In 2013, I started to weigh in and record it once a month only. During my losing phase, I became a slave to the scale and my moods yo-yoed along with whatever that daily magic number showed.
It’s been over a year now since I took a sit-on-yo-butt job.
I’ve gained 8 pounds.
Oooooh so dramatic.
I have a love/distaste relationship with gym-culture.
On one side you have a collective of people from all different backgrounds/classes/job roles all in track-pants sweatin’ it up. There’s a mutual respect and camaraderie that evolves.
Uplifting and motivating.
Like this gentleman whom I’ve witnessed for well over a year, running the track with a weighted vest on. He’s older than I, and he gives it all he’s got. I realized today, that he runs so much more effortlessly and he must have lost the equivalent of an entire person from his frame. He whizzes by us all, WITH A WEIGHTED VEST ON PEOPLE. Much respect man.
Slow motion high-five..
But then there’s this other side of gym culture. The focus on an unrealistic standard, not enough, never happy with one’s aesthetic appearance, and scanning others bodies in comparison. The idea that the most important and perhaps valued part of a person is the frame she/he walks around in.
I happened on a woman today, nameless for this post, who gave me the ole’ body scan. Full on scan top to bottom. Now, I have no way of knowing what her scan meant, nor is it any of my business what another thinks of me…but you guys, I felt this wave of embarrassment which is embarrassing.
She must have noticed the 8 lbs. It might as well be 80 pounds.
My mind went all the shades of insecurity. By the end of the workout, my head was down. I felt no power within. Just embarrassment “how could you let yourself gain 8 pounds. You are on a train to obese town again”
And so this is why I’m writing this blog post today, because I recognize how silly it all is. How insignificant it is. How I am not alone in the comparison game. In the “not enough” world that lives within the minds of many women.
In my current profession, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a breath of fresh air in comparison to the personal training world. I didn’t know I needed it until I found it. There is very little focus on fitness levels. There’s a focus on memory, fast thinking, retention of information and stellar customer service…but whether or not someone is 8 pounds more? Meh…it’s like saying I aged 8 days. Zero Facks given.
When I got home, I sat alone in my happy place. My home. And I spun it back.
The weight of 8 pounds does not account for the following…
The year I’ve spent focussing on working and changing careers, taking care of my kids, and studying for the next chapter.
The strength I’ve worked hard for this year. Because it pushed me out of my comfort zone daily, and makes me feel empowered.
The time spent around the supper table, talking and laughing. Movies with the gang, sharing licorice down an aisle and learning much more than I ever thought I would want to know about Marvel movies (which for the record are pretty bad ass).
The quiet voice of my instinct awakening again as I’ve learned to trust myself and surrender the rest.
The feeling of peace I have now that my life is on a good track, where there was so much uncertainty and worry about my future before. I didn’t know if I could keep my home, if I’d have to move. Move my kids away from their friends and schools. If I could start a new career. Or meet new people. If I could laugh again or if I’d always hide behind a forced smile as I was grieving. Starting over is no joke. It takes more courage than I ever thought I had.
There’s 3 elements to staying on an internal-pride high-vibe if you break it down.
Self-Confidence (self-efficacy). The belief you can lean or accomplish something
Self-esteem: how much you approve of or value yourself (often evaluated within comparisons)
Self-compassion: how much warmth we can have for ourselves, especially when going through a difficult experience
I think the hardest one is self-compassion especially if you have high standards for yourself (and in turn others). Without self-compassion there is an element of shame that seeps in and shame is the killer of dreams and moving forward within actions.
So today I will remember to be gentle with myself. I will choose what to give significance to. Perspective is everything.
We all have one life. The difference between a good one and a bad one, lives within your perceptions.
And today I realized just how silly 8 pounds is to my life. I know how to be healthy and keep on rocking a lifestyle that works for me. Balance. There are cycles of rest and recovery and working hard too, in other facets beyond a gym.
I hope you will be gentle with yourself too, you are so worthy of whatever amazing life you create.
From my heart to yours,