Written last night, published today:
So here I am today, minding my own business, and, BAM! I find this post in my inbox.
Since starting my blog, it’s been fun to get acquainted with other writers out there. I’ve been following uberbeastmode for a couple of months now and have especially enjoyed Colin’s posts Grunting and Dropping Weights and Don’t be that guy!, which made me smile. The post published today, We Fall and We Get Back Up, had me feeling a bit differently.
It not that I wasn’t smiling…it was just more of a serious smile of understanding.
I’ve been thinking about writing a post that addresses some harder feelings I’ve been facing lately, and maybe now’s the time.
About two weeks ago, I hit about as rock bottom as I’ve been in a while. As mentioned before, I finished my first sixteen-week session in early February. I was 25 pounds lighter then I had been in October (and, really, since 2011), I had my maintenance plan in hand, and a goal to lose 4 more pounds and be under 190 for my next session with Tate.
The first week was great, the second week got a little worse, then I got sick, and everything went downhill. Two weeks ago, I knew I was making bad choices and I could feel the weight coming back on but I couldn’t seem to stop. I couldn’t figure out how to catch myself or, more so, I didn’t really care to.
Because in the moment I want to be more fit, I want to be more fit. But the moment I want a bacon cheeseburger, I WANT a bacon cheeseburger. Sometimes I hate that I can’t just naturally be thinner, have higher metabolism, more energy, or less cravings. Once and awhile at the gym I think: this is what it’s going to have to be like for the rest of my life if I want to stay fit. And sometimes that thought disappoints me.
I don’t know if I always want to lift weights three times a week for the rest of my life to stay strong, or record my food intake to make sure I’m eating properly, or have to maintain a certain level of cardio. When I think of this, my life stretches out before me in an impossible tangle of dieting, boring gym visits, and impossible achievements.
And then I think of my weight history, of how I’ve been thin, then gained some, lost it, and gained a little more, lost that, and then gained even more…and so on. I think, “I wonder how big I’m going to get the next time?” Already assuming that there will be a next time that I “let it all go.”
These are the scary and hard thoughts. And they’re there. I guess it would be worse to deny their presence.
It’s a fight and a struggle every day. I guess what I liked about Colin’s post is that it made me feel less alone.
From the post: “It really goes to show that we are ALL human…even elite fitness buffs struggle from time to time…you don’t have to be perfect to get results, it’s not an all or nothing game.”
I think everyone struggles, to different degrees, but it’s hard to remember that you’re not alone. Maybe it’s enough that I’m conscious of my areas of needed improvement and they’re always in the front of my mind. Maybe it’s not so bad that I’m constantly challenged. I’m reminded of a piece of advice by Dr. Cox on an episode of Scrubs that was essentially: “Hate your body, because if you’re never satisfied, you’ll always be trying to improve.” (Not that I support this way of thinking, but it did make me laugh.) Sometimes I think that if I was one of those people who didn’t have to work out to maintain a healthy weight, I would be missing an opportunity to better myself. Maybe I have a weaker cardio system, and was meant to have these struggles so that it’s necessary for me to work regularly out because, if I didn’t, I would have a heart attack at an early age. Is that a weird thought? It was weird to write it, an “it’s bigger than myself” thought.
In the end, it’s an inescapable fact: anyone who wants to reach a higher level of fitness will have to work on them over our entire lives. There is no end point in this journey. To be the person I want to be, I’ll always have to work on it.
I’m not afraid to admit that sometimes the thought is exhausting.
But sometimes it’s also very exciting, because if you think of it as a constant journey, there is no wrong turn.
From the post: “Learning from our mistakes and our failures is what helps us grow as individuals. How you react to your failures is critical…Failing is not falling down, it’s falling down and not getting back up again.”
It doesn’t matter that I got up to 217, or that this Monday I was back to 201, or that, one day I might be even higher. It dosen’t matter that sometimes I hate running, or that I may not want to lift weights my entire life, or that sometimes I’m on the top and sometimes I hit rock bottom. What matters is that, if I find myself down, I don’t ever stop getting back up.