Flex: In a little less than three months, I’ve lost 50 pounds.
Truth: That might not be the healthiest thing in the world. Quick weight loss is satisfying, but I’m worried that I’m setting myself up for a big disappointment again. This is the third time in my life I’ve lost 50 pounds, and I don’t want to do this again.
Flex: I’ve been employing intermittent fasting. On most days I don’t eat until at least 2:00 p.m.
Truth: This sort of happened by accident. I find that when I work out hard in the morning I just don’t get hungry until well past noon. Drinking a lot of water gets me past 2:00 pretty easily most days. Yet at night I still get so hungry. I see a bag of chips and I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL.
Flex: I like how I look in this picture.
Truth: I still see the big belly. I still see the sag. I also see the “likes,” and I read the comments. I feed off of them. People have told me that my vulnerability is inspiring. I’m not sure I post about this stuff to be vulnerable or inspiring. I post this stuff because I know it will get those little hits of approval and affirmation. I know I am getting closer to someone’s idea of health and beauty.
Flex: I’m going to run a 5K on Sunday.
Truth: I’m not going to run the whole thing. I remember when I could run 3 miles and treat that as a warmup. I originally thought that a 36 minute 5K was a reasonable goal, but I quickly realized that was a pipedream. I have adjusted my goals, and simply finishing healthy and pain-free is my top priority. Finishing with my daughter at my side (or probably with her in front of me) will be an incredible moment, but I really hope I didn’t set a goal based on my memory and not on my current condition. Regardless, there will be a part of me that is more disappointed and saddened by my memory than I will be joyful in the moment’s achievement.
Flex: I am a better father, husband, and pastor today than I was three months ago.
Truth: I am selfish and privileged beyond belief. Am I neglecting other responsibilities so that I can have two hours on my own every day? Am I really worthy of all the praise I get? Not everyone can just carve out this time like I have done. Not everyone can just say, “8-10 is my time.” I can only do it because of the support of my wife, my kids, and my church. I believe all my relationships are better because of it, but have I thought enough about what other people need?
Flex: I have improved my mental, spiritual, and physical health over the last few months.
Truth: Part of me thinks that therapy is a waste of time because she doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know. I wonder if I’m really healthier or if I’m just keeping busier. I wonder if my relationship with food is truly healthy just because I’ve lost weight. There is no question that in general I have been making healthier choices. I choose fruit more. I choose veggies more. I choose protein-rich snacks over salty carbs more. But there have also been times – two or three – when I have eaten an extra piece of pizza or felt a little uncomfortably full, and felt deep regret. I have contemplated making myself throw up. I haven’t done it – but I understand it. I understand the compulsion to just erase a mistake I made with a simple act. One time couldn’t hurt too much, right? So maybe therapy is still a pretty good idea.
So yeah, I’ll flex. I feel so much better today than I did on March 21 (the day before I started going back to the gym). I feel stronger. I have more energy. I have a more positive outlook on life. I feel good, but I also know that I felt this way before. I need to keep flexing, but I need to be aware of the other truths, too.