A Hard Task-master

Over the past year I’ve put on ten kilos, and lately it’s increasingly frustrated me that my pants are tighter and that I’ve got a bit of a belly going on. I still love my body (this big ol’ bag of meat and juice), and I’m still quite fit (though not quite fit enough for black-belt standards in my school – my max rep is now 45 pushups and a few crunches short), though I’m frustrated that I’m moving further away from the body I’d like to have for my wedding. I think mainly my problem is that I keep eating when there’s food in front of me, even when I’m not hungry. It’s a fine line I’m treading and I don’t want to dip into unhealthily depriving myself of food, though I definitely need more discipline around how much and what I eat.

 

Yesterday I used this pent up frustration to go for a run, the first in many months, in attempt to slim down and to regain some sense of control over my weight. I pushed myself pretty hard, doing some long sprints mixed in with my half hour of straight jogging. Then, pouring sweat, fingers tingling, I ran back home and did three sets of 20 push-ups. Staggering and stumbling now, I climbed the stairs to the bathroom and sat on the bathroom floor while I had a cold shower. I barely had the strength to wash myself, and by the time I was semi-dry and in the bedroom I collapsed and couldn’t get off the floor no matter how determined I was. It was about an hour of lying in the cool dark room (which made me miss Christmas dinner with my family) before I was able to stay upright again, and a few hours later before I felt better. I had given myself heat exhaustion, I think.

 

I push my self much harder than other people push me. I’m scared of pain, and I often avoid it when exercising. When things start to get too hard, I make excuses so that if I fail, it’s because of an injury or because I’m tired or because my fitness is a little low. I also push myself through the pain, to make myself do things that are hard and unpleasant just to prove to myself that I’m stronger than my fear. In this way when I start to flag, I push myself harder, I make myself do more. In a way, I punish myself for being scared and then I absolutely dominate my fear to show it how much stronger I am, how incredibly powerful my will is. Sometimes this allows me to achieve great things (like getting my black belt), and sometimes it causes me to push myself so hard I throw up and shake so much I can’t stand.

 

It’s amazing to me that I still have so little idea of what my limits are, when it’s good to push and when it’s important to back off. Since the last time I gave myself heat exhaustion in 2012, it seems that I haven’t really learned all that much and that my stubbornness is just destructive. Still, I’m taking this as a learning opportunity to get to know myself better. The lessons I learned from yesterday include not doing endurance running in the middle of a very hot day, slowing down when my fingers start to tingle (does anyone know why this happens?) and to stay well-hydrated during exercise. Now to fuel my determination into a healthy way of growing myself rather than beating myself down.

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