Friday, November 9, 2012


I'm not sure where this post is going to end up, but it's my only outlet at the moment. I'm having an emotional evening ...

I am very good at blowing things out of proportion, giving them more weight & time & headspace than they deserve, letting them grow until they overwhelm me. That thing right now, sadly, is health. Or rather, a lack thereof and/or the methods by which you achieve it.

See, my roommates & my best friend here in Yakima are all very, very healthy. It's their passion. They get excited talking about nutrition and exercise and wellness and making your whole body strong so it's equipped for anything.

That's all OK. I mean, it's a good thing -- health is a good thing, and being aware of it, etc. I would say that the twins take it a little far, and I would say that Maximized Living always sounds like a cult, especially when they get so jazzed by watching videos of the very charismatic founder of that lifestyle, but whatever. It's their thing; I try not to voice any criticism I have of it. But what is true is that they are able to bring up health and fitness in almost any conversation.

Then there's me. I am not healthy. I mean, I try; I do yoga a few times a week, went climbing today, try to go on walks, and I'm more aware of how healthy food can taste good than I was before I knew these people. But I still eat chocolate croissants for breakfast a few times a week, and I'm still eating our leftover Halloween candy, and I need to lose like 20 pounds.

Yeah, the twins don't eat sugar.

I can't fathom it. Not just that -- the lifestyle. I can't do it. I would feel deprived, and that would make me feel angry (many things do, I guess).

The thing is -- the thing that's got me worked up now, the thing that has been depressing me more and more over the past several weeks -- that they're building up this community workout thing they do. It started out just Drew and Remy, because Remy wanted to get in shape, and who better to teach him than Crossfit instructor 0 percent body fat Drew? Right. So they started doing really hard Crossfit workouts. Then Drew's brother got home, then Courtney joined, then Sienna, and now they've got like eight other people from our church or friends or their coworkers who are in on it. Monday Wednesday Friday, this huge crew of people takes off from our house -- after clogging up the narrow street with all their cars -- and goes to the park to do crazy things. Tonight, the workout was something like ... do 50 pistol squats (one-legged squats where you go all the way down til you're sitting on your heel, I think) then sprint 400 meters (one loop around the track), then do 100 prison-yard pushups (at the top of each pushup, you high-five the person doing pushups across from you) then fireman carry the person for 200 meters ... and I stopped reading the workout after that. Plus, they had to run from here up to Ike, the high school, before they even started that. We live on 24th and Ike's on 40th, plus over four blocks, and uphill at least half of it.

Sounds so fun, right?

I have been wrestling since they started this with wanting to do it, but being so irrationally afraid of it that I have refused to join. They invite me; they're very encouraging; they would love to see me out there, yada yada, everyone thinks they can't do it at first but they get stronger, yada yada ... but I can't. I want to so badly, but I'm too scared. Of what? Of all of it. Of not being able to do it. Of a whole group of people seeing me unable to do it. My roommates know I'm out of shape because I tell them, and because they know how I eat, but they haven't SEEN me be out of shape. I don't want any of them to.

And Crossfit, it's supposed to be a team atmosphere but also competitive. And you do all this in front of everyone, and if it takes you five times as long to finish, then they're all just gonna be standing around waiting as you drag your fat ass around the track at a snail's pace.

I cannot do that. I cannot do it in front of Drew, who literally has an 8-pack (I counted) and gets a stomachache if he eats a cookie. I cannot do it in front of Courtney, who LITERALLY looks like her legs are carved out of stone. If her legs ever saw my legs, they would grow mouths and digestive systems just so they could throw up.

They try to encourage me; there are people in this group who are probably much less in shape than I am, and they finish at their own pace; Drew says he's seen me climbing, he knows I could do it, plus there's a scaled-down option for everything ... but I cannot bring myself to do it.

I hate myself for it. I really do. I love these people so much, and they really are so kind about it, and they know I want to do it, so that's why they keep asking and pestering, but tonight I just cracked. I got back from climbing (which was a good workout, too, plus the steep hike up to the crag during which my friend Sam made me carry his giant pack to appreciate how heavy it was) at about 5:30, and thought they'd be gone because they start at 5, so I was emotionally unprepared for the 12 people crowded in my kitchen standing around in exercise gear listening to what they were going to do for the workout. They said I should come with; my friend that I'd climbed with jumped right in and took off with them. Courtney said she would be my partner, it would be just her and me, no one else would have to see, it would be dark, this would be a good day to do it ... I felt myself leaning, almost saying yes, wanting to so badly ... but then they said they were going all the way up to Ike, and I snatched myself back. I couldn't even do the warmup. Court said I could drive, but I was already pulling back, shaking my head, receding farther into this prison I've made for myself. They left the house and I sat down sobbing.

I don't want this! I want to be free of this. But all I can picture is going to this workout, failing, hating myself, and becoming a negative presence that drags down all these awesome people who are trying their hardest and don't need me pouting on the sidelines to add to the stress. I would be toxic; I know I would. I've done it before.

And it just builds and builds and there's no end in sight. Tonight I was chilled by the thought that ... it's only going to get worse. We have eight more months of living here, and they have no intention of quitting. That's eight months of 3x a week getting home to all these exhilarated healthy people telling me how great the workout was and how I should totally do it next time. Over and over and over again. And the group is getting bigger and bigger; they've had one lady who was almost 300 pounds do it, and the very obese friend of one of the guys might try it, and I will just keep hating myself more and more because I'm not brave enough to do it. Eight more months! I won't make it -- it makes me want to move out. Which is absurd and horrible and makes me cry harder, but I honestly ... every time they tell me I could totally do it, and that they want me out there, I just hurt myself more. Stupid stupid stupid, fat fat fat, coward coward coward, failure failure failure. I want to be fit, I want muscles that let me run and climb and do pull-ups; I want to take care of my body so it lasts and does all the things I need it to now and in the future ... but I am so terribly afraid.

It's exhausting and I feel enslaved by it, but I don't know how to get over it. And the longer it goes, the more power it has over me. The more power I give it.

Oh Lord, help me.

Love always,