Thursday, February 06, 2014

enable this

Song of the day "Going to a Go Go" Rolling Stones
mood: Innervated... watch out

The last week has been life altering.  It sunk in last night. 

Last night I watched an hour long program called, "My 600 pound life" on TLC.  I am not a TV bug but I will occasionally find a program I like and make time to watch it and I will occasionally sit there late at night and surf the channels.

Surfing the channels last night I came across My 600-lb Life.  I decided with all the fitness and healthy eating we are doing; it wouldn't hurt to see this.  Well, it did hurt.  It hit home in areas I was not expecting.  The young woman (This is the episode about a 22 year old woman named Christina) has a mom that is an enabler.  The doctor in the program points this out a few times.

That is my focus. Enablers. An Enabler is quite simply a person or thing that makes something possible.

How often do we (as individuals) try to accomplish a goal only to fail at it.  Often. Look at your new years resolutions and you will see a few.  Why do we fail?  We don't fail because we didn't try.  We fail because we do not separate ourselves from the people or things that encourage the behavior we want to change.

I lie sometimes.  Not often.  I am not good at lying so I try not to do it.  The biggest lie I have told is why I left NY.  And I am going to come clean right here and right now.  I am coming clean because it is the first step to me healing from within.

I left NY because I did not want to witness my parents drinking and be a part of it.  I did not want to watch my mom die from type 2 diabetes because she was an alcoholic.  I did not want to fall into that addictive drinking trap. 

Why is it addictive?  Think about it.  It is really not fun to get snockered and wake up going... what did I do?  It is not fun to drink so much you are barfing your guts out and asking someone to bring the sofa into the bathroom because you can't walk and it makes sense (as long as you don't do the size math, which you don't because your not thinking.).  The headache the next day, the calories, the expanding waist line, the fair weather friends, the stupid bar games... are they really fun or worth it? No. Fucking No.

Drinking is addictive (in the situation I was in) because you have fallen into a niche of people like yourself.  You know who will be the designated driver. You know who will screw you with no strings when you are plastered (ouch did that hurt your feelings?).  You know who you can count on to sit next to you at the bar and go one for one because you really want to drown out your shitty ass life.

Your life is shitty because you make it shitty.

Guess what?  Being healthy is addictive too.  There are as many (if not more) enablers that will push you to eat right and workout.  Many call these people Libertarians.  I don't.  Why label?

The hardest part of working out is walking in the door of the gym and realizing that these people are not 1970 movie meat heads.  They are very genuine.  And if you give them a chance (key words there) they will very kindly push you.

The first week I was at the gym I noticed the people giving Eric and I curious glances and making themselves visible.  Ever do that?  Make yourself visible but not interact?  I have.  The first day I went without Eric, an elderly man spoke to me.  By elderly I mean mid 60-s.  He had said his age but I can't remember it.  He asked where that strapping young man was I had been dragging in.  I didn't tell Eric that part.  I explained his work schedule and said, I decided that I was going to workout without him or at least do cardio.  The old man smiled. Not just with his mouth.  With his eyes and his hands and his body.  He said, "One year ago I joined this gym.  My doctor said I would not make 70 if I did not exercise and eat right. Five minutes on the exercise bike and I was sweating in a way that people should not sweat. I couldn't breathe. I was seeing little white spots. I was discouraged." at this time we were about ten minutes in on the treadmill and he asked for a minute or two and hiked his machine up to 9MPH and took a 3 minute run on it and slowed it back down/checked his heart rate and wiped his sweat off his face with a small towel.  I was trying NOT to stare and kept plugging away at 3 MPH because no way in hell I can do 9. Or is there.  He continues, "In one year, I have lost 100 physical pounds or 43% of my body weight."  I almost fell off of the damn treadmill. "See, I went home and I ate half a cake.  I was depressed and discouraged.  I spent my day crying."  and I felt sort of choked up inside.  We have all done that. Maybe not eaten half a cake... but you know that feeling. He was explaining about how he felt that day for a few minutes.  I asked a few questions here and there.  Then he said, "I can do pull up's for the first time in my life.  I can lift my body weight.  All because I came back the second day and did six minutes on the bike and the second week and did ten minutes and the third month and did the treadmill and started with weights."  We were about 20 minutes in to our cardio.  I said something lame like, "Wow, that is a lot of information to digest." because it was.  Here was a man who obviously had come from worse dire straits than I felt I was in.  He made a point to try. He became his enabler and the more he showed up the more the people in the gym became his enabler.  Encouragement goes much further than we believe.

