Ugly Zones

Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast
Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast (Photo credit: zoomar)

We all have one, that one room in the house that’s not finished. Or the drawer that always sticks or falls out of its carriage. We cringe when someone sees the broken shower tiles because it’s our bad side. Our ugly parts. Maybe you don’t show your belly because of the stretch marks and no matter how tight your abs would ever become, those scars will show. It’s okay. We all have ugly zones.

I read an older book a while back called Body Outlaws. It’s a collection of essays about self-image. Here’s an excerpt,

Ironically, I’ve had a better career as a big-girl model than most skinny models have in their lifetimes! And the best part is, I did it all on my own terms. I love to witness the moment when someone’s perspective shifts before my eyes. It’s the moment I go from being “pretty for a bigger girl” to just being pretty. – Kate Dillon, Body Outlaws excerpt 

I’m a perfectionist by nature, but over the years I’ve developed tolerance. What helps me the most is to drop the expectations. For example, I listen to a lot of podcasts. They keep me entertained while I’m working my 9 to 5 job. The thing about podcasts is they have few rules. The subjects vary from science to poodles to Magic the Gathering gaming. On some you never know what they’re going to talk about and if they’ll even hold to their topic. They’re fun. They’re entertaining. They’re not perfect. And for me that’s what I like. The same goes with my friends. I have no perfect standard for them other than friendship. Low expectations mean low judgement. And that leads to fewer ugly zones.

Even as we continue to embrace the diversity of sizes among us, we must ask, what does a healthy body feel like? -Dyann Logwood-Young Body Outlaws excerpt, (emphasis mine)  

  • fill your life with activities that have fewer expectations
  • befriend other non-perfectionists
  • read less Cosmopolitan and more Oprah or Reader’s Digest
  • listen to fun podcasts
  • change your perspective
  • interact with others on the web or at your local library
  • share your experience with others

Here’s a list of my favorite free podcasts:

  1. Savage Lovecast
  2. The Thinking Atheist
  3. Dogma Debate
  4. Caustic Soda
  5. Freakonomics
  6. Geologic Podcast (not geology)
  7. Mysterious Universe
  8. StarTalk Radio
  9. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
  10. Irreligiosophy
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Question It All

Question everything. Question everyone. Question it all. Anything that comes across your senses can be faked. A person may be exactly who they say, but may not. The $1000.00 coat looks nicer, classier, better tailored than the $100.00, but it could be a knock-off. Your neighbor may be a successful business person or a drug dealer. It’s not easy to tell sometimes.

If you want to see truth like you say you want to, you must bypass the easy stuff. The cover story. All the mind Jedi tricks that people play are distractions. Don’t be distracted. Retrain your thinking. How? Notice the story they tell you. Look at it then look again. Listen to the skeptics. Take courses in critical thinking. Be smart and use the scientific method. The story is the hypothesis. They say they work at a bank. What type of car do they drive? How do they dress? House? Children? is their lifestyle in the salary range of a loan officer or the president? What type of friends do they have? Check out the salary of bankers in your state. In other words, do the ingredients in this person’s life add up to who they say they are?

There are three main questions to ask if you want to exercise skepticism.

  1. Who is making claim?
  2. What’s the context?
  3. What is the quality of the evidence?

I wanted to share some resources for those who want to dabble in skepticism.
Book – The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer
Book – The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins