Fat and Fifty at the Gym

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fat and Fifty at the Gym

Going to the gym is something of an ordeal for me; something I have to prepare for, gear up for. I envy people who just throw on their gym clothes, drive to the gym, work out, and go home…like it’s no big deal. For me, as with most things, it’s far more complex; a process that begins first in the mind as ruthless Inner Critic and Higher Self battle it out in a fierce game of “I Can’t, Yes I Can.”

Higher Self shows up first, preparing for the gym the night before; carefully folding and laying gym clothes neatly on the dresser along with socks, tennies, gym bag, and water bottle. Higher Self is tranquil, loving, and hopeful. Higher Self has a purpose; she is dedicated, determined, and strong.

Inner Critic shows up the next morning, bitter and vapid after a night of insomnia. Eyeing the gym clothes on the dresser, Inner Critic says aloud, “No fucking way.” Taken aback, Higher Self steels herself before responding, “Get up, get dressed, go to the gym, you will feel better.” This holier-than-thou attitude of Higher Self pisses off Inner Critic, releasing a barrage of self-deprecating comments, mostly in the form of intense body-bashing.

Higher Self deals with it. She moves forward, gets dressed, gets in the car and drives to the gym while Inner Critic spat venom telling her she is fat, old, embarrassing, less-than. Inner Critic is loud, and relentless. Higher Self believes everything Inner Critic says, but knows somewhere deep inside, that the only way out of feeling like this is through.

In the door, now lifting weights in a gym filled with 20-something year-old men, I lift, push, pull, crunch, and sweat; all the while hyper-aware of the flesh spilling from my clothes, exposing white, flabby skin underneath.  Inner Critic is right there, taunting, “What do you think you’re doing? You’re embarrassing me. You don’t belong here.  People are looking at you, laughing at you.” Ego makes an appearance and tells Inner Critic, “Fuck off.”

Workout complete, I head for the fountain; refill my water bottle. I turn around to see a young man smiling at me. Self-conscious, I look down, dig into my gym bag. He approaches me, says hello. He tells me eight months ago he came into this gym, feeling old, tired and forty pounds overweight. He tells me that transformation is possible and that it gets easier in time. I thank him, heading out the door with a huge smile on my face. Take that Inner Critic!


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