Somehow, I have lost a respectable amount of weight over the past two weeks of ZERO GYM TIME WHATSOEVER. Now that things are calm again and I am home bound for the next month, it’s past time to reincorporate and reprioritize my workouts into my daily routine. So, last night, I went to the gym for the first time since August 5th.
WOW, you can lose strength quickly.
I did my usual self-designed circuit of arm weights, and everything felt noticeably heavier. On top of that, I am sore today! I haven’t been sore since the very first week I started doing strength training, and that was when everything was considerably lighter and I was considerably more out of shape. I hope the weight I got rid of in gym absentia was really fat and not muscle mass! (I mean, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, but still.) I’ve actually felt strangely guilty for having lost weight during my two weeks of vacation brain and OKCupid-ing, like I was somehow cheating by managing to drop the pounds while putting in almost no effort. There’s fun, satisfaction, and pride in having earned it, ya know? It feels a little cheap when it just goes away because you hit your steps goal. NOT THAT I’M COMPLAINING. OH MY GOD, BODY, DON’T CHANGE A THING.
Well, my arms have exactly one day to recover, because they’re getting werqed tomorrow, too. Also tomorrow, I’m reuniting with the elliptical for the first time in 2 weeks. I copped out yesterday because I had to get home by a certain time to meet a friend, and I avoided losing time to the shower by choosing strength over cardio. 😉
Incidentally, the friend I met up with last night has been effusive lately with the weight-loss praise. She’s been telling me I’m pretty, I look great, I’m inspiring her, I’m this, I’m that, blah blah blah. Well, it’s no secret that I don’t accept compliments well, particularly when it’s in person and from someone I care about, so she called me out on it when we were hanging out. This is someone who usually struggles with being direct, and says it’s something she’s learning from me how to do. This is also someone who has allowed me into her scary spaces, and I have not done the same with her. I was cognizant of all of that in the moment, and thinking that I owed her the chance to understand me the way I understand her, and I thought, “You know what? It’s fearless time. Let’s go there.”
We ended up talking about the weight loss, the emotional sides of it, and why I’m so miserably awful at taking praise. We also talked about dating, and how she couldn’t understand why I was shutting down and not trying harder with guys. She kept saying I would have to get comfortable with attention from men because I’m only going to get more attractive as I lose weight and gain confidence, so why not get used to it with someone I’m not that into so the stakes stay low? She said that in her experience, it’s empowering to snag a man when she’s not feeling that great about herself.
When she finished her rap, I explained that I know myself, and her approach is not gonna work for me. First of all, I’m not gonna play with someone’s emotions to temporarily feel marginally better about myself physically (and that actually doesn’t do it for me, anyway), so that’s off the table. Second of all, I told her I’ve been busting my ass the last few months trying to fall in love with myself. It sounds corny as hell, but I need that to come from me, not from some man. I’m the only one who’s gonna be with me until the day I die, and if I can’t truly say I love myself, what does it matter how many men said they did? I haven’t felt like my real self in years. YEARS. I’m just now rediscovering my own worth. It’s too fragile and too delicate for me to be misdirecting that emotional energy into another person, and getting my self-perception all tangled up in his perception of me. I am NOT there, and I’m not gonna force myself to get there. When I’m ready, I’ll know. I trust that. When I’m ready but I’m dragging my feet, I’ll know that, too, and I’ll push myself. I trust that. I’ve taught myself how.
Somehow, I got through that entire conversation without crying. I got dangerously close, but I didn’t cry. Crying is for people who are sad. I am not sad. I am hopeful.
When that part of the conversation came to a close, my friend looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’m not worried about you.”
I distinctly remember touching my collar bones when I replied, “I’m not worried about me, either.”
So, the emotional muscles are also getting werqed, but at least it doesn’t hurt anymore.