Thursday, May 5, 2011

I walk a fine line

I had a fantastic workout this morning.  Everything clicked as my feet pounded the treadmill.  My posture was good.  My stomach was flat.  I felt strong and (for me) fast.  At one point, I caught the reflection of my profile in one of the gym mirrors.  In that profile, I saw a silhouette of a body I could have with just a little more work.  Yes, the flab I'm trying to get rid of was still present, but I could imagine a slimmer figure in that reflection.  I saw the body I could be, and thought of a quote from the sculptor Michalangelo:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Source

I upped the speed on my treadmill as I pictured myself as a sculptor, chiseling away the fat on my body to find the sexy, fit person inside.  I walked an extra five minutes following my run, making sure to engage my stomach muscles.  I stared at my reflection, viewing my posture from every angle the multitude of mirrors would allow.  I stretched on the treadmill, wiped it down, and then headed into the aerobics room (with more mirrors) for some more stretching and ab work.

I did exercises I have never done before this morning.  I twisted, and crunched, and stretched, and pressed.  I was a machine.  It was a great workout.  That's when I felt an old monster begin to creep into my life.  That obsessive, cruel monster.

I felt the dark hood creep over my eyes, forcing me to only see the negative of my body.  Forcing me to obsess over what and how much to eat for breakfast.  Forcing me to think that I should have spent more time (after an hour-long workout) at the gym, even though it was time to go to work.  I felt a monster creaping back into my life, a monster I haven't seen since college.  A monster I thought I had abolished from my life.

I felt really great this morning before this monster of potential made her evil appearance.  It was the best workout in months.  I don't want to go back to my obsessive behavior from years ago.  But I also don't want to quit as I have at other points in my life.  I deserve to have a healthy, fit body without becoming obsessed with it.  But it's a fine line I walk between apathy and obsession.

How do I find balance without letting the monster take over?  I walk a very fine line.