Monday, May 5, 2014

I don't do mediocre

Looking at pictures of the past is an act of bravery I think.  I was looking through some things the other day, and found a boatload of them-- mostly from when I was in high school.  Truth be told, they were my "Maybe One Day" inspiration as far as my body goes.  But I did observe some other things.
1) I've had really bad posture for a really long time.  All the pictures from the side view show me slouching in the most attrocious sorts of ways. I will not be pointing this out to He-who-trains, who stays on me about slouching.
2) I saw where it was that I really began getting heavy-- clearly, for me it was not the freshman fifteen-- it had to have been at least the freshman twenty five (or more.)  I don't remember that-- I guess I didn't have access to a scale, but I don't remember having to buy new clothes.  But the pictures between my senior prom and the end of my freshman year in college are pretty revealing.

And the best observation (which makes the picture looking totally worth it)
I've surpassed all but one of my "maybe one day" inspiration pics.  I always looked at those pictures, and thought how skinny I looked.  And I did, compared to the beluga whale person I let myself become.

When He-who-trains asked me about my fitness goals and my ideal body weight when I first started training with him, I gave him the weight I was in high school.  (I'm 5-10 lbs away from that, depending on how grouchy the scale is on a particular day, but I'm smaller.  So yeah, about that "Muscle takes up less space than fat"...) I considered myself ok in high school...  I wasn't the skinny girl that's for sure.  But I thought I was maybe on the heavy end of normal.

And now that I am where I am, I realize I was willing to settle for mediocre when I set my goals. I'm still thirty-ish pounds away from even being a healthy weight, much less being a competitive bodybuilder.  There was a time when I would've been happy here.

I guess this is on my mind because I see this attitude happening in so many places around me-- where average is good enough, so long as it doesn't require the extra work of being excellent. Settling is so much easier than being serious.  If there's anything I've learned in this process, it's that change takes a lot of busting it.  Overcoming habits and comfort zones and self limiting, or worse, self destructive behavior is a brutal business.

I made a decision a few weeks ago that I struggle with every time I go to the gym.  I've started wearing spandex and sleeveless shirts to the gym-- even though I'm pretty certain that just because something will physically go on a body doesn't mean it should be worn by every body.  I'm fairly certain I'm not in a body that should be out in spandex. But I make the intentional choice not to hide my body, so that I have to deal with what I see.  And well... bless anyone who happens to be in there.  But frankly, I don't much care what they think... I'm not there for them. I can see what has improved. (And apparently others notice too-- and they're awesome with comments.  I even got a left-handed compliment from He-who-trains who said as I was doing incline pushups "I can see a tricep there for the first time ever." So there's that.)  But more importantly, I have to deal with all the places that still have a long way to go.  I have to take stock every time I'm in there.  It'd be a lot easier to hide, but I see every lump and jiggle, and notice every time my under arm fat keeps waving long after I've stopped.   I keep reminding myself that I don't do mediocre.

Life lesson, methinks.
Sophomore prom...pretty close to this size and shape now, but I think I'm currently still a little bit chunkier.  Also, clearly, not terribly excited by my prom date!  

Yeah, pretty sure that was the last time I wore shorts.  I told myself that if my legs ever got that skinny again, I'd wear them.  Think I set that bar too low.