Wait Weight? Don’t Tell Me!

IMG_5526

A friend’s post online sparked a thought, one about size, weight, and we feel about ourselves.

One of the things I am happy to see through social media is all the positive life progress people post online to keep themselves accountable. People are making their lives better and tracking every moment of it. These progressive pictures that propagate may be pesky to some people, but it always reminds me of being able to overcome adversity and the ability for us to turn our lives around, not through ease but through hard work and perseverance.

I used to count calories to see low I could go. Food was the enemy, and I was just a warrior in my battle against it.

I had always been heavy for my height, thankfully always getting taller to accommodate for all the extra calories.  By the time I entered high school I was already unhappy with myself, which was one part depression and two parts the unfortunate side effect from it.  I ate to make myself feel okay, thinking I needed that extra sandwich at lunch.  I was a new place, with new people, after an old place with old people, something needed to change.

I was in my second year, learning to love the hobby of running that the results gave me something more than I could imagine, confidence.  I was starting to feel comfortable in my own skin.  The problem was I didn’t really know what healthy was, I mean sure my cousins worked out but I was never really privy to what exactly they were doing.  So I stuck to my guns, decided to do all I could to reduce my weight.  I was adhering to a guideline set out for me by the BMI index and dropping weight as much as I could.

I think few things really affected me during this period. First is that I got down to the weight that I wanted to, finally for the first time in my recorded life I hit the standard weight category. Second, my sister constantly referred to me as manorexic because of this weight loss. Third, I felt like I was finally able to have control over my own body. Lastly, the way I was eating caused me to have dizzy spells in the middle of the day where my vision would act like I was in the ocean and start wiggling about. I wanted to keep going because it felt so good to lose but my body resisted and stopped.

That being said, the next year I gained some of the weight back (partially because I was happily in my first relationship) and I have been yoyo-ing ever since. In all the subsequent years after that, I have never had a normal BMI number. Now it’s not unobtainable for a long stretch, but the question is, what is it that I want.

Years after another set of up and down I decided that my fitness goal instead of a number I am shooting for a fitness level.  I want to be able to get up and go if my friends ask me to go on a spontaneous hike. I devoted myself not to look at the scale, as it is deceiving, never letting me get away from how others think my body should look and feel.

Now my goals have grown from there, and I feel like I am the most fit I have ever been in my life, not skinny in the conventional sense but have a lot more muscle than before.  I am happy because I can eat the occasional unhealthy meal knowing I mostly eat healthy things and keep active incredibly regularly.

I stepped on the scale recently, not by choice but I wasn’t worried about what it said.  I am 6’1″, 222 pounds, conventionally this weight would mean I was on the verge of obesity but I know that’s not true.  This is a weight of effort and work, muscle.  We’re not all the same, and there are better ways to check how well you’re doing but it is always possible to become healthy, our bodies want us to be.  In the end as long as your making progress, then that’s all that matters, you are lapping everyone on the couch and that’s something to be proud of.

I will occasionally get worried about the number of calories I eat or feel like I need to step up my game at the gym. The mirror truthfully never is anything other than a battle between me and my scarred self-image. Whats most important is that I’m healthy, so if you ever wanted to have me step on a scale I might reply “Wait weight? Don’t tell me!”

What Happens If I Am Right?

IMGP4900

I wanted to preface this post by saying that this post I wrote over a year and a half ago and just never got around to publishing because it had no real conclusion. The post reflects my feelings in a darker time, and it was inspired by a sense of hopelessness that came about from reflecting on both the end of a relationship and the fear the knowledge of the numerous reasons I was left behind. The reason I am posting this now because it fits the philosophy of why I started this blog in the first place, to both practice writing and to open myself up and talk about all myself.  I have found my answer which I write at the end, but without the journey, I can’t have come to the conclusion.

This mad dash towards the truth, to know, to learn this insatiable appetite that pushes me forward. Finding out about people, things, and places. How the cogs turn in this great machine that we built together.  Many have found this pursuit of knowledge to be crippling, dark and foreboding.  It has a way of changing people, making people cynical towards our fellow man. The more they find the twists and turns, the realization that people will not do the thing you think is best no matter how much you talk to them.  The actions were taken in the shadow, or even worse the done in the light for everyone to see. It sometimes feels like opening Pandora’s box and releasing the final scourge upon the earth, the antithesis of hope.

