Day 52 – Mind over matter

The Shell GameI’m re-reading The Shell Game by Stephen Kiesling, which, as another reviewer said, is my go-to book when I need to remind myself why I’m doing this. I read it in college when I was on the crew team and it resonated with me then for the sport. I read it now, and it resonates for why I would want to put my body through a workout virtually every day for what seems like little gain.

“The goal of athletics is control over the body–discipline and the testing of limits. Unleashing one’s body without discipline is against the spirit of sport.” Just an example of the thoughts going through my head right now. I surround myself with images and statements of transformation. I have a Tumblr, which I’m really bad at posting to, but love following people and seeing their posts which motivate me.

There’s that nagging, negative voice in the back of my head that keeps saying, “You’re never going to look like those fitness models in the Nike ads. You’re not 20 years old anymore. You’re not looking for a mate in a meat-market of a bar on a Friday night. Why bother?”

I push those thoughts away as best I can, but they do pop up from time to time. Okay, they pop up a lot, especially in those moments when I’m trying to motivate myself to put on my sports bra and shorts and pull my hair back so I can do my workout.

Then I remember, I want to do this for myself. That feeling of getting through my previous fitness program was so exhilarating…I had never completed the 100/200/200 before! I’m sure the feeling is similar for someone who was never a runner finishing their first 5K after doing the C25K program.

The interesting thing about “control over the body” is that reading through Fitspo and Thinspo blogs is that I often come across the negative side of these lifestyles. I’ve seen some pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs that make me want to cry for people. That leads me to other disorders that a lot of people just don’t get. Then I came across one that I have…no, I’d rather not say what, even though this is a highly personal blog already. Believe me, it’s hard enough to say, “I have a disorder.” It’s not overly harmful, I won’t die from it or leave myself horribly mutilated. But finding that there’s a name for it was a wake-up call.

Nngh. Part of me is horribly embarrassed about it, but another part is glad to know I’m not the only one and that there is a myriad of reasons why people do it. I know I tend to do it in times of stress and anxiety. Another issue is a feeling of control. Eventually, all my link-hopping lead me to read about cutting, which, even though I’m not a cutter, it still put everything into perspective. Cutting is something that always seemed bizarre, but knowing what I know now, it makes sense to apply it to my own situation. A person who is a cutter may have had situations of high stress, anxiety, and depression, amongst other feelings. To cut one’s self is a release. “This hurts more, which drowns out and numbs those other pains I’m feeling, but I’m in control of this and can make it stop when I want to.”

Again, I want to cry for these people, if for any reason it’s that I understand. When you stop, you feel worse because you look back and see what you did. But you don’t know what else to do, and keep doing it because you find some pleasure and relief and release in those moments that you just don’t get at any other time. I think Garbage captured this whole issue perfectly in the song “Bleed Like Me.” It’s not glorifying the pain people go through, or trying to make it cool. It’s a song for others who don’t go through the same thing, trying to get them to understand…that someone as beautiful and talented as Shirley Manson can also be a cutter or be anorexic. It’s not normal, but it’s something that anyone can go through.

Whoa, this post went on a tangent.

Initially I intended to write all about maintaining motivation, and somehow got onto a deeper issue, but I think for me it’s coming full circle. There are so many negative things you can do to hurt yourself that gives you the same feeling of control. What I want to establish is for exercise to become my new drug. I get that feeling when I finish a workout. There are endorphins pumping, and my muscles are burning, and yeah it hurts like fuck. But for that hour or so of my workout, I am away from the stresses that bother me. I am in control. I am too focused on my next movement to worry about other things. And instead of ending up with another scar or feeling bad and wanting to hide away, in the end I want to–and WILL–end up with a body that I can be proud of and can show off.

So the next step? When those feelings begin to pop up…when I feel stressed or anxious or bored…times when I feel I could do something bad to myself…even if I’m about to go to bed, I should instead do some form of exercise. Hop out of bed, do 25 crunches, 25 push ups, and 25 squats. Associate stress relief with exercise. Remind myself that I AM in control here, and that I can turn my body into something to be very proud of.

Things won’t happen overnight, but that relief and feeling better can come as quickly as getting into the movement. It’s just another way to assert control over my own body, and in this case, it’s healthy.

Enough deep thoughts. Yesterday….

Yesterday was my food day off, so I made sure to enjoy myself in moderation. So yeah, today I have gained some weight, but I know I didn’t take in 3500 calories, so it’s not like I put on a pound of fat. Just gotta make sure I drink more water, though.

Meal #1:
1 egg
1 banana
8oz. low sodium V8

Meal #2: I ate in the food court at the mall after getting my hair cut. After all the Chick-Fil-A salads I had, I really wanted an actual sandwich…what they’re known for!
1 Chick-Fil-A sandwich (A REAL SANDWICH THIS TIME!)
1 regular serving Chick-Fil-A waffle fries
1 regular lemonade

Meal #3: Went to the Carolina Ale House with friends. I was definitely full after this. Made me even more glad I got my workout in, and we walked around Target after dinner.
8 Thai chili sauce wings
1 “Ale House Pub Burger” – burger, cheese, bacon, and onion straws
1 serving fries
2 beers

Water: I didn’t get enough water in…I tried, but just couldn’t do it. I can feel it today. I still got in other drinks so I got enough liquid throughout the day, but I don’t count them in my water amounts.
1.5 Liters

Exercise:
Full Body workout – Focus on Shoulders

Sleep: I went to bed early, but had a hard time falling asleep, so I read for a bit. I had to get up early to get ready for my haircut appointment, and didn’t take a nap even though I DESPERATELY wanted one. XD
5 hours

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Posted on June 4, 2011, in Daily Update and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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