After promising that I would not do any posts about going to the gym, here I am lying and doing a post about the gym. But this isn’t one of those, HEY LOOK. I DID IT AND I’M SO PROUD OF MYSELF. It’s the opposite actually.
I mean, I did do it. Since signing up on the 10th, my roommate and I have gone almost every day. I think we’ve skipped only two days. The first was because her mom came to town and took us to dinner, which we then decided to go at 7 AM the next morning to get it in so she could go out with her boyfriend and mom that night and neither of us would miss another workout (I have terrible insomnia so I didn’t fall asleep until 4 AM and was a bear the next day). The second day we skipped was a Sunday because Sunday is my day off from everything – I don’t do anything work related and I added working out to that.
Anyway. It’s only been a week and every day I go, I’ve been able to do a little more, whether it’s going a little faster on the elliptical or putting the treadmill on a higher incline. Every trip, I sweat more, but not finding myself wanting to curl at the base of those garishly purple machine and cry. I see the number of calories I’m burning on the machine go higher every trip. Today, it was almost 400.
But instead of being proud of my progress, at the scorched calories that otherwise would still be sitting on my bottom somewhere, at not feeling ready to pass out or being angry that my face is on fire, I start doing what every plus size woman is guilty of at some point in their life (or a lot of points in my case).
I start comparing myself.
My eyes creep over to my roommate’s dashboard. She’s at a higher incline. She’s doing a higher speed. She’s already burned more calories than me and she started ten minutes after I did. She’s pumping her legs faster on the elliptical. She’s running on the treadmill now. People are going to look at us and think, ‘Of course the fat friend is going slow, that’s why she looks the way she looks and her gorgeous friend is in good shape.’ How does her ponytail even look cute while mine looks like I’m just a lazy and gross uggo that doesn’t even know how to do her own hair . . .
And on. And on. And on.
I was totally self aware that I was doing it, and I tried to be reasonable. My roommate weighs at least 50 pounds less than I do. It’s harder to go faster when you have more weight strapped to your body. I tried to tell myself how well I was doing, especially tonight. No one was watching me and thinking anything because they’re focused on their own thing. It doesn’t matter how much she’s doing and how much I’m doing. We’re different people. We’re at different stages. We both did well that night.
It’s easier to tell yourself that. It’s harder to believe it. Sometimes I do. Sometimes we’ll go and I’ll believe it. Sometimes we’ll go and I’ll feel those voices that have haunted me for years telling me how ugly and fat and not good enough I am.
I think my point in all this is this. Sometimes even when you accomplish something you’ve never accomplished before, you’re not always going to feel successful. But it doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
I’m not going to tell you not to give up and to keep going. You know it. You’ve heard it from closer sources than me. Tell yourself that. Sometimes, you’re not going to listen.
But then maybe one day, you will.