If anyone has seen me before they know I am in decent shape. I am 5’7” 145lbs with a 27 waist and 36 chest. I am the fitness guy at times. I love the gym… now. Not always a fan, but now I have a great love for it. When I was on the precipice of hitting thirty I decided I was going to work out consistently. I have gone to the gym regularly for the past 2 years and it has been a journey. It’s a love-hate relationship with me and the gym. She is my heart, my mistress, that bitch, my confident, my place of zen and peace. I go to the gym not for anything superficial because I am black man in my 30s with a history of heart conditions and cancers in my family.
Recently I have been connecting with the fitness folk on twitter even joined a Facebook group centered on fitness, but in recent months all the advice and input became too distracting. It made me physically ill and stressed out. It literally took all the fun out the gym for me.
You hear a lot of input on supplements… Great.
How you should hit the gym… Great.
What times are best to go… Great.
What kind of foods you should eat… Great.
How often you should eat… Great.
Blah, blah, blah… yakety-smack…
It became too much. Granted I appreciate the advice, but all the chatter about how I should look but what about what’s going on within. What happened to overall wellness? No one really talks about the mental or social impact of working out. It’s a lot for a guy. I have suffered for years with a poor self-image and slight hint of body dysmorphia. I have always been hard on my looks and at the end of the day no one could make me feel better about the way I looked, but me. You often get into these bouts of taking photos and looking at yourself all day and picking yourself apart and it wasn’t anymore healthy than when I let people pick me apart. I was becoming my own worst enemy.
That shit ain’t right.
Not at all.
Hell to the no.
Fuck outta here.
So after falling off from the gym so vehemently, then hitting an emotional rock bottom, and losing twelve pounds. I said enough was enough. I was not going to beat myself up about my results I was going to let my body do what it do. It came down to me wanting to be healthy overall. Inside and out.
When Michael Clarke Duncan passed, this man was the picture of health he had an awesome physique, but seemingly this brother had still had a heart attack and passed. I don’t know how and I don’t know why. I know I feel bad, but the brother looked amazing. He was one of the best bodies I have seen before.
Succinctly the epiphany was, you know never know what someone is doing with their fitness behind closed doors. I would speculate on what that brother was doing, but honestly he may not been aware of his heart health and if you really down with fitness you have to know your outside and as well as your inside. I did some research and beyond working out, there are several factors people don’t realize.
- You are what you eat. You eat crap you will look like crap.
- Genetically we all are different, so our bodies respond different. There is no one to compare you to, so don’t.
- Our musculatures are set from birth. While some excel with developing great arms and a chest, others can build kick ass legs and calves with minimum effort. Even our metabolisms are not synonymous.
- There is no one like you. You are unique and you love the beauty that you are. (Unless you are twins, but I can’t explain that LOL)
- You never know what kind of supplementation people are taking and sometimes people are using steroids or human growth hormone. Not saying I think that’s right or wrong, but you don’t the level synthetics they are taking in to look a certain.
When I accepted all those things I realized the gym was still important, but I wasn’t going to allow myself or my spirit to be broken by it. I was going to love on myself in a new way and a healthy way. I had a doctor’s appointment and granted I’m still slim, but my cholesterol is on point, my BMI is lovely, my heart rate is normal, no prehypertension here and my liver is functioning amazingly. I rarely drink, I do smoke cloves once a week, and I cut fast food out of my diet since the first of the year.
Ultimately ladies and gentlemen what I’m saying is (I didn’t just write this for the fellas). Love who and what you are. You may not be a size two ladies, fellas you may never be a Greek god and that’s ok. Love yourself and get as healthy as you can get. Muscles and small waist don’t mean a damn thing if your heart and spirit are out of shape and if no one is telling they love you for who you are. Well I love you for being who you are and I will eternally appreciate you because you are unique and amazing.
Peace and Hair Grease,