When I performed this behavior-change-project it steadily increased the presence of happiness in my life and had also increased my energy, confidence, and overall well-being. I could not believe the personal rewards I reaped from a single school assignment, not to mention an assignment I had to base on myself. Not knowing which behavior to nominate to change at first, I directed my attention to focus on anything I wished were different in my life, or at least things I could change myself. That was not too difficult-considering I wasn't lacking behaviors I would have loved to alter in one way or another, or simply have removed from my life. My decision, which easily dominated many other behaviors I took into consideration, was the fact that for years I have been unhappy.. Although my short-term memory is weak, it cannot compare to my fortunate ability of recalling long-term memories. In the majority of the ones I can remember I could reminisce about my life years ago without opacity. Unfortunately, it was clear that in those times I was an unhappy person. I believe my unhappiness began twelve years ago when I was in fourth grade; this was when I first hit one hundred pounds and realized how I was much more "heavy-set" than I was than my peers. This released stressor on my endocrine system prompting my body to lower levels of dopamine that eventually caused my depressing condition. (Asterita 35). I can remember myself as a child, thinking negatively about myself, always regarding my weight problem, and starting dangerous thinking patterns that would eventually lead to self-consciousness. Since I am a much more confident and happier person now, it is frustrating that I do not have more lighthearted memories to recollect, and I can't help regretting how depressed I was in my youth hood for being so overweight. In fourth grade, when I noticed my weight being a problem, for health or attraction, a vicious cycle began which escalated my condition tremendously. The cycle, which is common for obese people, consisted of an urge to eat because I was depressed, my depression was fueled by my weight condition, and my weight condition was a product of my eating habits. "I can't stop eating. I eat because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I eat. It's a vicious cycle." (Austin Powers, 2000). Various ingredients came into play in my depression's plenary foundation: never knowing my biological parents, having divorced adoptive parents, and of course, the painful weight struggle I've endured throughout most of my entire teenage life. If an over diminished existence of self-confidence and mental scars criticizing are not enough, my parents would bring home clothes for me that where too small and in those seldom times that I did go with them to the store they would suggest clothes that I could not fit into. Although the message was clear that I was overweight, it was not likely the message received from my parents' behalf was deliberate. Nevertheless, my condition embarrassed me and made me extremely self-conscious. Since I was too big for my clothes, old or new, I felt fat and unattractive in all the clothes I wore. Some people would consider that being ten years old is too elementary for a child to worry about a weight problem, but I've been interested in dating girls since nine and at the point of being ten years old, I was becoming comfortable talking to girls and Mudd 3
was steadily becoming more and more attracted to them. This was a problem because I was maturing to an age where girls were becoming a major part in my life, and at the same time, I was developing a sense of unhappiness with the way I looked. When I was complimented, I look at it as a joke. I also disliked seeing myself in pictures and wrongly believed there was no one who could possibly be interested in a person like me. Once I was in middle school, all of my close friends started dating, and when invited, I would constantly be the third or fifth...
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