Wednesday, May 24, 2023

No Longer Starting OverAchiever Smiles

I found myself laughing last week, realizing that my propensity to overachieve has become a great way to name some of what I’ve been experiencing post-Caribbean-cruise, all 10-days of luxury of it. 

I’m writing because the fact that I am laughing is huge. The lightness in my spirit about all of what is to come is also huge. It’s like bringing together two things about yourself, both about which you’ve condemned yourself in years past, except this time, they add up to a huge bonus. Never before would I put overachiever and overweight as one big plus...but there is laughter in me instead of self-condemnation. Sometimes we really DO get better…with the right peeps and now longstanding habits, that is.

Overachiever: I went on a 10-day Caribbean cruise and I probably gained about 20 pounds. That’s like 2 pounds a day. You have to really be achievement oriented to make that kind of progress. Granted, it may have only been about 15 pounds, but when I stepped on the scale at home, I nearly fell over. Better to round up to 2/lbs a day for the overachiever affect of the story.

The gift in this turn of events is that I honestly had no idea. Which means the relationship I have to my body is fully independent of the self-condemnation and the overbearing critic who used to rule the roost when I would get out of the shower. Back then (not so long ago), I could hardly look at myself in the mirror. For decades. Today? I smile and welcome myself, just as I am. CrossFit and maintaining a healthy relationship with food now protect me inside...

Apparently with absolutely no idea what the extra 20 pounds looks like on my frame. I must just gain it all over? Research into body image points not only to women’s intense judgment of their own bodies, but also to their/our overestimation of size, weight. We tend to think we’re fatter than we actually are. I’ve fit into that category often enough. Except this time, I didn’t get caught in that trap. I literally had no idea I had gained that much weight. I love my body as she is. I'm so thankful these judgments.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, I no longer fear being trapped in a body or weight like I used to be. For most of my life, losing weight was an up-and-down affair. Gaining weight was a shame-fest, driven by cravings and fear of being shaky-hungry. I regularly felt trapped in my own unbreakable patterns and the imposed and ingested shames I carried because of them. Today, it’s a post-cruise overachieving ‘happening’ about which I now know what to do, how to redress it. Knowing I actually prefer my life within healthy norms, practices.

So all of this can just be funny…just a blip on the journey of fitness and pleasure, CrossFit and restored moderation. This week, I’m back into the on-plan eating that I know and love. I can feel the inflammation decreasing and my sleep deepening. I’m enjoying daily WODs again, taking it slowly as I’ve learned to do over the years of “away” and then ‘return.”

I will often say it feels like starting all over again, but it’s not. My body knows the feeling of good health, food as fuel for activity-fun, and a community of support that holds me more firmly in healthy, active patterns for greater longevity and enjoyment of life. Nearly five years of CrossFit, with nearly four years of re-learning my relationship with food as fuel, the weight will move back down to maintenance levels, and the weights/distances for WODs will begin to move back up again. It will probably take 2-3 months for my weight to be back into range of 'maintenance,' but the daily WODs are already coming back into line. Relative intensity. Additional runs in the afternoon, when I'm trying to think through a writing piece for work. That's not starting over. These longstanding patterns of greater health allow blips of cruise-pleasures. Which is good, because we're talking about our next one in May of 2024. This time, only 7-days, and I'll know...perhaps be newly motivated for slightly more moderate choices. Still pleasure-oriented, but a bit more moderate...

The timing now is less than ideal, of course. This weekend is Murph for many CrossFit gyms. I’ve done this Hero workout a couple times before, in full, always wanting to improve my score or the scale-version I'm doing "this time." The Rx version has the athlete wearing a ruck or a weight-vest–20# for men; 14# for women.

I think this is a year for me to cut the rep-scheme, or at least halve the runs. I’ve already got a “weight-vest” from the cruise, overachiever that I am.


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