When I signed up for the group fitness competition at my gym, I went in with the hopes of not only sending my body to boot camp but my mind as well. It didn’t start off smoothly, our first team training kicked off with weighing in with the trainer. As I stood on the metal scale, in the small gym office, my heart sunk into my Nike shoes. I had hit an all-time low within myself, the number on the scale frightened me more than I have ever been frightened about weight. It stared back at me, with big, red beady eyes and sharp fangs, 188 pounds. As I walked back into the room with my fellow teammates, I felt a gloom come over me. My weight had slowly increased like this over the past 9 years, I was exhausted from this torment.
The group fitness competition included bootcamp, which was a series of lifting weights and going through timed circuits, and I had forgot how much this makes me feel like a badass. I used to be afraid of the weight and training rooms at gyms, because all too often that is where the “meatheads” used to hang out. Times are a changing, because now there are women frequenting these places. I can feel it within them too when I am in there, they all have that same look in their eye, the gleam of feeling strong lifting weights and a sense of independence and empowerment. Joining the group team challenge at my gym, reminded me of how much I like interactive group exercise. I don’t get this same type of feeling when I perform other activities. For instance, I frequent yoga classes and appreciate the Zen and calm I receive from the class, and I do feel strong when I can master certain poses. I enjoy running, and often will reach that “runners high” where I feel on top of the world and want to go out and conquer everything I can. But, getting to that high takes quite a few miles and distance in. Attending Zumba and step class is okay, but I don’t have the opportunity to connect with people like I do in circuit training. These activities, then are not as motivating to me as the feeling I get when weight lifting, pushing boxes, and flipping tires, that make me feel like a strong, badass woman. There in boot camp, I don’t really think, I just do! I feel more during boot camp and mentally talk to myself differently. The third week in, on a Sunday before the work week, I binged on food and alcohol until I puked. The difference this time, was that instead of beating myself up with shame and giving up on the balance of my food intake, and turn to eating fast-food, not caring, I stood back up and said, it’s okay! I continued with choosing healthy foods that made me feel good and continued to stop eating when I was full. I reflected on the cause of the binge, what was the root of it? I quickly realized that I felt stress from going back to work on Monday, that I didn’t really feel fulfilled with my job and I just wanted to have “fun.” So, I dismissed those feelings with food and alcohol. I jumped right back into my routine and made it through the week and into the next weekend, without a single binge or drop of alcohol. I think it was about 6 days. Well, yesterday I was feeling stressed from my job and usually I would go to my bootcamp class, but I had plans so went from work right to my evening engagement. There I found myself, numbing my emotions with wine. It didn’t stop at dinner, I felt I needed more alcohol. So there on a Tuesday night, I binged on alcohol and got wasted. I wasn’t as positive this time around. I was pissed! What the hell, I was getting into a rhythm and then BAM! Alcohol sold me on partying. This was so frustrating and I felt like, I can’t do this! I can’t meet my goals, I can’t give up alcohol, this is just too fucking hard!! The negative thoughts were strong this time; I didn’t think I could make it through. I was so frustrated!! Every time I focus on balancing my eating habits and exercise, the scale does not budge! I have been exercising, a great deal, more than normal! Granted, I did have a few fails of bingeing. But the fucking scale goes up, then goes down (barely), what the hell!! Although I am making effort and balancing my life, my scary, fear of a weight barely budges! It’s been four weeks, and I’m pretty much where I started. This right here, this is why I have given up. My fear based thoughts crept up, Can I keep this up? For how long? Will I make it this time? I have always fallen off in the past, why even bother? Will my weight continue to increase? What if, what if, what if! There is this part of me that doesn’t believe I can do this. I have always felt this way, even now when I feel more calm with my eating patterns and workout routine, I’m so fucking scared of failing…again!! Now, many people say, “Don’t even look at the scale it will just torture you!” I’ve thought about tossing the scale, but I feel as though if I don’t monitor my weight somehow, my weight will creep up. That is what happened this last round, I dropped my weight to 174, then I gave up on my efforts and it increased to 179. Then I said, no more scale! That’s when it reached its highest of 188. I have this insatiable need to constantly pull that scale out and I constantly stare at my bare stomach in the mirror. I pace back and forth in my mind, tormenting myself with the “what ifs” and my fears. Then trying to be positive on top of it, drives me just about insane! How can I be positive in a sea of torment? I tried to hold the ropes of my sails for the day, luckily I go to see my therapist the next day, maybe I can get to the root of this. As I explained and cried to my therapist about the constant back and forth, and how I don’t think I can make it to the finish line. How can I keep going in a race, because my mind knows the distance but I can’t apply the same concept to losing weight and being healthy?? She leaned in and said to me “Maybe there really isn’t a finish line, you just have to keep one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward.” She was right, maybe I have focused too much on the “end” the “finish” and don’t allow myself to move forward steadily. This is a life-long race, the winning is my health and my self-love, until then I have to struggle through this. After I left her office, I slowly began talking myself back onto the positive train. It’s okay I told myself. I will make it through. I will have a plan for next time. I can do this; I can do this. Once I allowed my positive thinking to flood through, I became more excited to go back to boot camp, to get my “mojo”, my feeling of being a badass woman. I am hoping I can go longer this time without the need to numb my feelings, that I can stay in the rhythm longer. My goal is to catch myself before the wave of emotion consumes me and to remind myself that “I am a badass woman!”