be specially tailored, and I wobbled when I walked. I was happily shoehorned into the exercise program for fat kids my school had and even stayed in there for two years, but as they say: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
And as everyone who's been through public school as a fat kid knows, you're an easy target; it didn't help that I preferred using a handkerchief rather than tissues, either. (God knows why that made me more of a target. Kids are cruel, that's the only explanation I can come up with.) To make a long story short, school life from the ages of 8 to 15 were not exactly rosy for me; those years beat into me a lot of beta/omega-ish traits that I still struggle with. Keep your head down. Don't attract attention. Be quiet. Follow the path of least resistance. Avoid conflict. Eventually, I got sick of it.
So what did I do? First thing, I resolved to be not fat.
Oh, lots of people certainly resolve to be not fat, and get nowhere. I consulted my physical education teacher, worked out a routine consisting of strength training and plyometrics, and he sent me to hit the weights. For those of you who're not so familiar with the term, plyometrics as opposed to strength or endurance training, is aimed at developing speed, explosive power, and resistance to sudden impulses and exertions of one's muscles.
But it was simple baby steps at first. 50 pounds supine presses, 40 pounds lat-pull downs, that sort of thing. Ten years have gone by since then, and my weight plummeted from 90-odd kilos to 67 or so, then built back up to around 82 as I gained muscle mass. Today, I'm doing 60 reps of 210 pounds supine presses for my plyometrics, and my lat pull downs are 190, going to go onto 200 soon.
No magic bullet to be had. I just kept at it, and when things were getting too easy, I upped the ante. No special diets, although I never liked sweet things anyway (my main weakness is for spicy foods, the kind that's strong enough to bring tears, oh for a good coconut fish head curry) and I'm sure that helped. Try to keep a balanced idea of what went in and goes out, as opposed to just eating whenever and wherever.
The interesting thing was that as my physique improved, the bullying gradually slowed and came to a stop by the time I was about 17. My behaviour changed a little as I began to test and examine the new limits of my improved body, but I don't think my overall attitude changed that drastically - when I look back on things, I still remember a lot of times when the beta/omega traits still surfaced in me. No, despite my insides not really changing, the outside changing was enough to make a very significant difference. Guys would actually greet me in the hallway and show me some modicum of respect (a hell of a big improvement from beating the $%#$ out of me). Girls actually showed some form of interest in me, up to the point where I opened my mouth and said something (probably revealing that I wasn't quite as alpha as they thought I was).
It was a nice feeling.
Now that I've built my body up to some kind of respectable level (although there always is room for impovement, until I get to hulk status, hah), it's time to do the same for my persona, I guess. As I've mentioned in my previous posts, I don't intend to use Game to pick up any of the local ladies for any reason (being a no-relationship MGTOW and all), but it's a good lesson on the nature of human beings and explains a lot of observations I've made in my life, especially when it comes to my alpha thug brother. A lot of the traits involve growing a goddamned backbone, which I fully admit I'm lacking in, and as Aurini explains, that in turn can be applied to all facets of life, not just when it comes to attracting women.
If you can fake it for long enough and convincingly enough, there's a good chance you can become the mask. But baby steps first, grasshopper. Baby steps first. I didn't start out doing hundred-pound lat pull-downs - would've pulled something, if I had.
I've made a personal commitment: to meet the eyes of everyone I pass in the street, and hold it there for at least two seconds before breaking the gaze. To be clear, I don't glare or anything that might be construed as hostile, but a simple establishment of eye contact. It's been a tough effort, especially since I have to overcome the impulse that was beaten into me to keep my head down and sometimes I have to consciously remember to do so, but the results have been interesting.
Firstly, a lot of people either a) ignore me and keep their head down, or b) realise that I'm looking at them and quickly turn away in a fashion that's clearly submissive. How much of this is human, how much of this is me, and how much of this is our culture here in Singapore, I'm not sure. I'm not an expert in this field; all I have are anecdotes. But what I noticed is that by and large, we're a nation of rather cloistered people, to put it as kindly as possible.
So far, I've only had two people meet my gaze and slow down to acknowledge me: the first was a middle-aged (I'd guess late thirties to early forties) fireman who came on board the bus I was on. He caught my gaze, then proceeded to hold it for a good five to six seconds - I was honestly worried that he was going to take offense or even turn violent, but then he gave me a nod, which I returned. During those five or six seconds, amidst the overwhelming impulse to be the first to break the gaze, well...I could feel the static in the air. A few seconds, and yet it was enough to leave me feeling drained by the time the encounter was over.
The second was an elderly Indian lady who gave me a big, friendly smile as I looked at her - I think it was a genuine smile, at least - and I felt obligated to nod and smile back.
Small episodes, perhaps, but important in breaking this mould that I've allowed myself to be poured into. I don't doubt that there'll eventually be a point when some thug in a respectable guy's skin will take it as an invitation to violence, and I'm not sure how I'll eventually stand up to that, if I'll be able to keep my cool. We'll see.