Gary and The Man Costume
Today it's story time.
This is a tale of one man's body confidence crisis, which appeared on the podcast The American Life.
Although The Body Confidence Project project is focused on women, there is a lot to learn from Gary's story.
The whole story lasts 25 minutes.
If you only have 10 minutes, listen to the 8-minute prologue here:
Some journalling questions about Gary's story...
In economics there is a term sunk cost. This means any resources that you have already put into anything that you cannot reclaim: eg you pay for guitar lessons for six months only to discover you hate playing the instrument. How long do you carry on? Maybe you are just resisting because it is hard and the rewards will outweigh your present discomfort. Or maybe you cannot stand accepting the sunk cost of time spend doing something that is not right for you.
After being trained by them for the whole summer, the time the Jetsons have put into training Gary is a big sunk cost. But for whom? What do you think Gary owes the Jetsons?
It seems to me that The Jetsons are training Gary more for their own ends than out of pure generosity.
Can you see any similarities between your own sunk cost experience buying into diet clubs and health systems and the Jetsons’ summer training programme for Gary?
Rachel says: It wasn't just money I wasted - but my self-esteem, and feeling like a failure all the time.
Gary gets called ‘Mr Raw Potential’. But he hates playing football. The price tag of depression is too much to earn this title. What are some of the price tags you have paid for attaining/attempting to attain the superficial gold star that is the Vogue cover girl standard? Were they worth it?
Rachel says: I remember signing up for a set of classes and just turning up to 2. Also the juicing diet, which was the worst thing ever. I got to day 3 and I felt like my head was going to explode! Not going out or spending time with friends because of how I felt about my body.
I think we need to define what a powerful living out of our raw potential might be to replace the ridiculous and overly harsh standards endorsed by The Jetsons, the beauty industry and any self-proclaimed health guru trying to make a fast buck out of your misery.
We have already looked at the idea of building resilience as opposed to being less in date #5: Ideals and Effort
In the meantime, what might be some healthy and powerful inner standards you want to develop through this month and beyond?
Rachel says: Self-acceptance, acceptance of others, having admiration for my body, looking after my body and mind, slow and thoughtful eating, better nutrition, exercise daily (even if only a walk or housework).
Journal about any other things that spring to mind about your own history with body confidence and lack of it.