[I don’t like to talk publicly about my body and food issues because it’s probably the most difficult thing I deal with day-to-day. I’ve never had the best relationship with myself and fitness but recently things are a bit different and I’m excited to talk about all the changes I’ve been making. So, sorry for my Crossfit Cult rant, but you don’t have to read it if you don’t wanna]
I’m tired of eating for the bikini that never comes. It never comes because 2 months into my New-Year-New-Me-Diet, I’m frustrated and emotional from depriving myself and I slide not gradually but immediately back into laziness and back into the Taco Bell Drive Thru.
I’m tired of working out for 6 months and feeling generally okay by the time it’s almost warm out and then giving up and letting celebratory beers rob me of my progress.
I’m tired of running like a hamster on a wheel to inevitably end up crying in a dressing room because I’m unhappy and mentally punishing myself for everything I’ve ever put in my mouth. This has been a guarantee in my life at least twice a year since I’m thirteen years old. I’m tired of feeling like the outside has some direct correlation to the inside; unworthy, not good enough, unspecial. I’m tired of wondering if maybe if I were 20lbs lighter, he’d like me more.
I’m tired of dodging cameras and “misplacing” bathing suits when it’s time to go to the beach. I’m tired of hiding bumps and bulges because my clothes don’t fit. I’m tired of Spanx. I’m tired of dieting. I’m tired of depravation. I’m tired of forcing myself to be committed to a routine I’m pretending to like because maybe, someday, I’ll see some results. I’m tired of skinny being the ultimate, unattainable goal.
I’m tired of progress exclusively being measured by numbers on a scale.
I’m tired of having to start over. And I have been tired for a really long time. And then one morning, I found an ounce of insane courage to try this thing that seemed totally undoable, so unlike me and nothing I would ever even remotely enjoy. And I almost immediately fell in love.
I remember laying in my bed, absolutely terrified. I had already rescheduled once. I had to get up and go. There was no escaping it. Worse comes to worse, I’m terrible and I never go back. So I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed and went.
I was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of rubber. ‘I will never get used to this’ I thought. I since have. This place was unlike anywhere I’d ever worked out. And, I was the only one there. Just me and the coach.
“Ok, so we’re going to do pull-ups”
He looked at me.
On my first day, I could do 1 pull up with two resistance bands, kind of. On Monday, 6 weeks later, I did 10 sets of 10 with the help of a band. Next week, I’ll work with a band with less resistance and make my arms work harder. Every night I go to bed terrified and convinced that I could never complete tomorrow’s WOD and every morning I walk out of the box so proud that I did and hungry to do more tomorrow.
Last week, I put a power drop snatch up over my head – a movement I’d had a really hard time with since day one. I fell three times.
The first time I fell, Pooch told me what I did wrong.
The second time I fell, he laughed. He told me to adjust my feet.
Time three: “Stop fucking around and stick it, Jess. You got it.”
And, then I did. 65lbs up over my head. I wanted nothing more than to stay there and throw them up all day. It was the best I felt all week. It wasn’t a ton of weight but it was more than I’d ever done. And that’s what it’s about: your own personal best, being better than yesterday.
There are no mirrors in the box so when I wander in after my five hours of sleep, I’m less concerned with the fact that I look miserable and exhausted than I am with the challenge that’s in front of me. I can’t see the sweat pouring down my face until it hits the mat. Only then do I know how terrible I must really look. But no one else cares. So I don’t either. And without that distraction, I can power through it.
The people there know me and they push me to be better. I am much quicker to think that I can’t do it than they are. The time will pass whether you’re working or not, so you might as well keep going. The last one going is always the one with the most support. And, while it’s never an outwardly competitive environment, I always want to be as good as they are. I am inspired by them every day. And they are moms, dads, kids, ex-military, ex-fat-kids-turned-elite-athletes. Each and every one of them amazes me.
And slowly, I see changes happening. Small, gradual ones in my body, but bigger ones to my life. I’m no longer eating to squeeze into my dress. I’m eating to fuel my body. I don’t want Taco Bell because it will slow me down. I won’t surrender all my hard work to a couple of extra beers. I don’t cry in fitting rooms, but I am shopping for a smaller jean size. I feel my outside starting to reflect who I am – strong, willful and very special. My weight is not correlated to my worth by any means. I don’t have the opportunity to slide back into lazy because for the first time, I love what I’m doing. Waking up still is pretty terrible but I’m addicted to being there and getting through it and proving that I can. I love seeing the weight on the bar go up. Those are the pounds that matter. I’m getting stronger every day and I’m not running to nowhere anymore. Skinny isn’t the goal because I look at the other girls there – real girls, who are there, who are younger than me and not some far away picture of a model who may or not be real – and they’re ripped and it’s amazing and that’s what I want. They use their body to its full potential and that’s beautiful.
It’s been less than two months, but I drank the koolaid. I’m all in. I can’t wait to see where this takes me. I’ll let you know.