One of the guys I work with has been out of work for darn near 3 weeks with pneumonia. He’s back in the office today and my first thought when I saw him was, “man, I want pneumonia. He looks like he lost 20 lbs in three weeks.”
That, my friends, is not a healthy mindset.
And yet, it was still a conscious and not at all sarcastic thought that crossed my mind.
Let’s face it, I’ve got issues.
Like so many women in the world, I don’t always love my body. Over the course of my life I’ve crash dieted and gained the weight back over and over again. I’ve worked towards a body type I never actually thought I would achieve, and loved the compliments along the way about how much weight I had lost and how great I looked.
Even when I exercised good judgment, and lost body fat and weight in healthy ways, for me it was never about how fast I could run a mile or how much weight I could lift, it was about the number on the scale and how it defined me.
The worst part is, I know I’m not alone.
When I began Crossfit, and the unexpected journey that accompanied it, I was just trying to lose weight. It wasn’t about a lifestyle change (which is probably why I almost told the coach to eff off when he gently pointed out that cupcakes, wine and ice cream weren’t doing me any favors), but it was another in a long line of things I would “try” to achieve my dream body… whatever that might look like.
Six months later and I can honestly say, I’ve come SO far.
I don’t have a number on the scale that I’m trying to reach. I thought I did for a long time, but recently I’ve realized that the number will have a lot more to do with hitting performance goals than it will with the way I look physically. I don’t care what I weigh, nor does it really matter to me where I end up. I care that someday I will be able to get my toes to that darn bar, and pull my face over it.
I eat when I’m hungry and (usually) don’t when I’m not. My “relationship,” if you will, with food continues to evolve, but I understand it now better than ever. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect 100% of the time, but I do recognize when I’m eating out of something other than hunger, and I try to correct that behavior.
Probably most importantly for me, I (again usually) don’t play the “I want to look like her” game that for so many years I was guilty of. A great example, we have a female coach at my box who has literally the BEST legs I’ve ever seen. To the point I want to like, touch them, just to make sure they’re real. While I’m envious of her amazing quads and hammys, I don’t want them. I want MINE to be as lean and strong as I can make them. I understand her body is not my body. I understand how hard she works for her physique, and recognize with the same work, dedication, and diligence in my diet, I could have those types of results for ME.
So with all this self-discovery, why did I wish for a case of pneumonia this morning?
Well, because like most of us, I am a work in progress.
To me, the most important step for me every single day is to identify things that I could change to inch myself along this journey. Today, wishing for some version of the bubonic plague is not a step forward… but realizing that still, after all my growth, I am hoping for a fast easy way to achieve my goals, is an important thing to recognize.
And then smack that silly thought right out of my head. Maybe we’ll do wall balls again tomorrow and I can whap myself in the face a few more times and get my head right.
Happy Monday friends.