Sunday, February 14, 2016

"It doesn't have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see." - Gabourey Sidibe

Blogland, I've had a challenging week.

It all started last weekend, when I competed in my CrossFit box's in-house partner comp. I was decidedly nervous going in - having never competed in something like that before - but I had a stellar partner and felt like there were at least a few sections of it that I could excel at.

The day opened with a WOD that consisted of 5 minutes (each) to hit your 1 rep max in two lifts. For me it was back squats and dead lifts. I felt good going into this, and was really charged up by the community and friendly-competitive atmosphere and pulled some new personal records for myself - not to mention just some straight up respectable lifts: 263# back squat and a 340# dead lift (and, I'm happy to say I think I could've gone a little further with both of those, in a situation without the time constraint). I was beyond thrilled with both of those, as that was like a 15# gain on my last back squat PR and a 10# PR on my dead lift, that I hadn't really been working on. It was a GREAT way to start the day.

Although I was a little self conscious - being literally the heaviest person there that day - I felt like I had demonstrated some value with the lifts. Over the course of the day (and 3 more WODs), my partner and I worked really well together and complemented each other's strengths and weaknesses. Before the last WOD of the day, we sat in a solid 6th place out of 22 (fit people!) teams. Our last WOD was one that I knew I would struggle with... it was a long "chipper" that you just had to work through a little at a time with your partner. However, it had a large amount (for me) of burpees, which are my Achilles heel. I can keep moving all day, carrying heavy weight, but burpees immediately cut me off at the knees, so to speak. BUT... I kept working, I got through them (it wasn't pretty..), and I felt like I left everything out on the table by the end of it. It was literally all I had left.
That said, as ugly as it was, it was enough to finish us in 11th place (out of 22 teams) for the day.

For a fat chick, who's struggling with fitness, I called that a DAMN good victory.

Following the comp, I found myself looking forward to checking out the pictures... I was hoping beyond hope that there would be ONE picture of me doing something that looked strong or powerful. I was under no illusion that I'd look thin, or fit, or they'd catch my good side, but I was really hoping to be able to counter it by saying - eh, well, there's a shit ton of weight on that bar!

Then.... the pictures came out. They were beautiful (their photographer had a great eye for faces and moments). However, there was not a single picture of me in action. There were many pictures of me sitting with my partner, standing around waiting for our heat, etc.  I saw myself in these pictures and was HORRIFIED. I think we've probably all been there, right Blogland? I feel heavy, I know that I am heavy (and frustrated about it), but sometimes seeing that one picture feels like a concrete block to the face.

I won't lie. I didn't have a graceful reaction. I didn't think of what a good day it was, I didn't try and focus on just seeing my strong legs, I didn't feel happiness for having gotten out and done it.... I hardcore cried my eyeballs out, for a solid 15 minutes.

It was working so hard, following "the plan", working with a nutritionist, doing all the "right things"... and then seeing those pictures that confirmed all the things I was feeling - huge, uncomfortable, and no where near fit. I suppose it didn't help that all the people in the pictures around me are fit competitive crossfit types, either. The tears poured out of my face for a while I reflected on how frustrated I was on the lack of noticeable progress I've made in the last 2 years, because my body just isn't on board.

I've made progress - I lift a lot more, my cardio is much better, and my doctors gave me a "surprisingly healthy!" (not kidding) decree... which is all good. But it doesn't help what I'm seeing in the mirror. It doesn't help when I have to go clothes shopping and buy the biggest sizes I've ever bought.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I headed up to B-town to go shopping with my friend, Holly. The Man and I have a semi-fancy dinner date tonight for Valentine's day, so I was hoping to find something a little nicer to wear (when you work from home, somehow your waterbed morphs into a lot of yoga pants...).
I tried on a bunch of things, and then sat in the dressing room and worked through some quiet sniffling. The biggest size I've ever tried on didn't fit right, all the tops I put on seem to put giant glowing neon arrows at my ginormous spare tire, and none of it made me happy. There was a time that I really enjoyed shopping.... and let me tell you, this was not it.

Since then, I've been trying to reflect on all this and find a way to make peace and move forward. To add insult to injury, there's a Powerlifting comp I've been pondering entering in April. However, applications are due in tomorrow. I'm not afraid of the lifting, or the competition.... but I'm terrified at the concept of having to wear a weightlifting singlet. Literally, I kid you not BlogLand, the singlet is the ONLY thing holding me back from entering, and considering not entering.

BUT.... I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be the heavy person that stops doing things, and lets their weight prevent them from enjoying life and the things they want to do. However, I am not sure I can fully express to you how incredibly unimpressed with my body I am right now.

I will admit, I am proud of it that it has gotten so strong (340# Deadlift - you go, legs!). I feel accomplished there.
... but I don't like to look in the mirror. It seems to somehow diminish all the "gainz" I'm making at the gym, by emphasizing all the gains I've made on the scale. Ugh.

I'm in a place of frustration right now, Blogland. Angry at my body for not getting on board with the weight-loss plan. Sad that I can't do a lot of the things I could do a few years ago. Angry that stupid, superficial things (spandex singlet...) are holding me back.

Now, I know this is temporary. I'll figure a way through this. And hell, everything feels a little bit less significant once the sun starts coming out again, and the day time highs are once again above zero. Right now, though... I'm in a self-image hole. I feel shitty.

I have gone to all my workouts this week, got my squats in today, and I'm still putting one foot in front of the other.... But I don't know how to get my brain out of stupid, self deprecating mode, when I look in the mirror, or put on clothes.

Further more... How do I get over my fear of the singlet, so I can get my ass into this powerlifting comp and get myself a cool trophy?
(Because we all know it's about the bling, right?)

UGH. So, tell me, Blogland..... how do you get through your bad self-image spots? How do you learn to appreciate the things about yourself that are not where you want them to be?
What's your advice?

1 comment:

  1. Oh Aja, I feel your pain through this post. I have been in a place of self hatred, hating my body, comparing myself to those more fit and younger than I and I have come to realize it is doing me no good. I really had to try hard and practice every day to learn to love and appreciate my body.....when I thought my thighs were too big, I would thank them for all they do for me in a day and to be able to squat 250#. When I thought my midsection wasn't as flat as I hoped, I thanked it for birthing 2 large babies and gaining/losing lots of weight over the years. When I thought my arms looked fat, I would thank them for being able to bench more than my bodyweight. It may sound dumb, but saying those things daily helped. There are still days I wish I was as fast or agile as others I see in the gym, but I have to accept me for me right now. Learning to love yourself right now as you are right in this moment is hard- we want to be better/fitter/faster/leaner......You are doing a great job and are strong as hell and you should be proud of that. You are working hard every day and putting yourself out there and you should be proud of that. You are inspiring people every day (which you may or may not know) and you should be proud of that. Keep on going, you can do this.