Today I worked out with Heather at the gym. It was hard, but I did it. She thinks the cardio issues I have are due more to the fact that the weight around my organs and stomach compresses my lungs than my lungs just being out of shape. She thinks it’s why I struggle with breathing and today we gently discussed me allowing her to make my plan for me rather than simply direct her to help me with cardio. I can give up control on this and focus more on weights and “blasting weight off” my body. I know that it’s good for me to surrender.
However, today I saw myself as I really am in a couple of ways for the first time.
I was wearing sweat pants and a long t-shirt and my hair was up. She asked me to face another direction on the machine. I turned and saw this very obese older woman, red-faced, messy with a huge low hanging stomach, tired and obviously struggling and then I realized that it was me in the mirror. I couldn’t believe that was me. I’m not kidding…it wasn’t for a flash, I actually stood there doing wood choppers on the machine watching her and not realizing it was me.
The day we started, Heather high fived me after a round of 5 push-ups and I laughed and felt rather pathetic being high fived for such a paltry amount. However, when I saw that reflection of myself in the mirror today, I realized that to the me I imagine am, that high five was laughable, but to the me that is showing up on the trail or at the gym and in the mirror, the high five is important because wow, she’s exhausted and feels old and yet is giving it everything she’s got. I can’t believe that nice Laura, who supports everyone else’s journey winds up being someone who won’t support herself and has the nerve to even tell her trainer that a high five at this level is "pathetic". I AM SO MEAN.
Today I got it. How crappy I am to myself. I finally get what people mean when they say I’m too hard on myself. Like, until I really face what I’ve let myself become, I won’t give myself credit for anything---because in my mind I am expecting to work-out at the level I think I am, yet in reality, I can’t. So I set myself up to never be pleased and to never honor the part of me who shows up at the gym.
To that woman who shows up at the gym, I’m a real nightmare and enough to make her not want to come back. I critique her; belittle her, laugh at how pathetic it is that she gets a high-five for “nothing” and yet, she’s me. I need to learn to take the damn high-five for her. I feel like she showed up in the mirror to stick up for herself and remind me that she didn’t get here independent of critical me-she is me and she’s sick of my crap. She broke through my wall of illusion that I’m a little heavy to give me a hard dose of reality because I’m killing her…not just with life choices, but with unkind words and thoughts and she wants better for both of us and wishes I'd stop being such a bitch.
Maybe next month or next year I’ll feel and look healthier and if that’s the case, it won’t be because of the part of me that laughs off high-fives and talks about how I used to be this and I used to be that…it will be the part of me who is what she is, but shows up at the gym in spite of it. So, I think if I want to go into fall feeling better and basically save my life, I’d better get on the side of Laura in The Mirror and stop the sabotage.
Have you ever witnessed your own inner saboteur in such clear and obvious action?
What a day.