I see people become jaded, learn to hate and despise one another.  A lot of what psychology says about people is that they will do things to lessen punishment and maximize reward. Find ways to make the world better for them, to cope with their surroundings and when those surroundings clash, the meeting of these two opposite winds create tornadoes for all to see. Destroying and constructing building debris for all to see. People become “realists” seeing people as they are. Creating briefly illusions that manifest themselves as the worst part of someone, the worst way they can act. Seeing this person as a devil or a demon in human skin, here to rid you of your happiness and joy.  It is easy to lose hope when it feels like no one cares and everyone is out on their own. The coldness that would seep in is unbearable, finding that even wrapping yourselves in clothes will not remove that chill.

I can’t believe that. I want to know better. I think people aren’t just out there to ruin lives, but perhaps I am wrong. The heart beating in my chest calls out to bring things up to a higher calling. A seminal feeling that leads me to hope, makes me walk through the storms.  Calls for me to confront these actions give the reasons and know how to show that there is no boogie man. I am human like everyone else, no better, no worse. I do things because I that’s how I learned to.

I am lost in this.

 

I found my answer; I wish I had been more solid in it before it became something I had to face.  It doesn’t matter if  I am right if I can guess the outcome or foresee the future, its what we do with that knowledge that makes the difference.  I found out I was right, that some of the reasons I had feared about the end of my relationship came to pass, but with that came an understanding. An understanding that knowing and reflecting on this doesn’t give me peace. Its being able to let go and forgive which reflection brings, that give me peace.  What use is being able to see the future and not be able to change it? Live I now in the present and focus on what have because if I don’t I’ll miss out on all the people and things who are absolutely beautiful around me. 

Running With Strings

IMG_0067.JPG

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
– Søren Kierkegaard

When I was young, I used to watch my Dad run in the evenings around the track of the local high school. Others were always there, all with the same goal but never having to speak to one another.  Under the harsh stadium lights, that cast dark shadows onto the field were runners in the night. Under the darkened sky there was one such runner I can even now see so vividly.  Tied to his back, strings. Strings that attached to a parachute that would drag behind him and open up whenever he would pick up speed.  I couldn’t understand why someone would do such a thing,  running was hard enough, and this guy was making it harder on himself.  So in the long shadows of the night, I watched the man struggle perplexed.

As of now, I find myself in a strange place because like the runner with the chute, its as if I am holding myself back because of the past.  I look back on these memories and moments of mine and realize that I am tied up with strings that make me unable to move where I would like.  It’s the past I resist against that makes my present that much harder. The memories I have to dictate the path I take because of the fears and experiences I have been through. I look to fight back against it, but I feel slowed and tired from the weight.

I remember the runner again, I remember what he did after running against the parachute. After he removed the strings, I did finally understand. The chute made him stronger, and faster but its only works after he took it off.  He sprinted against the resistance, so when he let go of it, he was even faster than before. The weight had to be lifted off of him for progress to actually be shown. He needed to remove the strings to truly show how fast he can be.

I feel that way at the moment, at another crossroad where the strings of my past are starting to become a detriment in my everyday.  I need to work through my life and letting go of all the weights I’ve been using to move forward.  The resistance that I’ve been training up until this point have been great motivators that I can never forget but have to move on from. I can’t hold onto the past because it will slow down my progress for the future. I have to take off the strings if I ever really want to know how strong I really can be.

 

past.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
The Great Gatsby

The past
I laugh to keep from crying
It trails me from afar
In a way I can never predict
It bites me when I’m tired
It hovers when I’m sick
I have given all I have to fight it
Or I may never win

It sits there haunting me
Like a regret but more subtle.
It’s not that I haven’t gotten over it
It’s because I am worried it isn’t done with me

Maybe it’s my fault
Thinking it might shatter my grand illusion
But I shouldn’t be worried
As long as I who I say I am
Maybe that’s my sin
That I may just fall apart
and all I will be left with is him.