I used to do really mean things to my body all for the sake of getting a panel of judges to think that I was more fit than the girl standing next to me.
I was an NPC/IFBB fitness competitor.
I have run miles on a torn hamstring, performed one-armed push-ups on a torn rotator cuff, denied myself water for days, carbs for weeks, taken diuretics prescribed to someone else and a number of other supplements, enhancers and of course pain killers just to get though it all.
I have gotten up before dawn and stayed up past midnight just to train. I once even had to pass through a sobriety check point on the way home from the gym after a late training session; it must have been time for the bars to close, the only bars I had seen that night had weights on them and started at 45 pounds.
I have dieted to the point of losing my menstrual cycle (so imagine my surprise when I found myself pregnant during one such phase) and then during the off season I bulked up, just to diet down again.
I stopped competing when I was pregnant with my daughter and then for other reasons after she was born. I have not worked out or dieted in five years. I still eat pretty clean, but I don’t beat myself up over ice cream. I practice yoga regularly and I run when I feel like it, which isn’t very often. I go on long bike rides with my husband and short ones by myself. I don’t think I can do a one-arm push up anymore, but I can do side crow.
All and all, I would say that I am healthier now than I ever was as a spokesperson for exercise and nutrition.
So why can’t I get over the guilt?
I hurt my foot showing off in a yoga class about six or eight weeks ago. Feet and toe injuries are kinda like rib injuries, you can’t do anything for them but wait it out, and as I discussed in an earlier post, patience is no friend of mine.
So the healing process is taking longer than it should. It feels fine most of the time, but if I practice yoga it throbs for days, running is out of the question and when I wore heels to a fancy event the other day I almost died for fashion. And so, I have been taking a needed and deserved break from anything that involves standing.
It’s been two days…and I have enough guilt to start my own religion.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we not take the care we deserve, the help we need, the rest we require? To whose standard am I trying to live up to?
There is no panel of judges in my life. No point system, no list of required skills I must perform in order to prove myself worthy. Julia Roberts in the film adaptation of Liz Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love said that she was through with the guilt and she was just going to buy a bigger pair of jeans! As soon as my foot feels up to a walk through the mall, I just might have to do that! In the mean time, I will have to make like a L’Oreal commercial and affirm that “I’m worth it.”
Mia Michelle Marie: “I am an incurable optimist waiting to get around to being a procrastinator. I am a tone deaf shower singer and I dance only when no one is watching (but only to live concert tracks so that I may imagine my adoring fans cheering after each performance). I am a wife and the birth-mother to an amazing girl who had the privilege of having her perfect parents hand picked just for her. I like to think of myself as world traveled, but really, I just move a lot. I grew up in San Diego but consider myself from Portlandia (yes it really is that weird) and have also resided in Hawaii, Costa Rica and Florida (and like to believe that that time in Arizona was just a bad dream). I am a serial cat owner and I think all dogs should be called Buster. I would like to write a novel based on my life but I haven’t figured out how it ends yet. I’m a Yoga Teachin’ Massage Therapist and former self detrimenting fitness junkie. I am a sun worshiping pagan and I pray to the full moon. I have a reputation for adventure but would secretly rather sit on the couch with my husband and watch Jeopardy.”
Editor: Seychelles Pitton
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