As anyone who knows me surely knows, I have struggled with living a healthy lifestyle my entire adult life. My weight has ballooned up over and over, and, on the rare occasion, deflated down. This constant struggle makes some days much harder than others. There’s a feeling that I can only mentally equate with what it must feel like to be punched in the gut when you’ve been right on track for three weeks and only see an uptick on the scales.
Now before anyone goes in to “weight isn’t everything! Think of how much better you feel! Your clothes must be fitting better!” pep talk, I know these things. Knowing those things, however, doesn’t stop the fact that I do still have a weight loss goal, though I have that goal set for a full year away. It also doesn’t stop the fact that I don’t always feel great. I’m sorry, but here’s the truth from yours truly…
Lots of times, I feel awful.
My body hurts from working out. It’s not a hurt from injury or a pushing it too hard hurt. It’s just the general soreness that comes when you are working muscles that you don’t typically work. Or ever work. Or ever even think about working. As an example, I have been insanely sore in my lower abdominal area that I traditionally only equate soreness with “lady time.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited over that soreness because that means I’m really working my core. It just hurts (about a 3 on the “1-10 pain scale”). So, telling myself “Oh, you look great!” and “Oh, weight doesn’t matter because you feel so much better!” doesn’t always kick the frustration out the door for not actually losing pounds. On the days I’m feeling extremely frustrated, I find it hard to go to the gym or not eat my weight in pancakes. I know both of these things are counterproductive to my goal, but just being real.
Yesterday was one of those days.
I was sitting in front of my computer, playing some silly Facebook game, and told Joe I didn’t think I was going to the gym. I rambled off a list of pretty solid excuses, if I do say so myself. He nodded, agreeing with my excuses and said nothing else. About 30 minutes later, I realized we were out of bread. This meant I couldn’t fix the breakfast I wanted so I told him I was going to run to the store. That’s when that tricksy little minx pointed out that if I’m at the store, I might as well go to to the gym because I’m basically already there.
This ended up with me leaving the house after the statement of “I’ll either be back in 20 minutes with bread or over an hour with an attitude.” (Sidenote: Who am I kidding — I always have an attitude.) Spoiler alert: I went to the gym to workout.
Before I go on, I should mention that I fully believe the universe works in mysterious ways. I believe that if you are on the right path, it will step in to give you a reminder or gentle shove to keep going in that direction. Yesterday at the gym, the universe did just that for me.
I’ve been going to this gym for few weeks now and have yet to run in to anyone I know. Honestly, I am just shy of a full shut in, so I don’t know a ton of people in the town I live in anyway. That’s what makes running in to someone I do know have more of an impact.
When I walked in, I noticed a lady that looked familiar to me right away. Due to the nature of the jobs I’ve had my entire life, I have the bad habit of thinking I know people that I don’t know, so I went to put my stuff down and just brushed it off. When I was walking up to the machines, though, I noticed her looking at me and then she walked over.
“I saw you coming in and can remember your last name but I can’t remember your first.”
I admit at this moment I was now trying to figure out exactly who this was from my past. It didn’t take too long for me to remember, but then I couldn’t remember her name because she’s been married and now I’m rambling about something unimportant to this story.
The conversation went on as follows:
“Well, Susan, you look amazing!”
“Not as amazing as I did a few years ago!”
“Why does that matter? You look amazing right now.”
Oof. Right there, in the middle of Anytime Fitness, the universe gave me a different punch in the gut. This was a different type of punch, though, the kind that tells you to stop being so hard on yourself and just keep going. When looking at a lifelong journey towards healthy living, I get so caught up in the moment that I forget about the full journey, the bigger picture.
I mean, 10 years ago, this was me.
And then 7 years ago, this was me.
And yes, 4 years ago, this was me.
That me, however, wasn’t healthy. She wasn’t eating like she should have been, if she ate at all. She was working out to the point of multiple injuries and she was in an extremely bad place mentally.
So yes, this may be me currently…
…but that doesn’t mean that’s me forever. As this post shows, things can change drastically in life in just 10 years, which really is just the blink of an eye. With the support of a right-this-time boyfriend, an amazing family, and even the universe, I know the only thing that can stand in my way is me.
And I’m not standing anymore. I’m moving.