I walked into a store to exchange a pair of shorts. I walked out shortless and mentally, in a bad place. Every bit of self-confidence was ripped from me. It took just one glimpse in the mirror and my whole perspective changed.
No doubt this knee surgery has set me back. I get that. But going from running 30-40 miles per week coupled with at least two leg days, to no running and minimal lower body work, my body changed. Having battled (and come to find out STILL battling) body image issues and eating disorders, I know I have to keep myself in check. I KNOW my body is changing and I have to accept it - and know it is not forever. But, it’s lot easier said (and thought) than done.
As I was in the fitting room trying on a pair of shorts, I grabbed my normal size. They fit, but what I saw was definitely NOT what I expected. The 18 weeks of decreased mileage and activity has crept up. (I can post a picture and show you everything I saw because you better believe I took a picture and zoomed here and there and was so critical of every flaw, but I won’t do that to you). I immediately got dressed and left that store. My mind began to obsess, and I was all of a sudden in a place mentally where I have NOT been in a long time. A place where I hoped I did not have to go again.
I sat in my car, made a phone call, and was immediately in that “poor me” state of mind. I even sat on that pity pot for longer than I usually do. For me, that’s a bad place to be. I eventually started to realize that my body is something powerful and amazing. I am healing and in the process of getting back to where I once was. No matter what I look like, stage ready, 20 lbs heavier than now, I can always find those flaws if I allow myself to. It is my choice if I am going to make it control how the rest of my day goes.
What I have learned and preach to other people is:
If you take care of your body, exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, and sleep, your body will respond. I am more focused on performance now, more than ever. Recovering is priority. My thinking and drive needs to be focused on, not how I look, but rather than how I feel and perform.
Let’s just say I got off that pity pot and used this experience as motivation. Motivation to continue on this journey and use this experience to share with others and give them some type of hope. There is a way out of obsessing and that feeling that can cause us to check out from the real world. Being so focused on how we look, what we are eating, how we are being judged, the numbers on the scale etc., blocks us from being present. Present with our families, friends, co- workers and life. This obsession is just as strong as any other addiction and can hold you back from being the person you are meant to be. Learning to love our body for what it does for us, what we put it through and embracing ALL of our natural characteristics, strengths and flaws.
What my body looks like is none of my business. All I know is that I have to take care of my body. Eat well (most of the time), workout, stay hydrated and sleep. As performance improves, I will be able to do more. In the end, my body will look exactly how it is supposed to.
Once I sat on that pity pot I had to change my perspective to get off it - and that can be a hard thing do to. But I know I CAN change it. And so can you. NO ONE should have to live how I have. I still have my moments, but I can move forward. I want to move forward.
Here is a link to my blog about changing your perspective.