A while ago I was watching the Oprah 20th anniversary special dvds (judge not) and one of the 6 discs was solely dedicated to issues of weight and weight loss. Many people told their stories about how they did it, the emotional turmoil, the fortitude, etc. One story in particular stayed with me…it was a guy who’d lost a significant amount of weight and when asked about he described how he saw his end goal. He saw himself, under the layers of hurt and pain and his past, and when he saw himself he didn’t stop until the outside matched the inside, what he’d seen in his mind.
Listening to that then I thought of my own struggle. Actually, while I have been overweight from probably age 6 or 7 until now I never remember feeling so uncomfortable in my skin until recently. I have never not been in the “normal” range of clothes, though I certainly can wear some plus size things as well. I have not had significant health problems related to weight. Its only ever been about image. And while some part of me knew I should not be the size that I am, I could not imagine anything different. There was no picture in my mind of any other me.
Until yesterday. I’d gone with a friend to workout early yesterday morning. I’ve been fighting a cold since coming back to Chile and my body did not want to get up and go workout but I just felt like I needed it, so I went. I didn’t make it through the first set of exercises, lunges…but I stuck it out and within the hour I’d managed to complete the workout. It was a series of cardio (Spin) and strength training on a Gravity machine. However, it happened on the spin bike.
I was peddling and dripping sweat trying to talk myself out of quitting when I looked in the mirror and facing me was another me. A me that was strong, resilient, and capable and she was peddling. Asking my physical body to let her do it. So I did. I gave in and surrendered to her request. And while she was limited, still, by my physical body she got me through that climb. And those push-ups. And those planks. When I asked of her, she was there.
She let me know that she is with me and can get us through this. She is a warrior. That’s the best way I can describe her. I can see her so vividly in my mind now, since yesterday. When I got home I snapped a photo, “Day 1”
And I recognized that I have about 150 days before I go to Jamaica. Being on a tropical island in summer time, who wouldn’t want to be fine? But she isn’t stopping there. She’s already thinking the 29th year is her training year for 30. I closed my eyes and looked at her closely. She still feels separate from me, but she assures me she is within. She said: let me be strong, let me be dutiful, all you have to do is allow it, I’m ready. Let me.
I am not so evolved that her words didn’t scare me. Frighten me and want to sabotage by reaching for fast food just so I could feel in control again. But she did not leave. This morning she said, you’re sore, let’s go for a walk…
That, I thought, must be what he felt. When he could see it, when he could see his healthy, vibrant self he was seeing what I am seeing. And I wondered if I should even tell anyone; post any pictures or write any blogs. And she said quite plainly, those were you, but this is my first time. So here we are. Me and my two selves, plain as day in my mind and at each meal and each opportunity I have to surrender to one of them. I know that only when I give in to her, though, do both of us win.