A Few Nights of Ranting, Put Together Semi-Coherently.

Yesterday, for the first time in a week I was actually hungry. I had a pretty filling dinner, and then I just couldn’t stop eating! It felt great, and then today I had a huge lunch/dinner. I am so beyond excited to get back into the box and workout, once I fully kick this. Being sick has got me thinking a lot. It might be all the time spent on the couch, or the cough syrup with codeine, but my brain has been very active. After the last week of hardly eating anything, I realized that I have lost a bunch of weight. When I open my mouth wide, my cheeks sink in right below the cheek bones as the jawbone flares out. My hips are protruding and my abdominal muscles have started to disappear. The bones in my shoulders are more pronounced, instead of the muscles surrounding them.

I know I talk about this a lot, but it’s so important. In the past, the sight of these things would probably have left me absolutely elated…which is pretty sad. Honestly, I look unhealthy. I look sickly, which I have been, thanks for bronchitis, strep throat, and an upper respiratory infection. But this is what I always wanted, right? Not anymore. Now, I want to be bigger. I want more mass, so I can support larger, stronger muscles and move more weight. I want to be considered “athletic.” I look at women working out at my box and idolize them for how large and toned their thighs are and how much they’re able to squat, or for how wide their lats flare out during anything overhead, or for how stable their trunks are while clean and jerking well above their body weight. “You look so tiny under all of that weight!!” is the quote said to me that will forever echo in my head. Looking tiny is something that females are supposed to want, thanks to stereotypes and outside influences. I had a past partner tell me not to work towards a 6-pack because girls with 6-packs are unattractive. You can hear women all the time saying they want to tone but don’t want to “be bulky” because muscular women are seen as unfeminine and gross. What few people realize is that it is extremely hard to “bulk up” with muscle as a female. We just don’t have the gene-stuff to enable this without an intense amount of work, way more than most are willing to put in, and way less than it takes a male. I’m willing to put in the work because I do want it. I want to be big and strong and helpful and successful and energized and exciting and adventurous. Why would you not want those for your life?

Crossfit has had more of a positive influence on my body image than I ever could have imagined. And my nutrition. And my whole life. I will never again look at magazines full of photoshopped women (oh yeah, art school kind of ruined magazines for me early-on, anyway) and want to look like them. I will never again see fad diets and fasts and cleanses for weight loss as acceptable means for transformation of my own body (read: do what you want, just my own opinion for myself). I have found something that has screwed my head on straight and I’m seeing better results than I ever have in my life doing anything else, back when I was “trying to be skinny.” Which is something I did. For a long time. Never. Effing. Again.

Anyway, the moral of this rant is that I can’t wait to get back to working out again. I have been thinking about goal-setting; I have a few longer term goals that I am still working on, but accomplished a few of the short term ones fairly recently. Deadlift over 150lbs, 10 unbroken kipping pull-ups, 1 strict pull-up, and squat my bodyweight were all of these. I had time deadlines on them, and met every single one. Set goals with a time line, make a plan to work towards them daily, and make them a reality. The payoff is so great.

Tough Mudder in 6 days! Hopefully I’ll be in full health by then. I’ll probably be pretty silent on here for the next week, since I still won’t be training in order to get back to being healthy, pre-Mudder. But you can guarantee you’ll be hearing from me afterwards. And whether I had to walk the entire course or not, I will have completed Tough freaking Mudder, another one of my goals.

My “Before” Pictures and the Progression

This is honestly going to be one of the hardest posts that I will ever make. Forget confessing to cheat days, skipping WODs, taking a month off to be a lazyass; all of those pale in comparison to posting “before” pictures. I spent most of last night combing my laptop and the internet for pictures of myself in my previous states. The problem with this is I’ve never kept photos of myself where I look unhealthy or unfit. For the longest time I’ve twisted my torso, angled my head, scooped my tailbone, and used many other tactics to make myself look good in photos. I knew exactly how to position myself for the best possible result. Back at my peak I was definitely guilty of a little photoshop here and there as well.

I look back at old photos and think to myself “I didn’t look thaaaat bad back then!” but then I find a picture of me from a drinking night or a sleepy day, where I didn’t care enough to make myself look good, and it reminds me that there really is a reason why I’m making this change.

Really quickly, I want to emphasize that I’m trying to point out the difference in fitness from previous points of my life. I know that I was not obese. But I couldn’t scale a flight of stairs without getting winded, I couldn’t do a single pushup, I struggled pouring drinks in gallon containers because I couldn’t lift it with one arm. Being a little soft around the middle was all part of this, but my main concern was how completely out of shape I was. Please don’t comment saying that I “wasn’t fat” or that I “looked fine before,” because that’s not what this is about!

I’m putting all photos behind the break, because holy crap. Yikes.

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