Burn(t) Out

I’m trying to psyche myself up. A new Post-It Note adorns my television-front with two messages, officially the only mantra-y thingies on my walls right now.

“Motion is lotion” and “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Maybe now I’ll forget the love affair I’ve recently ignited with my sofa.

It’s the season premiere of The Biggest Loser tonight, and it’s proving to be a bit of an emotional experience. A seriously emotional one, really.

This comes after a rather wound-picking-ish therapy session after work. [insert heavy sigh here]

The show’s reminding me of how far I’ve come, yet how far left I have to go.

I’ve been exhausted now for a long time. I’m starting to hit my stride again, but not really. Not full-on. It’s been tough, and now it’s a little emotionally turbulent, too.

People don’t get it, sometimes. I don’t think people realize how hard and long it is that one needs to work to take off 70 pounds, or what 9 months consecutive of 6-day-a-week intense back-rehab is like in the midst of all that. This has been my last TWO YEARS. I have been just… whew, going at it, I guess, for almost all that time.

And I trick myself, right? I’ve been very antisocial, so hanging out at home makes me think I’m not doing anything, but all those nights I used to stay at home, I’d be writing then working out while watching television.  Two years of pretty much 5-8, sometimes 10+ hours of working out a week.

Though I’ve allowed myself to go off-program,  I knew the day was coming I’d get my shit back together and get the game on. (A gradual occurrence over the last week, I’m happy to report.)

But this show, man… these contestants are at their worst right now. I’m remembering how I felt and who I was those 70 pounds ago. A little too raw-like. My god, how I hated being that. And lord knows I tried to pretend I didn’t. But I did. You know what? I really don’t want to help you understand what that felt like. Or why I still feel that ringing in my ears sometimes.

Something that sort of irks me but I highly doubt I’ll stop doing, is that I’m really quick to volunteer the info that I’ve lost a whole shitload of weight. In some ways, it must seem arrogant or needy to others, but it’s not like that. Sometimes I feel like, if I don’t say it out loud, it’s not real. I technically know what I’ve done, but I somehow still feel much the same inside some days. Not the loathing or anything, but I can go days where I don’t physically feel that much thinner… not went-from-size-22-to-a-14 thinner.  Maybe that’s mostly because I’ve slipped into a mindset of forgetting. All I really need to do is, go to a movie and consciously think of how I feel in that seat,with  room enough to drop arms down by my side, no chair digging into my pudgy ribs. Sure, I’ve weight to lose, but I don’t have THAT anymore.

But I have to consciously be aware of that newness-of-me in each moment. These lack-of-Steff happenings, ie: no thigh-rubbing, are recent phenomena in ’09, after 20+ years of the opposite.

Seriously, when the average woman has a “fat day”, she’s feeling maybe 5 or 10 pounds heavier. _I_ have a fat day, I’m feeling like I’m literally pushing 300 pounds, nearly 100 pounds heavier, okay? Why? Because I KNOW what it’s like to LIVE in that body, and most of YOU probably will never have the foggiest fucking notion.

And then when I _do_ have that moment of remembering “Yes, I did that”, I remember specific moments in sports and activities where I thought I was gonna die — like that July day where the “oh, 10 or 12k in the mountains” bike ride turned out to be a 19km one that ended with a stunning 6km ascent up the side of a motherfucking mountain with a vicious 50km wind heading straight at me. That SUCKED. And I did it.

Oh, my god, has this all sucked the marrow from me. Now I pay. It’s coming back, though. Lifeblood returns.

As I ready myself for what I know is the next long, hard, but ultimately BEYOND-worth-it next leg of the journey, I’m finding myself caught in an emotional swirlie that’s getting hard to let go of this evening.

Still, here are three things I know tonight: 1) What success takes, 2) that I’ve already had MUCH success, and that 3) I can fucking rock this bitch.

But I’d be a liar and a fool if I said I’m not hurting a little as I muster the courage to go there, that I’m not scared of the obstacles that lay before me, or that there isn’t a niggling of doubt that this is the time I get exposed for the fraud my insecure inner-self thinks I am, or flat-out fear that failure awaits or I’ll return to the flabby Steff of old.

That’s why, in some ways, this weightloss I’ve accomplished so far, and the rest I know will happen over the next year or so, is my existential scaling of Mount Everest. This is as big as it will ever get for me. I’ve spent two years hammering at myself emotionally and physically, and it’s gotten me to here. So far to go.

Dude… it’s gonna be a long year. But: 3) I can fucking rock this bitch.

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