December 10, 2017

I still hate my body

I received a message recently on my Facebook page from someone who had read a post I wrote a while back called “I Hate My Body”. The reader told me that he could relate and that I had inspired him to “push play” when he got home from vacation and get into shape. I’m not gonna lie. I got a little choked up. It’s not often that anyone tells me that something I did actually mattered to them in a personal way. It actually made me rethink how often I need to write about “real issues” or just the foolishness that I normally do. I pretty much landed with I’m just gonna be me but if I can make a small difference every now and then I’m gonna try. I’m also gonna be a smartass from time to time and by “time to time" I mean almost always...

It’s funny. I’m in a different place now physically than I was when I wrote that post. For one I am older. There are days where 47 years old makes me feel like a grandpa but somehow I find myself in the best shape of my life. I would say that makes me a GILF but I’m not a grandpa. I would say DILF but I don’t like that term either. It sounds like a pickle. I guess since imma CrossFitter I could go with CILF. Truth be told I’d take any “ILF” at this point. Sorry. I think I lost my focus there for a second...

Anyhoo ~ In my very advanced age I have come to realize that it really is never going to matter what kind of shape I am in, I am always going to be insecure about my body. A while back it was like a thousand degrees in the gym and in my brilliance I wore a cotton t-shirt. I like the shirt because it looks good on me but I wasn’t even done with the warm up and I was soaked. Now the MacGyver in me said “Take your shirt off and you’ll be fine” but the introvert in me said “Suck it up fatty and stay wet”. I went with the introvert.

Why do I still do this? Because at the end of the day there are only two ways I can fight the insecurity in me: Tequila or CrossFit. They both make you think you look good naked but only one really does it. I try to stay away from the tequila so I’ll stick with my CrossFit plan for now but it does beg the question “At this point of my life, why am I still so insecure about how I look or concerned about the opinions of others?” 

For one, CrossFit drives the behavior a little. It’s a competitive environment by design. Very often during WODs the more “Elite” men think “3-2-1 Go” is a countdown to undressing. Heck, even the women, because of the physical nature of the workouts and heat we typically workout in, will have to strip down to sports bras and short shorts. You combine those two and human nature will move you very quickly from having a lifting or time goal in mind to “I wish I looked as good as that person”. 

Second, we measure everything. Weight moved, reps scored, and time domains just to name a few. Virtually every single workout gets scored on Wodify so you are always kind of forced into comparison mode and determining if you are improving. When you add on top of that the hundreds of Instagram posts of athletes and fitness models flexing their abs while drinking a low fat organic kale and fax seed protein smoothie made from sensibly harvested and hand milked almonds, it tends to make you feel a bit inadequate.

The feeling of inadequacy is a real b*tch but just a few days ago my very wise and mature 21 year old coach said something to me that helped me get my mind around how to control this. I was asking a question about how I should break up the workout and he said to me “JFW, not everything is a competition. Sometimes you need to just practice holding on.” It was good advice for the workout but great advice for life. I tend to view most things competitively. It’s just how I am wired I guess but I need to find more time to practice which includes working on and recognizing the things in life that make me special. I may not ever have the body that I want to have but I am a decent singer/songwriter, I like to write and if you don’t ask my daughters for their opinion on this, I am moderately funny. My point to all that is I am going to try to find the time to recognize what I am as a person and not focus on a comparison to others. I also am going to try to make a concerted effort to recognize things that are special in others when I see them and I encourage those of you that may have this issue as well to do the same. If we all took a second to do that for each other, over time I have to believe we will all be a little more confident, a little more secure in ourselves, and most importantly, kinder to each other...

(Note: This blog should in no way be interpreted as a suggestion to no longer workout in sports bras and booty shorts. Be yourselves ladies...)

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