As I dressed to go to the local Target recently, I threw on my shirt from St. Anthony’s. I frowned in the mirror. ‘This is something athletic people wear. What am I doing.’ Reminding myself that I had indeed completed the race, I sighed and went on my way.
Later that same week, I went to the doctor. As though the doctor isn’t the most miserable place in the world already, the nurse asked me to step on the scale. 164 pounds. Fantastic. 6 more pounds than it had been 4 days prior. Yes, it’s in the middle of the day when I’ve been eating and drinking water. Yes, I’m fully clothed. The thought of my needing to wear my Big Lady J clothes (which I am not quite confident enough to donate) still haunts me.
Every time I go to the gym, I look around and see all the fit people.
Those assholes. People who regularly take the time out their of busy schedules to ensure that they keep their bodies nice both inside and out are to be admired, no? I often think to myself it would be nice to be in that club. You know, this one:
I’ve had a protein shake before. That’s something.
Apparently, there is this way I think I am supposed to look. Or a number I am supposed to weigh. The tricky bit is that it seems to be a moving target. The only rule is that wherever I am is not good enough. I’ve been unhappy at 135. I’ve been unhappy at 215. I’m tired, but I am not sure what I can do to find peace. Occasionally, my good friends Ben and Jerry help me along the way. They are as consistent as my always falling short.
I’m familiar with guidelines of 80/20 or even 90/10 (those are Broccoli to Ben and Jerry nutrition ratios). If it’s less than 100% I suck. Do I know what it would be like to attain 100%? I probably still wouldn’t be satisfied because something else would be wrong.
I feel as though my body taunts me. “I can tell you work out” is one of the most torturous things I hear. I don’t feel I deserve it, though it’s probably fair to say I’m one of those
gym assholes people fairly dedicated to regularly working out. I feel guilty because I could and should be stronger, or faster, or better looking, or whatever. Super stupid alert: my guilt is compounded by my being black. I swear some people assume my people are all fast and strong. I Brahms better than I bench press, sorry!
Why the hell am I apologizing?
For one, Brahms is AWESOME. Perhaps more importantly, maybe what anyone thinks isn’t so – well, important. 3M is always talking up those 4 agreements. “Don’t take anything personally,” she says. But what about what I think of myself? And these bloody moving targets?
Maybe true peace lies in accepting where you are and being okay with needing to grow at the same time. That, or I’ll find it at the bottom of the next carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Either way is fine.