An Inside Job

Recently, I have been lamenting, kvetching, complaining or just plain old whining about being stuck, weight-wise that is. I have recommitted to my goals, renewed my determination, and reviewed You: On a Diet to little avail. I have upped my workouts in both time and intensity and (with the exception of a little Oscar night snacking) have measured and counted calories with real discipline. There has been some incredibly slow, incremental movement on the scale, but I’ve been impatient.

Then yesterday came along, in the middle of a busy and frustrating week, and something shifted. I was sore from an incredibly demanding workout on Tuesday, but I powered through an intense early morning cardio blast. When I got dressed for work, I just felt right in both my skin and my clothes.

After work, I went clothes shopping with my friend, Sara. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror, just before trying on the massive pile of clothing I brought into the fitting room. And for what was the first time in many years, what I thought wasn’t, “Wow, look how fat you are” or, more recently, “Wow, I thought I’d lost more weight than that.” The thought I had, standing in the Von Maur fitting room under horrendous fluorescent light was, “Hmmm. I look normal.”

Normal. As in, not huge. Not outside the norm. I felt like anyone else might feel in a fitting room, preparing to try on clothes — I could see my figure “flaws”, I could see what I wanted new clothes to emphasize or detract from. But standing there, in a short-sleeved t-shirt over a long-sleeved thermal shirt, and broken-in jeans I also thought I would blend in any crowd. So what that the pants I was trying on came from the women’s section, and the shirts did not? So what if I wasn’t at my ideal weight – who in the fitting rooms was?

As I tried on clothes, Sara and I found quite a few looks to laugh at. But almost everything I tried on fit, some things just didn’t work. As I made my selections, and put my own clothes back on, I realized how happy I was at that moment (even before getting to the shoe department!).

Happy and clothes shopping. Two concepts that, for most of my life, have been diametrically opposed. And I realized that this new experience was an inside job — meaning that it really had nothing to do with the external circumstances of the reading on a scale, or how I looked in a full-length mirror, or whether manufacturers made clothes that fit my frame. Instead, it had everything to do with what I was feeling and accomplishing internally. I have really been working hard – harder than I ever have – on my fitness and diet. And I am so proud of that work, and so surprised to discover capabilities beyond my expectations. Being proud of myself for being disciplined and for being internally motivated is a very new feeling. And a very good one.

So, this morning, still sore from Tuesday, I rolled out of bed with every intention of another workout with the dreaded TRX bands. And because its Thursday, before getting into my workout clothes, I stepped on the scale. Down a pound. Cool, but not defining. Moments later, I stepped out the door, on my way to another normal day.

2 thoughts on “An Inside Job

    1. That’s exactly what I meant. I was thinking it the whole time I was typing! Truth be told, they’re awesome. I might need to get some for home.

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