The "Real" Teresa
Do you ever feel like someone else is living your life and you are just a bystander watching in horror at the train wreck this other person is making of your life? I do. I hope I’m not alone (actually I do hope I’m alone, because that would mean you all aren’t dealing with the same demons I am–and that would make me happy).
I mentioned in my post yesterday that when I was playing basketball on Monday I heard a faint whisper of the woman I used to be. I did. I really did. At some point during that game I remembered. I remembered me. The “real” me. Honestly, it was exhilarating to know she is still there, somewhere, waiting to be coaxed out.
I realize that I am the one who stuffed her way down deep inside this fat body–hiding her from the world and anyone who might hurt her. Me. I am the one responsible. I overate. I didn’t move enough. Not surprisingly though, hiding from hurt in that way has hurt me on a level that I believe is much worse than what I feared. (Apparently this post has a mind of its own because I’m definitely veering off in a direction I hadn’t planned–but I’m gonna go with it.)
I let circumstances in my life convince me that I wasn’t worth the effort. That it wouldn’t matter what I did, it would never be enough. I would never be enough. I let fear take the reigns and fear ran me off in a ditch.
One of the hardest things for me about being this large is how physically difficult things are. I remember after I initially started gaining weight I got really depressed. I didn’t think I was depressed about being fat, but after talking with a trusted friend I realized that my depression stemmed from a disconnect from the “real” me. My whole life I had defined myself as a jock, and athlete, an active person, someone who is competitive, someone who excels at sports. These things added to my happiness. On some level I didn’t even recognize I was mourning that part of myself. That realization helped me through the depression and has provided me with some tools to deal with it when it does creep back in. I’m grateful for that. And feeling that faint connection with that part of myself has provided me with a lot of motivation.
I hear people say all the time–what motivates you? I remembered one of my biggest motivators on Monday. I am motivated to move more, lose weight, and improve my fitness because I need her–the part of me who is happiest running, and jumping, and playing. She is unapologetic and doesn’t feel the need to play down being good at something for fear it will make someone else feel bad. Even though she was not a world-class athlete, or even the best player on her city league softball team, she always felt she was enough. She mattered.
Physical activity is painful now, but I don’t mind it a bit. For instance, this morning we split up in teams in my workout class and ran through a timed obstacle course. It looked simple enough. Weave around some chairs, army crawl (or do the dreaded burpee) under some benches, jump over other benches, retrieve and replace tennis balls, drag a giant rope (really–I think they used this rope to tie Paul Bunyan up–it was HUGE), jump over two giant tractor tires, do some fancy footwork through a ladder, drag the rope back, and then run to the finish line. It was not easy. I wanted desperately to army crawl, but was too large to fit under the bench (yes, the dreaded burpee came into play).
I was not fast. It was hard. But I would do it again (and again and again) because when I do those active things, I feel more like myself. And I like me. The Real Me.