As I said in my previous post, fitness and I have a good thing going. I am doing my best to not sabotage it. I think it would be pretty paranoid of me to think that other people want to sabotage it solely for the sake of bringing me down. Quite frankly, I am too much of a cynic to believe that people care about those around them that much.
That being said, I strongly believe that people need to feel that they are living right, whether they are or not. Humans will go to great lengths to justify their choices. Generally, the easiest way to do so is to judge the choices of others. Since the beginning of my journey, I’ve noticed that people who do this fit into one of two categories.
1. People who wish they had the strength to take a risk
Let’s get this out of the way first – I do not think I am better than anyone else. I believe some of the choices I’ve made have put me in a good place. I humbly walk for I know that it is God who empowers me to make good choices for my life. I am fully aware that it is only He who stands between me and all the crap that earthly life has to offer. There is no day that I don’t need His grace to make a single good decision. Full stop.
All right, that’s done. This is America. Damn near everyone is on some diet. When I started my 21 day challenge in January 2013, I was doing my patriotic duty. It’s practically illegal to be an American woman without a body image problem. Fast forward to May 2014 and now I appear to be on the other side of that problem to many. I cannot emphasize appear enough. I’ve maintained that because I’ve been at a healthy weight twice before and gained it back both times, I feel like I’m a big girl who happens to be fit at the moment. More on that later.
I think the heart of this issue is one of belonging. We all have a need to feel that we belong somewhere. I no longer consider myself to be a member of the Women’s Dieting And Complaining About Myself Constantly club. While I know that my company is missed (I am a good time, after all), I know that most negative sentiment comes from the fact that others want to renounce their membership in the WDACAMC. The only way to do it is to be good to yourself – which is really scary if you are not used to doing so. Yeah, people are lazy and it takes real planning to eat right and exercise. I can only speak to my personal experience, but it wasn’t until recently that I believed that I am worth taking care of because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I love myself by taking care of my body and the world is a lot brighter. My circumstance didn’t change. I did. Rock on.
It is much easier for me to identify with people calling me skinny and saying they can’t stand me because I’ve been there. I’ve wondered how people get fit and it seemed like magic. So I’ve got much more patience for type 1 than for this:
2. People who make the right decisions with the wrong motivation, or who think everyone should think like they do
But Lady J, you ask. Who are you to determine whether someone’s motivation is right or wrong? Well, I actually think it’s pretty simple. If you don’t seem to be at peace, there’s likely a good reason for it. Either someone is tormenting you or you are tormenting yourself. My therapist mom says it best – hurt people hurt people.
I think the people who had finished long before I did at St. Anthony’s last week and remarked that I had entirely too much energy fall into this category. Why on earth would you open your mouth and say that someone shouldn’t be smiling so much? Oh, I know! Because you’re
a jackass caught off guard by a reaction to which you are not accustomed. I was ready to ask them how their races went and they totally were acting like they didn’t just accomplish something awesome. I get it – if something didn’t go as well as you had hoped, you allow yourself to wallow. But I don’t even know if that’s the case with these jokers because the first thing out of their mouths was “you didn’t work hard enough.” Followed by the obligatory ‘j/k’, of course. I can’t stand when people say jerky stuff and then don’t have the ovaries to stand by it, then attempt to soften it with pretending they were joking. If you’re a jackass learning and growing human being, be yourself.
There are athletes who expect to podium each race. There are athletes who aspire to do so some day. Meanwhile, this girl is pleased to conquer her fears and discover all she is capable of when she trusts God. One would think there is room for all of us – Lord knows I’m only taking up space in the back, hah! Maybe triathlon is like school and it’s more fun in the back? Who knows. All I know is that I value my relationship way too much to be brought down by ignorance.
I’m pleased to say that for once – I’m going to listen to God and protect myself. Make no mistake. My heart is in this.