I have this full length mirror in my bedroom, it’s where I take most of my progress photos. I stare at my reflection, in my underwear with just about nothing to hide and I’m not all that happy with what I see. So I get dressed, adding some spandex to compress everything in, I look again and it’s a little better. Once I put on a few layers I don’t notice the flaws as much.
Alright here we go. Confession time. Why haven’t I been posting lately? Because I feel like a massive fail. You know that phrase ‘you can’t compete with what you eat’? well that’s been me the past month or so. Life did one of those things where it does whatever the flip it wants regardless of whatever plans I have. So I got sick I had to go out of town, I got sicker, I came back home rested for a bit, then rested some more thinking this would be good recovery. This whole time slowly but surely missing a meal here, snacking there, cheating over yonder. Tried to ease back into exercise, took a couple of weeks to get used to waking up at 4am rather than 7 or 8, missed a few workouts. All this time though, I’ve been trying to find what to post on this blog, what inspiring, motivational thing would I post on here for the handful of people that might read my blog? Can’t come up with anything. Maybe a short 140 character tweet or inspiring quote on FB for my friends to see. Sure, here’s a handful of likes. Meanwhile I was starting to workout but with bad food there is never any progress. In fact here’s 6 lbs back for you to ‘fuel’ your 5am pain sessions, I mean workouts. It was slow and it was gradual but in the end I let myself eat more, exercise less and aside from inhibiting my weight loss it affects my health most of all.
What am I trying to say here? What I’m saying is I’ve been pretending to be healthy for the past 4 weeks. And to be honest I put more effort into appearing to be healthy than actually being healthy. Yet it takes the same amount of work with little to no satisfaction. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t end well. I actually feel quite crappy in fact. Downright shitty. This pretending catches up to you, just like all lies the truth will always win out.
But why was I pretending? I mean, isn’t that the real issue here? Why would I put so much effort into pretending to be something I’m not when I know I can’t hide it? I can’t hide my weight from my trainers, I can’t hide behind spandex under my clothes for long, I can’t hide the dizzy spells and spikes in my blood pressure that I get from eating poorly. It will all catch up to me, so why did I start this spiral in the first place? Because I cared what other people thought of me. It mattered to me that people know I’ve lost a good chunk of weight and they congratulate me regularly telling me what great work I’m doing, encouraging me to move forward. I got caught up in it and let it get to my head. “I can take a break for a bit, I mean I’ve worked hard for over a year and I’m this far. I’ll get back into it again first thing Monday. But no, that’s not how it works. Add to that, life. Life likes to do stuff you don’t plan. It likes to throw you curve balls just to see keep you on your toes or knock you down to see how you get back up. I ate and tried to exercise my way back up, but that’s a losing combination on top of which it’s so isolating.
I was reflecting on my feelings and I remembered a quote a fellow blogger, Andy, shared with me when facing a tough reality.
“You’re right. It’s easier to eat pizza than run on the treadmill. It’s easier to turn to ice cream than people for support. It’s easier to say “Fuck it, I give up” than to say “Fuck this, I can do it”. I’m not going to sit here and tell you day after day that you can do this. If you don’t believe you can, then you can’t. If you don’t want it bad enough, then you sure as hell won’t achieve it. Take the easy way out and remain unhealthy and continue to gain weight because you can’t realize you are the only one hurting yourself. I didn’t say it would be easy. I said it would be WORTH it.”
Truth is I’ve been eating my feelings lately rather than turning to the people around me for support, which is unfair because the people in my life are so wonderful they deserve better than to be replaced with food. They show me their love and support all the time. I’ve been internalizing the disappointment because I was ashamed of saying “I’m way off the path. I could use some help to turn it around.” So I haven’t been progressing how I’d like. I was hoping to have reached my 100lb milestone by June. It’s June and I’m exactly where I was over a month ago, maybe a little heavier.
I’m looking in the mirror and I see the truth of it. And the truth is: I’m alright. I’ve worked hard and I’ve achieved something not many people can say they’ve done. But I’ve become complacent and I let problems, some of them trivial, get in the way of my goals. I haven’t been challenging myself to be at my best. I became satisfied with the minimum and with that I’m shortchanging my own potential. I settled for less than my best and that diminishes the value of my goals, it’s a waste of my efforts. I’m alright but I can do so much better.
Some lessons you can only learn the hard way though. You’ve got to hit a bottom so you won’t focus on your fall but have time to look up to see the light. Now I’m just upset at myself for letting me stray. But anger can be good, it can work to kick you into gear, push you to face a challenge with rigor and face the discomfort that comes with it. So yeah I’m angry, but I also have clarity and I’ll take that as a gift.
So what’s next? Well, right now its breakfast. After that it’s taking the time to talk to people and get some perspective. If I’ve learned anything about this blog it’s that when you put what you fear most out there, the fear of it tends to go away. Once it’s not festering in your mind you see it for what it is, another challenge that you can overcome or let go and move on. I think it’s the same with all the other things like shame, anger and pride. You know, I feel better already.
When you speak of the fear the sun will burn and the air will blow it away.