This sounds cliché but I am working hard on letting myself just be myself. I’m a plus size woman and have struggled with my weight all my life. Then I see strong, healthy people like Paul Walker get killed in a car crash and I think, “What did all that fitness do for him in the end?” All this energy and thought time we spend on fretting over our bodies…for what? A few extra years at the end of our life that we are not even guaranteed? I think what is really important (despite that darned desire to just fit in) is that we are giving love and receiving love. I mean, really, if that is happening, if love is happening in our lives then our jeans size begins to shrink in importance, if not in reality. It’s hard. It takes fighting decades of ingrained thought processes that make me see myself in pieces and parts instead of how I see my friends and loved ones: as whole people. Their body size is of so little importance to me; I want to see myself that way, too. It takes a huge burden off to let that go. And is a great comfort.
Soooo…one of my worst nightmares is the idea of personal training. I really can’t imagine working out with one person watching you and pushing you to do more and more. It’s kind of like…hell.
I got to circuit class tonight and as time ticked away and the start time came and went with no one else showing up, the young trainer and I took a gander at each other. I had already been in one of Jesse’s circuit classes and he’s a good teacher and leader. It’s just that there’s usually more people. Like…Lots. More. People. It’s easy to hide and modify what you’re doing as you lope along after all the gazelles. But you need a bunch of gazelles. Otherwise there’s just no cover.
Jesse looks to be about, oh, 20 years old. He’s got a bright smile and kind eyes. Actually everyone at Inner Circle is awesome and when I realized it was just him and me, as the theme to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” played in my head, I thought, What the hell. Bring it.
And it was kind of awesome. Whereas in a circuit class full of people, I can’t keep up and have to modify everything, Jesse created a mini circuit just for me. Rowing, box step ups, lunges, squats, body weight rows…all things that were right up my alley. And he did all of them with me. I kept thinking this was probably equivalent to sitting in front of a TV for him effort-wise (he’s super fit), but I just kept going. And when we had done three sets of the mini circuit (he said only THREE SETS), that kid had the AUDACITY to say…”One more set! I think you can do it!”
Oh, good God! He’s doing the personal trainer thing! With his big smile he was like a happy puppy wanting to chase the Frisbee again. And of course I had it in me. I was really glad he pushed me, actually. It reminded me that I’m capable of so much more.
And now I’m sore. But in a good way. Tomorrow morning will tell that tale.
It is so hard to battle my own mind when it comes to body image. I believe that changes in my body will only come when I learn to love and accept myself as I am. I know not all conventional wisdom goes that way, but for me, the more I’ve disliked my body, the more it has remained as it is. Honestly? I am healthy and beautiful, so if I don’t accept that simply because my body doesn’t conform to the cultural norm, I will probably remain where I am.
I am not limited by my body. Therefore, I will look at the world outside for opportunity, not naval gaze and despair.
This means quashing negative thoughts the minute they enter my head. All it takes is passing by a mirror for those negative thoughts to hit. It’s like a game of Missile Command in the ’80s where you have all those lines coming down on your forts and you have to shoot them out of the air as fast as possible. While Missile Command gets harder each round, I don’t think negative thoughts are as resilient. They will be for a while, but as I get better at defeating them, they’ll become less and less. Here’s hopin’!
All around me is
work at ready for my hands.
No fuss exercise.
Confidence is a funny thing and hard to come by. I often worry and fear that the things I do or the choices I make are inherently flawed simply because, well, they’re from me. Where that comes from, I’m not sure, but I am working on overcoming it. I was really encouraged today by Greg from the “Inappropriate Conversations” podcast who gave “Greetings from Nowhere” such a great shout out.
It’s good to remember that we are all just stumbling along in our lives, doing our best to be ourselves and live in the moment. So, every day I walk a little taller. And so should you.
Set my hands to work
on tasks needing done at home.
A cure for boredom.
A dreaded event
steals the day with its presence.
Freedom comes with time.
Today is gorgeous. Bright, blue skies with sheer, barely visible clouds. Most likely cold–I haven’t been out there yet. But what a day! Soon I’ll be down at the Pressroom Theatre, helping with the move. Then down to Revolution Skate to swap out elbow and knee pads that were too small. And then more roller skating down by the river.
This is an easy day to practice not being judgemental of myself. We all know that we shouldn’t be judgmental with others, but we seem to feel free to beat up on ourselves. As many of my friends know, I’ve recently lost 25 pounds on the Medifast plan. But, boy, has it tanked since I hit that 25 pound loss. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but my old eating habits have come back with a vengeance. And along with them, the discouraging voice that is so familiar, I hardly even recognize that it’s there. “Why did I eat that?” “God, I have no self control!” “There’s no way I can do this.” Would I ever say those things to a discouraged friend? Why do I let me say them to myself?
This is where the battle is joined. This is when I’ve always indulged in food to make myself feel better. My body and emotions are tolerating the loss of 25 pounds, but they’re drawing a line. If I want to go further, I need to step into those unhappy emotions, the pain of saying no to myself and not getting what I want, the awfulness of living in and through whatever discomfort I’m trying to alleviate. Ah, the joys of changing ingrained habits.
But as with anything that takes effort to achieve, I honestly believe it will be worth the pain.