Thursday, July 30, 2009

Promises Kept; Food Diary Not

OK, so I became somewhat productive yesterday. Well, somewhat. I needed a new desktop computer, so I ordered a barebones kit. (I had put together a computer from parts somewhere around the days of the 386/486 - you youngsters just need to know that it was the snazziest thing a couple of decades ago - but haven't done much technical since.) It went together fairly well, but took quite some time. So, that kept me busy.

It also gave me an excuse to revert to oldish food habits. Dunno why, but it seemed to be some sort of weird association between geeky stuff and greasy food. Like overworked IT nerds flock to Doritos and Mountain Dew, I turn to Jack in the Box after certain events. Apparently, putting together a computer is one of them. Odd.

Of course, I'm not exactly back on track today, nutritionally, so I'm considering this a two-day free-day. The scale will certainly taunt me for a while, but it won't make me or break me.

On the bright side of things, two promises were kept. First, I promised the dog that we would go on a run this morning in lieu of yesterday's walk. I know (think) she didn't understand what I said, but I did, so I had to keep that promise despite the siren grip of the comforter. No training plan today. I just headed out for a walking warm-up, a solid run, and then a walking/jogging cool-down. It was sort of refreshing to just run for running's sake; I'm going to have to add it in regularly. (And let us not forget that I do have a 5k in a few weeks, so I'd better get my running feet in gear. I insist on setting a new PR in that race.)

The second promise was my weight lifting promise. Two days a week, Monday and Thursday. Who did I promise that to, anyway? Was that just myself? Hmph. Well, all the better, then. So, despite still futzing with some software that doesn't want to install on the new computer, I made it to the gym. I'm at a weird spot where some of the weights/reps randomly drop. Well, not quite randomly; one thing goes up and another goes down. Today, my lat pull-downs went back up after dropping Monday, but my, um... well, nevermind. I guess nothing really went down, but certain lifts I expected to go up (in either reps or weight) didn't go up.

Since I had wasted daylight with the computer, I hit the gym a bit later and at a busier time than normal. While I normally try to avoid eye contact, preferring instead to imagine a gentler version of the mocking scorn I'm "sure" they really have, I let myself notice a few glances today. Now, I'm certainly not anything that would draw most guys' eyes (yet), but I wonder what a couple of them were thinking today. I didn't sense any amusement or negative vibe at my efforts today. If anything, the few guys that looked my way at all (most were, naturally, in their own worlds), well, they seemed to almost have a look of admiration. I don't know if it was because I didn't have a pair of pink dumbbells in my hand, or if it was because my form isn't as bad as I always fear it is, or maybe they were actually somewhat impressed to see how much I'm lifting.

No, strike that last one. I'm really not lifting that heavy (yet). I do lift heavier than many of the women (but not all), and heavier than many of the older men (it's a hospital gym, after all), but I don't think that I'd be raising any eyebrows of admiration.

I'm going to take it a different way. It's not that they're looking at me differently; it's that I'm getting more sure of myself and more comfortable with myself. You know, I like the feeling. In fact, I'm really starting to like lifting again. I mean, really starting to like it. I might even work it into my schedule more. Try to act a little less surprised, will ya?


Arnþór L. Arnarson said...

When you get that silly idea out of your head that ~people are looking at you scornfully~ or ~mockingly~ then you will have made some progress.

Time and time again I see you write about your thoughts on the negative thoughts of others regarding your self, that you are sure or bet they are having. - What I suspect is that this is a reflection of a negativity that is manifest in your own self. This is keeping you down like a ton of bricks.

There are of course the shallow types that can not be helped, but true shallow types (most of them are rather harmless, just very shallow, not evil people just ... kind of dumb) are kind of rare. Truly nasty types are still rarer IMO. So 95% or even 99% of the people that you see around you are decent folks.

And besides. I don't know of any people that wake up in the morning thinking "Damn those fat people! Darn it!" (How would I know because I don't read minds. But lets say I have never observed any hints of folks that would be prone to think like that.)

Most guys, if there is a guys thing, respect hard work. And I guess if they are checking you out, are admiring that you are doing it, and doing it right.

You need to let down your defenses against the world. You are just boxing your self in. Its like some cold war paranoia. It is based on fear that is not based on reality, but your own hurt, and your own self loathing. You are not so important to other people as to be loathed by it, why would you?

True courage is about surrendering your defenses. That will be your biggest 'aha!' if you manage it.

Hope you forgive the plain speaking. But this just so blatantly obvious and sad that could not stay silent about it. And again this is meant in a positive way.

Karen said...

While your thoughts are appreciated, they are a little off base. First, I don't hate myself. If I did, could I be so narcissistic as to have this blog? ;)

Actually, seriously, do I have issues? Sure, show me someone who doesn't, and, well, don't worry about what I'll show you because that person doesn't exist.

Regarding people being scornful or mocking against the overweight: It's a reality. Do I see it more often than it happens? That's certainly a possibility, just as someone in an ethnic minority who has faced prejudice may see it even in its absence. That doesn't mean that we're always wrong, though.

I grew up with a mother who made it very clear that being overweight was not good enough. I was picked on and openly teased for my weight in elementary school. That continued, slightly differently, in the upper grades. I see overweight used as punchlines in the media, and the pictures of the overweight passed around the internet.

I'm tracking how some people get to my blog. You want to know how one person found my site? He/she was searching for "funny fat athlete pictures". This site was surely not the intended result, but I don't have to wonder at what he/she was seeking.

The overweight are, well and truly, the last group of people in the U.S. that can be openly mocked, pointed at, and laughed at.

In spite of this, I think I have been surrendering my defenses for quite some time. It's not exactly easy to go on a bike club outing wearing a 3x jersey. It takes some strength to keep smiling when, after riding by people on a multi-use trail, you actually hear (and see) them openly point, say, "Oh my god," and laugh.

I don't need to be self-loathing. There are plenty of jerks who will do it for me. (For the record, the folk in the bike club are fairly supportive.)

Do I care what others think of me? Well, now that's the problem. I try not to, but it's hard. I don't loathe myself; I loathe the prejudice I've had to face. Have I become hypersensitive to it? Probably, but that's what I've already been working on, isn't it? Yes, I think it is.

Well, that and tauntingly flaunting my wobbly bits in the faces of those who continue to underestimate the overweight. But that's another issue. :D