Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Gym

I'm not a fan of "the gym." I'm filled with all kinds of prejudices wrapped around the whole milieu of "going to the gym," or "working out." I remember in college hearing guys talk about working out, or how they needed to get to the gym, and within me I silently judged them for being so shallow and self-absorbed. I quietly mocked them in my own mind, all the while celebrating my lack of concern over such things.

I think this all began in school, when phys ed class seemed like the biggest joke on the planet. Even from a young age, I viewed the cultural focus on sports to be silly, and that sports were unimportant to society as a whole, and in fact the whole world of sports in my mind seemed at times idolatrous. (I still believe this, to a certain extent, and find it obscene that sports figures earn multi-million dollar contracts, when I question the actual positive contributions professional sports makes to society as a whole. I think, overall, the influence of professional sports is a negative one, but that could still be part of my bias--but a bias I'm willing to hang onto, even though I'm attempting to shed others).

After going to the gym yesterday for the first time in ages, I still don't like it. But I'm going to go and stick it out. I had a rough time yesterday, only because this diet I'm on is so low in calories that my body didn't react well to what I was putting it through. Several times while doing some work with the machines, I felt as if I was going to pass out or puke. No pain, no gain, but I was shocked at how light headed I was. I had to stop short because I was afraid I was going to pass out. I was the object of concern from the trainers, and the women in my class--a little humbling, to say the least, but I couldn't really help the condition it put me in.

I'm going to try and reboot my relationship with exercise, and the gym. Through some strange manifestation of pride in my life, I have wanted to always shun any association with going to the gym, or working out, but I realize now that this has only been detrimental to me. 100 years ago people got plenty of exercise living their lives--lifting hay bales, feeding cattle, sowing corn. I get paid to sit on my arse all day, and play trombone. That's it. If I'm not moving my body, I'm not honoring the image of God within me by striving to be healthy. I suppose the gym is the place where most people who care about staying healthy go these days, so apparently this needs to include me.

I am getting the "eye of the tiger" with this weight loss program. I'll be involved with the program for 18 weeks, and I asked the doctor the other day what's possible in those nearly five months. He told me that the program will be as effective as the effort I put into it. This resonates with the musician in me--I'm a professional because I worked at it, hard, to become one, and didn't let go of the dream I had as a high school student. I can be neurotically myopic with things in my life, when I want to get something accomplished, and I'm going to try and be this way with this part of my life. I'm tired of living this way, at weighing this much, and I want to change the remainder of my life on this earth, and never again be above 200 lbs., Lord willing. The doctor told me that he's seen people like me lose 100 lbs in five months. That's a goal worth aspiring towards, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make it happen.

My program will be completed on January 19, 2011. I'm aiming for 100 lbs. loss in that time, which is a huge and daunting task, but I want to reach that goal more than anything. May God give me the grace to continue on. My plan as a reward for all that effort is going to the Caribbean or South America in the first part of February. Costa Rica has some adventure tours, which require a lot of physical activity, and that sounds like a hell of a lot of fun...especially for a guy that weighs 185 instead of 285.

1 comment:

Scott Lyons said...

It's a humbling but exciting task, losing weight - there's a lot to confront - it's sorta like confession in many ways, I suppose. But since it is a struggle with appetite, that only makes sense. Anyway - good on you, brother! God wants us around these parts for many more years. Lord willing. : ) Keep up the good work.