I lifted this evening. Technically it was my second day of GZCL method and it just so happened to be the biggest, bro-iest workout I’ve had in a while. I was okay with this plan. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but that Insanity circuit left my legs pretty sore.
So I went and benched, working up to 110x3x3. It looks like I’ve lost all of the work capacity built up on Sheiko, despite the fact that I still haven’t managed a PR in several months and I’m 20lbs heavier. But my last rep looked smoother and more controlled than my first, which is at least a good sign. I did eat approximately at maintenance-level calories today because I’ve been feeling pretty hungry. I suspect that’s why these felt really strong and fast, even though I struggled to set up on the bench that is too tall for me.
Accessory work was OHP, one-armed rows, curls, and tricep extension. Like I said, I was okay being a bro. And I’m glad this was kind of an easy day, because I’ve been feeling kind of down all day.
I know that I’ve been saying for a while that I’ve been struggling with my lifting and my weight and my diet and my self-esteem. Like, really struggling. And I realize all of those things an interrelated part of my state of mind. But today just so happened today that they all came crashing down in a giant meteor of dysfunctionalism.
It started with the internet. I read this article, It’s Hard Out Here for a Fit Chick which was so relatable in fact, that I finished reading it and thought, “Ya, but she is not actually fat. She just has poor self-esteem due to the fitness industry’s culture. What if you are actually fat, like me?” Congratulations brain! You totally missed the point!
I also read an article on women who eat Paleo, noting that the women who are leading the current Paleo trend all hot, fit, conventionally attractive chicks. There seems to be a requirement to look a certain way if you claim to be “fit”, regardless of the fact that fitness is a measure of work capacity. And note that while each of these articles seems to be geared towards professionals in the industry, the problem is much more ubiquituous.
I am by no means a fitness professional. But I feel like my current level of fitness is one of my biggest barriers in attempting to date. Let’s play out the scenario, like I’ve done many times in my head. You’re me. You sign up for a dating site and you find a guy who is into lifting and eating Paleo and generally being active. What does he look like? Probably pretty hot. And because he values his own physical appearance, he expects the same from a partner. He’s looking for a fit chick. How does he react when I show up on a first date? I may be able to squat +300lbs, but dudes looking for a fit chick are looking for some muscle muscle definition, low body fat and abs. I have none of those things. In fact, I think some of those things are kind of overrated, which is not necessarily a socially acceptable viewpoint.
In fact, I am pretty objectively fat. I was playing around with BBC’s global fat scale this morning. My BMI is higher than 97% of women aged 15-29! And you know what? That’s 90lbs lighter than I was 5 years ago, yet my self-esteem couldn’t be any lower.
When I weighed 250lbs, I knew that my self-worth was based on factors other than my bodyweight. It was like all of that extra weight made me deaf to all of the comments about how I needed to lose weight. I was so far from being hot that I was a lost cause, or people at least knew that it was in poor taste to disparage fat people in my presence. And then all of a sudden I lost some weight and suddenly I started hearing all of the comments at once. Now I’m bombared with messages from everywhere about how disgusting fat people are, or how women always need to be skinnier, leaner and more toned – or whatever else it is that I’m supposed to be. I’ve kind of lost track.
Now I’m at this point in my life where I feel like all of my social interactions are dictated by my weight. I’m always wondering whether the person I’m talking to would like if they knew me when I was heavier? And what if someone rejects me for being overweight? On the one hand, it makes them an asshole. But it also makes me feel like shit. It negates all of the progress that I’ve made, and it scares me that I simply might never be good enough to feel accepted by other people. Needless to say, this is not a healthy attitude for approaching social scenarios or dating.
[Redacted some parts that maybe I don’t want on the internet for open commentary]
In the meantime, the cure for an internet-induced bout of depression is always more internet. You know what made me feel a bit better? First, a tumblr entitled “What Kind of Guy Tells Women To Make Him a Sandwich?” – which reminded me that tough guys who vocalize their opinions on the internet are sometimes kind of lame. And second, these adorable Corgis.