Saturday, June 11, 2011

Changing My Body

Changing my body is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  It is by far not a simple task.  Well, actually, it IS a simple task.  It is a simple task that takes utter devotion…day in and day out.  I have to be devoted utterly and completely to it if I am to succeed.  When I get discouraged, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t happen overnight and that I have done it before so I can do it again.  It is frustrating this time around because it is taking so long.  This is mostly due to my physical…I hesitate to say handicap, but I can’t think of a better term.  I have 2 herniated discs in my lower back that limit what kind of activity I can participate in.  It does not limit my activity to the extreme, but I can’t get do things that require lots of changes of direction, like Zumba classes.  Even though, I may give that a second try, the first and only time I’ve done that class at the gym so far, it irritated a nerve in my lower back that is affected by the herniations there.  I'm still able to do a great many other things, like spin class and weight lifting and the elliptical machine.  I'm going to give the pilates class at the gym a test run this week, so we’ll see if I can add that to my routine. 

I had tried to have running be part of my routine, but that proved to be more than my body could handle.  I was able to go ¼ mile before the fact that I don’t breathe properly affected me to the point where I had to stop and walk to regain my breath.  The problem with running for me is that I got stress fractures when I was 18 and still in training for the Army.  I now get pretty bad shin splints at the exact points where my shins fractured so many years ago.

With the weight training, I had originally planned to take it easy and just tone the muscles.  I had wanted a leaner appearance more than a bulky muscled appearance.  However, when it comes down to it, I'm not comfortable with that kind of weight training.  It feels as though I'm slacking, like I'm not trying hard enough.  I am and have always been a “power lifter.”  This is pretty much one step removed from bodybuilding…which I have attempted to do in the past.  I wasn’t able to stick to the extremely strict and limited and rather bland diet that was necessary to drop the body fat.  I am able to stick with a very routine diet, I just can’t discipline myself to the extreme with my diet.  I am fine with having a bulky muscular appearance.

My main goal with changing my body is to get rid of the jiggle, of the softness.  I am so beyond unhappy with how I look in the mirror.  Everything is based on my perception of myself.  I don’t care what others think of how I look.  Sure, it’s nice when I receive a compliment on my progress, but I find it somewhat offensive when people insist that I already look great.  No, I don’t.  How do I know?  Because how I perceive myself is more important to me than someone else’s perception of me and how I look.  In their eyes, sure, I may look great.  But, in my eyes, I am still a long way off.

I have already lost 23 pounds this year.  I have another 29 pounds to go until I reach my goal weight of 170.  Medically, that will still be some 35 pounds overweight.  But, for the fact that I will have a bulky, muscular build, that is a good weight for me.  I'm even okay with weighing more than that, so long as it is due to muscularity. 

Last year was a very bad year for me in so many ways.  I dated a man that controlled me through my emotions and tormented me every day, playing on my anxieties.  The herniation of those two discs in my lower back occurred.  I was already overweight, weighing 210 pounds, when I injured my back.  I gained another 20 pounds after the herniation.  When I met him, I weighed about 185.  I gained 25 pounds in the first 6 months of my relationship with him.  Why?  Because all we did was eat junk and he never wanted to do any physical activity.  Hell, he barely wanted to have sex with me.  We did things based on his whims and what he wanted or didn’t want.  He would ask me what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, but he never liked my ideas and we always ended up doing what he wanted to do anyway.  I eventually gave up trying to make any decisions, becoming completely dependent on him.

This year, I received the surgery that provided me with a spinal cord stimulator that I could use to block the nerve pain that had been causing me so many problems.  I never use it.  It seems like such a waste now.  My pain level is greatly improved and my nerve pain is rarely perceptible.  I wish I could have it removed, but I don’t think that insurance would pay for that, especially since I just had it implanted.  Maybe next year, before I relocate back to Oregon, I will make an appointment and see if it is possible to have it removed.  I can only hope and can only ask the questions.  If the answer is yes, then I will have it removed.  If the answer is no, insurance will not cover it, then I guess I am stuck with it…at least until some point at which I am in need of a fusion procedure to fuse the vertebrae that are affected by the herniation.

I wish to be a better version of who I already am.  I am physically disabled, even if it is only in a minor way and in a way that does not prevent me from performing my duties as a corrections officer in full.  I will still push myself as far as I can go without further injuring myself.  I will lift the heavier weight.  I will go the extra mile on the elliptical machine.  I will do what needs to be done to achieve the results I not only desire, but require of myself.  I have an ideal of how I should be, of how I should look and appear.  If I cannot get at least close to that ideal, then I am a failure in my eyes.  But I will not be a failure because I will not stop trying and pushing myself to do the best that I can do.  I will not give up on this need until I have achieved it.  I will change my body.  I will be comfortable in my own skin again.

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