Embracing the Ugly
You know those inspiring fitness memes? They say things like, “It’s better to be sore than sorry” or quote someone famous (like Buddha or Marilyn Monroe). There is usually a black and white picture of a super fit chick with sweat dripping off her muscles to accompany the uplifting words.
I don’t look like those when I work out.
In a yoga class recently I took a good look at myself in the mirror. It was difficult to accept what I saw. I think I’ve seen myself with some sort of mental filter in my mirrors at home. The mirror at the gym has no filters, real or imagined. It is unforgiving. I did not like what I saw, but I did not let the figure in the mirror get me down:
- I was at the gym doing yoga!
- I even went without a friend, on my own!
- I have grossly cut back on the amount of
crapjunk food and snacks I was eating!
- I have been intentionally adding more fruits & vegetables to my diet!
These changes to my behavior and working on improving my good habits have resulted in this
This is SEVEN POUNDS down from September. I’m trying to make a big deal out of it because I’m not really feeling accomplished. I’m still measuring myself against where I was before I started slipping back into nasty old habits (in case you’re wondering, I have four whole pounds more to lose to get to my lowest since starting this blog). It feels like I wasted so much time by gaining that weight back. I don’t want to waste time again.
Which is why I’m sticking to my anti-treat goals and set some specific exercise goals (2 spin classes, 1 yoga class and at least one additional workout each week).
Not wanting to waste my time losing the same lbs again is good motivation to work hard. Really wanting to get below my lowest weight (since starting scale matters) is an even bigger motivator. The desire to be too small for my smallest pair of jeans, to fit back into a favorite skirt from years gone by, to comfortably spend an afternoon on my feet, to hike/swim/bike at pace with my family, those desires are all reasons I can look into those harsh gym mirrors and see this…
without crying and running from the gym. (This was an emotionally difficult selfie to share. I hope you appreciate my courage!)
Sometimes I wonder what goes through the instructor’s head or the other people’s heads when they see me in a spin class. Those classes are intense. I get pretty beet red and watching all that fat jiggle when I’m giving it my all…it doesn’t look anything like those sexy, inspiring memes. When I start to worry that people are mocking me in my head, I remind myself that I’m not at the gym to be their eye candy (ha!) or flirt (happily married for 18 years) nor does it matter what anyone else interprets from my working out.
I am there for me.
Going to spin class means afterward I don’t seem to crave sweets as much. When yoga class is over my stress has decreased and I can relax more easily. Every day that I workout makes me less anxious stepping on the scale for my weekly weigh in. Every week that I lose weight makes it easier to accept my results, reinforces those healthy habits, and brings me a little closer to seeing the me I expect when I look in the mirror… even the mean & nasty gym mirror.
5 days until Christmas and I’m planning to stick to my goals even during these holidays. (If Santa brings me a pair of spin shoes that clip into the pedals, it would be even more fun to stick to my goals!)
Wish me luck!
…and may your holidays be merry!