The Jogging Suit

It was pink….well, sort of mauve.  It was too long.  But I woke up with the desire to wear it today.

That is not so unusual.  That is my normal process for picking out my clothes.  I “envision” my outfit when I open my eyes in the morning (or the night before).  I see myself performing my daily activities in it, what shoes I should wear with it, if it needs ironing (yes, even though my fitness friends laugh at me for doing it, I DO iron most of my workout clothes), what type of jacket will I need (if I am going to sweat), do I need a bandana or a hat…..

The problem is…..I haven’t had that jogging suit since my daughter was a baby and I was about 200 or so lbs.  She is seven.  And if you’ve seen me lately then you know I am a few pounds lighter than 200.

I remember two distinct times that I wore it: one, when my daughter was only ten days old and we decided it was a good idea to dress her up as a chili pepper and  take her trick-or-treating with my then 6 year old son.  We met up at a friend’s house and I remembered how depressed I was because I had cut off all my hair the month before in a tirade and now I couldn’t fit any of my regular clothes.  The elastic was comfortable and I refused to wear maternity clothes.  The second time was for a commercial I was in with my daughter (she was three weeks then) for my real estate agent.  I remember being horrified the first time I was recognized at the mall for being the woman in the commercial because I just remembered looking and feeling fat and I wanted it to go away and the idea that people recognized me meant other people thought I was fat too.  Surely they would cut me some slack because they saw the baby in my arms and she was so tiny so it had to be pregnancy fat but in this day and age, fat is fat and this reasoning didn’t make sense to me either so I continued to hide behind my elastic waistband because it made me feel comfortable and let me hide behind the real issue.

Just like now.

I would just like to say up front that being a personal trainer and a person who supports other people while they are getting their lifestyle choices in sync with their authentic self doesn’t mean that I am immune from challenges.  Yesterday was such a day.  I went in the health food store looking for junk (an oxymoron, I know, but just follow me).  I was tired of being “good”.  I wanted to do “wrong” and I went looking for it among a case of kale and soy nuggets.  🙂  The best I could do was the soy nuggets that were flavored with buffalo wing sauce.  As I was getting ready to get them (and in my mind, planning the potato chips and juice I was going to have with them as part of my bad meal), the woman who works behind the counter looked at me and said, “why are you planning to eat like that when you know your body isn’t used to it?” I knew she was right.  I knew I’d suffer later.  And I couldn’t figure out why I wanted to.  I bought a balanced meal, grabbed some cookies and got in my car.  The truth of the matter is I ended up eating chips and salsa and guacamole with water for dinner (and I paid for it dearly this morning) and I went to bed angry, hostile and confused.

And what does that have to do with me and the jogging suit?

When things get rough, when we are presented with challenges, when we feel like everyone else is getting away with doing the “minimum” and we are working so hard and it seems like what we are working towards is getting farther and farther away, we fall back into what’s comfortable.  I may not have wanted to be that weight but every time I didn’t want to fight a little harder, I put that jogging suit on.  When I wanted to feel safe, I put it on.  When I didn’t want to face the reality that I had not worked hard enough to fit in my jeans, I put that jogging suit on.  And when the responsibility of being a role model to others AFTER I lost the weight got too heavy, I put it back on.  I held on to it because it gave me permission to go backwards.  Have you looked at the date today?  12-11-10……..Why would I want to go backwards?

Because I know what’s back there…..I don’t know what’s in front of me.

But I didn’t wear that jogging suit.  I couldn’t.  I don’t have it anymore.  And just like I got rid of it, I can get rid of everything that keeps me from moving PERMANENTLY out of a space that makes me feel comfortable.  Risks have gotten me to this point and I am ready to move forward.

Are you?

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