Current Age: 28
Gym Status: On the grind, most of the time
Dating Status: Nonexistent
- Surviving a tornado
- Sauntering through a grand total of 2 Spartan Races without dying or losing an eye
- Lowering my cholesterol; therefore increasing my bio-metric screening score at work
Let’s get introspective, right now.
What is your current opinion of yourself?
Does it vary day-to-day, or is it pretty consistent?
Lately, I’ve been turning this topic over in my mind. It’s something I think of often, mostly because I don’t have a very high self-opinion. I wish I did. But I have never been the kind of person to really really love themselves. This, I know, is my most unattractive quality. More unattractive than the last 40 pounds I am self convinced I need to get rid of.
Let’s ponder though, where our self-opinion comes from. What develops it? What fosters it? Where does our intrinsic love or loathing come from? I think that it’s a combination of many things, nevertheless, I believe that it comes from the way that we see ourselves, and unfortunately the way we think others see us.
My entire life, I’ve always been on the chubby side. Minus college. College, I was thinner than I was in high school. Being chubby, in my experience, is painful. You just feel like you’re constantly trying to escape yourself. You wish that you could be outside of who you really are physically, which causes you to want to be outside of who you really are mentally as well. It’s hard to understand that your physical appearance does not define the person you really are. There are plenty of beautiful people out there who are evil miscreants. People are people. No matter what they look like.
Just recently, I was looking through recent pictures that I had been tagged in. Throughout my entire weight loss journey, I learned how to pose in such a way that would limit what kind of imperfections people would see in the picture. Tilt your head just so, in case someone sees a potential double chin, or wrinkle. Part your hair this way, so that it’s not looking too thin on top. Pop your hip out that way, so that you look longer and thinner than you really are. It’s fucking exhausting. At the end of the day, I look at the pictures, and don’t even like them anyway, so I end up overthinking how badly I wish I could change the imperfections that I so blatantly see.
2013-A year of deep self introspection.
2014-Lost 40 so pounds. This was my crowning achievement. The year of all years. This is where I really came into myself. Left the old life behind and started anew. This was my year.
2015-Total pounds lost: 50. Two Spartan races and a giant blister later…I was really rocking it.
I love to look back at my progress. It actually makes me feel happy. I often get discouraged, because I feel like I have this huge mountain to get over in order to achieve what I think is necessary in order to feel like I am where I want to be physically. I go to Orange Theory, and I work out, and when we have to face the mirror for floor exercises, I turn myself away from it if I can. Because I again focus on every little imperfection that I see. At work, we have elevators with reflective doors. I try to turn away from those, because I hate looking at my entire reflection. I again, see everything.
At this point, you’re probably saying ‘Alex, you need help’.
But wait, here’s the redeeming part of this blog:
I might turn away from the mirror at OT. But when I do this, I think about my first month of that workout regimen. Every time I’d get there, I’d be so nervous. I would immediately get on the treadmill because it was the worst part of the workout routine. I’d sort of saunter along, and when the time came, I would always walk when we were supposed to be in an active recovery base pace. When it came to do an ‘All-Out’ I would sort of increase my speed two notches and roll with it. I think about my feelings about the running portion of OT now, and I get pretty excited. Inclines still kill me, but I go all out during All Out(s)! Wednesday night, I started my all out at a 6, increased to a 7, and finished at a 7.5.
7.5. It was an incredible feeling. A feeling that I cannot describe. It’s this sense of sheer joy. I can compare it to the way a person would feel when they’ve figured something out for the first time. It feels damn good. I look back to everything I feel about myself when I catch a glimpse of random reflections, and I say ‘Listen, you are by far, miles ahead of where you were during this time in 2013.’
Then I, I say to myself…..
Let yourself appreciate it.
It’s tough, but I think that slowly I am letting myself appreciate the things I am able to do now. At the end of the day, I know that I have come such a long way. The girl I was almost 4 years ago, was such a different person. If I saw her on the street today, and attempted conversation, I probably wouldn’t know her at all. This is an amazing feeling, and it outshines all of the negative things I sometimes think about when I look in the mirror.
You, see, there’s so much more to life than negativity---and life’s too short to ignore all of the amazing things you’re capable of.
As Bruce Lee once said:
“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
Here’s to my inner struggle….and moving beyond it.