Wednesday, August 11, 2010

well, crap.

i thought i was done having to listen to things i don't believe and then blindly live them out like some kind of frontline soldier who's been promised he won't get hit.

but "done" i am not.

i've marveled countless times over the way my thoughts- thoughts that were solid as iron- have been melted by behaviors and newly molded by truth.

i've enjoyed the marveling. its satisfying and fun and (as i've recently discovered isn't wrong) it makes me feel proud of myself.

another reason i think that marveling is so wonderful is because it's not wandering blindly into something you're convinced is going to ruin your life (e.g...gaining weight, burning old jeans, following a meal plan, being vulnerable). as i mentioned above, that's a feeling i'd like to keep in the distant past.

it's also a feeling that my treatment team has recently informed me i will have to feel again if i want to be recovered.

last week i met with my dietitian to discuss my obsessive tendencies with working out. She suggested i combine cardio and strength workouts and do them on the same days to cut my workout days to 3 per week rather than 6.

i was perfectly okay with this, as she said nothing about cutting amounts of activity, only days. so i combined the cardio and strength plans i've been doing all summer, wrote out my new 3-day plan and emailed it to my dietitian her for approval. until the email, i'd never informed her of exactly what i'd been doing for workouts.

her reply said that i've been doing entirely too much and that i need to cut back my activity by two thirds.

two thirds. 4 out of my 7th grade math teacher's 6 toes. 600 pieces out of a 900-piece puzzle.

in other words i'm supposed to take one day from the "new plan" i sent Suzanne, divide it by three, and let that be my week's workout.

well, crap.

i do not work out to lose weight. at first i worked out to gain muscle. and now that i've done that and i like it, i work out to keep my muscle and to feel good.

for six years, i looked at my body with utter disgust and disdain. fellow strugglers: anything you've ever thought you'd rather do than endure another excruciating second of self-hatred, i promise i've thought the same thing.

but something happened when i was able to start working out again that's never happened before. i quit obsessing over cardio and focused on strength training. and suddenly my body transformed into something i can tolerate...and sometimes even like.

i realize that a lot of this could be in my head- that perhaps i only think i've toned up because i've been lifting weights and what not. but regardless- i'm afraid of the angry and unpleasant voice of bad body image- i'm afraid of it's misery and all-consuming darkness. and i'm willing to do whatever it takes at the gym to keep the voice away.

but after some crying and thinking and more crying and more thinking, i've realized that although the amount of time i've been spending in the gym is completely worth it to me to keep this pseudo-peace i've found, what's worth even more is fulfilling my call to become a therapist, a wife, a mom, an artist, and whatever else life has in store.

i can't be a therapist if i'm not recovered and i'll never be recovered if i don't stop working out obsessively.

and so i find myself at all too familiar unfamiliar abyss, knowing that i have to trust and to jump.

it's worked before, will it work again?

1 comment:

  1. EA,
    I just wanted to say thanks for your vulnerability. I fully believe you can do it yet again. You are right, obsessive exercise will only stand in between you and your's so not worth it! YAY for fighting back!
    Again, thanks for sharing this as I know it's hard to feel like yet another thing has to be weeded out. I'm standing beside you in the fight...standing in full armor while believing the weapons I have are able to demolish strongholds. (2 Cor. 10:4)...

    love you and thank you for being so encouraging!!!!