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.
One response to “Sometimes it’s okay to flex”
Truth… It isn’t easy when the world keeps interrupting. Sometimes you do feel the weight of the world instead of the weight of the gym, but thank you for sharing your struggles trying to be healthy.