I used to feel my most beautiful when I was losing weight.
When I didn’t have to unbutton or unzip my jeans to go to the bathroom. When I drank a gallon of water a day. When I never went out because I was exhausted by dark.
I felt my most beautiful when the scale was in the double digits.
When people told me how great I looked in the beginning, and then whispered about me with concerned glances in the end.
When I ate only vegetables and had a hard time finding underwear small enough.
I felt my most beautiful when I could check every single task off the list, when I followed all of my rules.
Weighed and measured every bite of my food…check
Went on the elliptical for exactly one hour every single day…check
Rode my bike everywhere, despite rain and cold…check
I felt my most beautiful when I was too totally worked to be loud, or bossy, or assertive.
I felt my most beautiful when I was disappearing.
I feel sad for that person that felt most beautiful when she existed less.
Not because there is a damn thing wrong with being small, but because emphatically
and I never will be. Not naturally, anyway.
Things are different now.
I get to feel my most beautiful at both the bottom and the top of a heavy deadlift.
When sweat drips down the muscles of my back.
When I run and look down and see the muscles in my legs bulging.
When I notice that my thighs are big, and I know that I worked for that.
I worked to grow.
I worked to regularly PR my lifts.
To smash not only what I thought I could do, but also what I thought I could be.
When I go to the gym, I complete my workout, I eat my healthy food, and that is tiny fraction of who I am and what I do.
I feel my most beautiful when my clients tell me how they conquered their fears.
When I wake knowing I have shit to do, and that shit is much more meaningful than how I look.
I am a runner. Not in the sense that I run a lot, although I do sometimes. I am a runner in the sense that I am always going. I run face first into my way of eating, my exercise routine, my business. I move fast, I get shit done. No matter what anyone has to say about me, they certainly can’t accuse me of being lazy. I am productive as fuck.
As I mentioned last week, my end-of-Summer cold forced me to be productive about getting well, as opposed to dominating in the blog-o-sphere and the weight room. For many, many days (okay, five) I was forced to go really slow. I slept a lot. I worked minimally. I moved around like a blanket wrapped sloth. GOD, it was annoying.
In my slowness, I got depressed. I have moved from task to task quickly for about four months, rarely taking days off. I have felt AWESOME in the gym and in my personal life. I have felt light, happy, and accomplished, but I can see now that that was somewhat conditional. To watch my good mood come crashing down at the first sign of illness shocked me, and then I realized: who you become when shit kind of sucks is really good insight into who you are.
While I got well, I spent a little time getting to know myself better. I acknowledged that productivity and accomplishment IS great and it IS gratifying, but it does not inherently change who I am, or dissolve the ability to get sad. If I can only be happy when I’m working, well, then I can’t truly be happy. My goal for this week of slow was to build myself up enough to eventually be okay not doing a damn thing. It kind of worked (I’m outta my funk for now and feeling strong again!) but I am well aware that it will be an ongoing process.
Maybe I should block off some “go slow” time in my calendar.
And now the workouts:
Monday: slow walk around Lake Merritt, which is about 5 miles.
Tuesday: another slow stroll around the lake
Wednesday: 5 sets 5 of what I would consider a medium weight deadlift of 135 lbs. This was pretty far from my regular max effort, but holy shit did it tax me.
Thursday: Feeling a little better! Planned to go on a lake walk again, and got inspired so about ½ of it was a run.
Friday: 5 sets of 5 box squats. (This is like a back squat, but at the bottom you sit on a box for a second, thus destroying your momentum and making everything harder). I used 115 pounds.
Then: 15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 10 pistols, 10 push ups, and a 100M sandbag run. I used a 20 pound sound bag and got 8 rounds.
Saturday: Major rest day. I had to wake up at 4:30AM to do some work for KeVita, and was just toast by the time I got off at 2:00PM. Lots of napping and eating on Saturday.
Sunday: Kett and I did the workout “DT” together, and it was crushing. DT is 5 rounds for time of 12 deadlifts, 9 hang cleans, and 6 push jerks. I used a 70 lb. bar and it took me 13:35. OW, my dudes. OW.
While I am well aware that this might not seem like a down week for some, it DEFINITELY was for me. I feel much better this week and am excited to get back to my regular routines!