Do you have a similar work-out rhythm to mine? I get excited, set a few goals and hit the gym to accomplish them. I mix it up so I don’t get bored, set mini-goals, and even take a day off if I’m tired. Things are going along smoothly and then one day – BOOM! I will get knocked off track.
Well, after years and years of reviewing this cycle, I have chalked my own BOOM up to a few specific insecurities:
(1) Wishing I weighed a little less (usually 5-15 pounds),
(2) Wishing I was more carefree and didn’t care about my weight/looks (contradictory much?),
(3) Wishing I was someone else.
There is nothing more liberating than admitting your insecurities to the
entire world the people following your blog. Okay, so there are a lot more liberating actions to be taken in life. Yet, I often feel that if I would just get out of my own way, I could accomplish a lot more in life.
For instance, while it is true that I enjoy running for the solitude, the sweat, the cardio/resipratory health benefits, the connection to nature, the goal-setting, the accomplishments and achievements, etc., it is also true that I use running to balance out my enjoyment of rich foods, alcohol, and eating whatever I want. Well, not “whatever I want” – but I let myself indulge more than is probably healthy.
Yet, no matter how much I truly enjoy running and other physical activities, I still find myself wasting time worrying about my physical appearance. I chose my words carefully there, people, it is a huge time suck to do this! I am a healthy person, I choose organic and whole foods as often as possible. I exercise regularly and I reduce my stress in 101 different ways. Yet, as a part of contemporary image obsession, I am caught up in the flat tummy hype.
I feel there is no escaping this image burden, yet so few of us achieve the unrealistic images we hold so dear in our heads. And, thank goodness for that (see: Angelina Jolie at the Oscars, aka She-skeletor, aka Bobble Head megamama). I can recognize some sort of identity crisis when the eating disorder slaps me in the face and I do not want to see that in myself, ever.
So, as I strive to find more time for activities that bring me joy, that feed my spiritual soul, I am working to put more time and energy into those sources of energy, renewal and fuel. That means putting less time into sweating the food choices. Hopefully I will feel more secure, and more fulfilled, and still find my inner beauty shining through my physical representation.
As for #3 – wishing I were someone else. Well, let’s just face it. There will always be moments like that. Really, the best way to deal with that is to laugh (at myself, if possible). That’s where The Oatmeal comes in. Enjoy this comic strip of what we’re all thinking about each other when we’re at the gym…