In a half hour, I’ll be preparing for my first Peloton bike class ~ I am all squared away with the app, the shoes, the heart rate monitor and headphones (all thanks to my wife).
I’ve been looking forward to this since it arrived this morning! Meanwhile, I have my laundry in the washing machine, I ordered a roll of burlap to cut my own table covers for the craft show at the end of the month (because it’s cheaper that way and I’ll have material leftover to do whatever I want with), I shipped a small item I sold on Mercari, and I’m hugging and kissing my dog. It seems like a win/win evening so far for me – no stress.
Since my blog post on Monday, I’ve been thinking to myself that maybe all along I’ve been going about this fitness thing wrong. I don’t mean all wrong lately but for years. If I’m really honest with myself – and I do try to be – when I first started my fitness journey about 10 years ago, I wasn’t in a good space. I was drinking too much, I didn’t treat myself well, I was forcing and pushing a relationship that really wasn’t meant to be in some kind of shape. The exercising and the eventual obtaining of a personal training certification did help boost my confidence and allow me to step forward on a better foot…
But when I left that gym – as a member and an employee – it didn’t feel like it went over well. I doubted myself, my abilities, and my relationships with others. I threw myself into another gym and created a reputation and a public persona for myself. A caricature. I remember feeling like I could conquer anything and do it all! But underneath all of that though, I did, and still do, question my likability and relate-ability as a person. When people didn’t turn out as loyal as I thought they were and did and said things that hurt me, it made it hard to believe that anything was truly real.
I do question my own value and my purpose in life. Every day.
I have a really hard time opening up to others past a superficial point.
It’s tough for me to make new friends and to have normal conversations, even fluffy ones with co-workers. Maybe they don’t see or feel that – they just take it as awkwardness (which is may be, too) but it legit takes work for me to have a conversation that lasts more than a couple of sentences. I begin wondering how my tone is coming across, if what I’m saying is even interesting to the other person, what I could say that could be used against me in the future…omg how can I get out of this conversation I’m ready to go sit in my office and be alone…
It’s fucking insane.
When I was in the best shape of my life working as a kickboxing instructor, all I thought about was working out and what I ate. What my employees thought of me. How tired I was and how much I worked at the gym and at home. Who was talking about me behind my back because I knew it was happening. That’s a gym atmosphere for you – everyone acts like they are there to lift each other up but when, really, it’s a lot of cutting others down to feel better about yourself. (Note: Last year I worked a few months in another kickboxing gym and this was not my experience there. That was single handedly the most positive gym experience I’ve ever had and it’s too bad that my schedule made me feel like it was too tight to continue my employment there.) Then I got super skinny because I was stressed over my divorce and the death of my dog…I was over-caffeinated, under-rested and overall just not in a good place mentally but felt I looked awesome physically. I just could not keep up that pace without checking myself into a mental institution at some point.
A few years later and now I’m in average (or even above-average) shape and I still don’t feel like I’m mentally up to snuff. I’ve been off and on again beating myself for not staying in the exact same shape as I was when I was an instructor. I have been telling myself to be more careful with what I eat, go to the gym more…without really addressing any of my underlying issues that have been plaguing me over the years – whether they’ve been in the forefront or temporarily forgotten. What I’m saying is I keep telling myself that if I am “this way” or “that way” – I’ll feel different than I do right now. I’ll be happier and healthier, physically and mentally. Sheeiiit…all my problems will be solved, right?!
But that’s a crock of shit. The problem isn’t my body or any sort of my physical shape (which I quite like, actually! I like the curvier version of me!) – it’s the mindset I have about how others perceive me. Without changing the nagging things in my brain, without some sort of reset button being flicked, how am I going to really feel better and keep that positive momentum going? No amount of workouts will fix that or build a truly better me.
I don’t have the answers but I’d like to think that simply becoming aware of it is a step in the right direction. I think that, basically, I need to learn to love myself instead of telling myself and the world that I do, but not treating myself and talking to myself like I really do.
So, anyway, to wrap this up ~ I did go to my hot yoga class on Monday and it was excellent, despite the dude next to me coughing much of the class. I got sweaty, stretched, and overall celebrated myself for that entire hour, except for a few moments where I felt like my fat rolls were getting in the way of stretching. I love how during hot yoga, I can’t really think of anything else but what’s happening right in that moment. I’m too busy trying not to die but it’s honestly just such a nice break from to-do lists, reliving moments of the day (amazing and not-so-amazing), and nursing frustrated emotions.
Onwards and upwards.