Yesterday was the first day we went to the gym first thing.  Again, that hesitation of walking through the door.  Because we are used to the people that are there when we are there about 9:30am.  Guess what? A lot of those people are there at 7:30 am too.  But more VIP there are a lot of people there that are trying.  Fat people, thin people, fit people, old people (a lot of old men), and they all had this look in their eyes.  Determined.

This gym is not a cheap spot.  It is smaller than the chains. It is locally owned.  There are a large bank of Cardio machines.  In the center are all the machines to use to get started with lifting weights. Along the perimeter there are free weights and stations to do physical things.  I keep looking at it like the grocery store.  Shop the outside isles.  But starting in the center is still a start.  I have never been one to like to lift weights. I always went for the aerobic or yoga classes and or using your body as a counter weight. Like when you box the heavy bag. So, it is new to me to build muscle mass to fight fat gain.  Something I never would have considered before watching a person on twitter by the name of Mike M.  Not that I think his pictures of when I first met him were fat.  Because they were not.  But his pictures of himself now are amazing.  

Can a random stranger be an enabler?  Why not?  I have given you a few examples.  Mike will probably never know I used him (but I will send him an inbox with this story link) as an enabler and that I still use him as an enabler.  He very publicly post his workouts.  He will say he did 1000 crunches and I am saying... right behind you... I did ten. Well hell... crunches make me have to go to the bathroom. If I did 1000 crunches I'd never make it out of the bathroom.  He is not alone. 

Oh my God. I stalk people for their workout routines.  What a strange revelation. But I do.  I have about a dozen I go and look at the feed. If they have posted about doing something, I go to the gym and ask (one of the meat heads) what the heck it is and if I am physically able to do it.  I have not had one tell me I can't do it. I have had them always take the time and show me how to do a pull, weighted squat, hike, curl... oh there are only about 20 things I have learned from twitter that I have taken back to the gym and been shown how to try.  Some I even have worked into my routines.  I am using twitter as an enabler.    

I took a long hard look at my husband when he got out of the shower yesterday.  I can't remember the last time I looked at him to see him and not the image of him I created.  Guess what?  He is sexy as hell.  You can see a change in his legs.  I could see the muscles showing on his legs and I blushed and told him so.  Poor guy.  I do love him.  I do love that he is trying.  I do love how he looked at me like... WTF Jenn.  But guess what?  I am hoping he see's me as a health enabler and not as his wife that feeds him and makes him fat.  Because every time he goes to the gym with me, I feel so encouraged.  I feel like we might not be perfect but we are at least trying to do it right.  And I feel determined on the days I go alone. 

And I look forward to every workout.


Anonymous Bert said...

Loved reading your blog. Your honesty and the way you express things through your experiences is something worth reading by anyone who is dealing with personal physical struggles, addictions and enablers. Thanks for letting me know you have this blog. Love you Jenn and as you know, I am supportive all all your efforts. In the long run, it is you who has to do what it takes to accomplish your objective. And, while doing it, remove yourself from slippery places, people who are enablers and realize, you are worth every effort you put into your physical and psychological wellbeing. Because when you take care of you, you and your family and loved ones will also benefit. It radiates out to all around you. xo ♥

2/6/14, 7:17 PM  

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