The toughest part of any kind of lifestyle change is the battle you have with yourself.
The image I have of myself verses the image I perceive others having of me are constantly at odds with one another.
Part of the downside of being public about your life — in particular the weight loss component — is that people check you out. Which, now that I’m single again, hits me a little harder than it did once before.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bumped into somebody on the road or in a bar and had them look down at my belly. It’s at least a dozen.
I feel like saying “up here, darlin’, my eyes are up here” — I now have a small taste of what it must be like for women.
These greetings often send me into a bit of a tizzy. It’s fairly easy to send me into a bit of a tizzy from time to time — mainly due to a lack of sleep or stress level, I suppose.
The way my brain works, and it’s pretty fascinating actually, is that I immediately go to a place of self-blame and doubt.
“Jesus, maybe this isn’t coming off fast enough. Maybe I’m lying to myself and everyone else. Am I a fraud?”
It’s something I do. I lash myself over and over again in my mind. And some days it can get pretty ridiculous. I can harp on it until I feel like I’m about an inch high.
That stems from a youth filled with insults and nastiness hurled from every conceivable direction, and my drive to continue that, like some sort of cruel relay runner grabbing the baton and smacking myself over the head with it.
But, my rational brain knows none of this is true. It understands that weight loss is a marathon, and that my body is constantly shifting.
Last week, for example I reached over and scratched my arm and part of my arm was missing.
“Where the fuck did my arm go,” I asked myself.
It’s like having a partial phantom limb in some ways. I have the physical memory of something being there, and now it’s not.
The truth is. it didn’t disappear on its own. I work hard. I weight train three times a week and bust my ass to ensure that I’m getting results.
There is no doubting that. I feel it in every ache, strain, and footstep I take.
I see it in the muscle that’s emerging out of the fat like a sculpture out of the stone. Sometimes I look down at my legs and wonder “now, where did they come from. Why are they bumpy on top? Is that muscle?!”
My bumpy legs and everything else that’s changing comes from the will that I have to get my ass up and push myself.
But here’s the funny part that I’ve only recently discovered — Will and Self-Blame come from and live in the same place.
Only, Self-Blame is like that shitty roomie. The one that doesn’t wash the dishes and screwing its lady friend all night long while you’re trying to get some rest before your training session in the morning, and not even Bose develops a noise cancellation acute enough to dim the sound.
But, I digress.
Throughout this journey I am continually discovering things that need my attention. They usually reveal themselves to me when they feel as though it’s time to for them to leave
Life is not the Biggest Loser. It’s life. And it’s complicated, and there’s ups and downs. And like anything worth doing, and doing right — it takes time.
And a sideways glance at my progress isn’t going to change any of that.
Nor, will it bother Will.
Have you seen who he’s living with?
Jesus, what an arsehole?