*Warning! Naughty language.
I am having a strange summer.
To be honest, I am probably in the worst shape of my life.
Chemo a year out, and then the not moving that was a year of COVID-19 (but with as much free depression and anxiety as I could order). I’m like, 20 pounds heavier than I have ever been.
And I don’t really give a fuck.
I also completed my clinical internship (for my psychotherapy master’s) throughout this crazy fucking year. I saw nearly all of my clients via Zoom (apart from a few walking clients I was honored to have, thank you, Jesus).
I spent most of my year inside. My Jew trauma came back full force; how scary is it really? How much danger am I in, really? Blah blah.
And yet (read: after being vaccinated, by the way. I got mine pretty soon as I’m technically a first responder), I have been going on dates and having an amazing time connecting with some of the most attractive people (read on, dear reader…).
My therapist-brain wonders whether my attachment style has shifted, and I am finding myself attracted to those who aren’t quite as bad for me. And that’s an exciting thought, really (this could be its own entire post, but I cannot help but wonder whether attraction seems to stem more from our perceptions and projections than anything else…lots of incalculables).
Anyway, I have spent most of my life trying to attain a certain kind of attractiveness that I have felt was needed in order to attract those I’ve found myself attracted to. Vis-à-vis, if you’re taught and fit, then I ought to be big and muscley. And I went pretty fucking far in that direction. BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) in Brazil. Muay Thai in Thailand. I was supposed to be the lover who was also the fighter (in my silly head, anyway).
And, you know. Not to toot my own horn, but I kinda got fairly big and strong. Like, you probably shouldn’t try to fight me. And that’s just factual.
But man. That all came to a head around the time I was in my second year of grad school, and I found out I had cancer. Lo and behold, a year of feeling sick and doing fairly nothing (and no, this isn’t a story about beating cancer, although I seem to have done, thus far, anyway). This is a story about how I started working back toward my fitness goals—my attractiveness goals—post-cancer, only to be thrown into the whirlwind that was what I will hitherto refer to as Covid-depression.
I was doing alright. I was back at the gym. I was back to lifting crazy amounts of weight and feeling strong and—almost—sexy and—almost—actually feeling myself. And then fucking Covid. My gym closes. We might all die. My trans-generational trauma tells me I need to worry like a motherfucker (and at the same time question myself). And I’m also supposed to be starting my clinical internship for mental health counseling. In essence, I’m supposed to be there for others, you know, because I’ve got it all figured out and shit.
It was the roughest year of my life (and I had cancer. So…).
Okay, it was also the best year of my life—but only in hindsight (us therapists like to say that hindsight is 20/20. Fuck us, right?)
But I did make it through. Thank god for my own therapist, my clinical supervisor (it’s a thing we therapists have; like the Obi-Wan or Yoda to our Luke), and now things seem like they might be kinda okay again. And that’s crazy, right?
And here I am, weighing in at about 230 pounds.
And I learnt to kind of actually love myself this year. And that was a first.
So, here I am. I haven’t lifted or rolled or sparred or trained in like six months (okay, okay, I miss it like none other. You get it if you get it. And I’m currently looking at gyms I can join back up at). But, it doesn’t feel quite so important, or necessary anymore. I’ll train because I love it. But maybe not every fucking day. Maybe not because I want to get somewhere.
I’m not as worried about how I look when I’m getting ready to meet that special someone for margaritas. How crazy is that?
And weirdly, these people who I’m about to meet, who I’m fiercely attracted to, they seem to be attracted to me as well. Even though I probably can’t deadlift 500, or curl 75s, right now…even though most of my clothes don’t fit at the moment. And I’m wearing lots and lots of sweats.
I look in the mirror.
And I see what I’d refer to as fat.
I’m not fit.
I’m not fucking Adonis (or Samson; you’re welcome, #Jewreference).
And yet I don’t really mind. I like me. And others seem to as well. And the people who I want to find me attractive lately? They do!
Crazy shit, man.