Don’t we all have images of ourselves? Images that, whether others see the same thing or not, it is what we see. We see things that we like about ourselves. We have visions of what we imagine we can be. We envision what we fear we might be.
I have images. Some good. Some bad. Some mental images. Some physical images.
What I fear is what I can’t control.
For me I can not control my weight. Here I am prior to my heaviest. I talk a lot about food and working out and riding my bike. I love all of these things. My love of food often out weighing (pardon the pun) my love of biking and working out. At the time of the above picture I had been in martial arts for a few years. Working out regularly. Steady and sweating! But I was eating even more regularly. I have worked out steadily for years. I have eaten regularly, irregularly, voluminously for ever.
The above picture is my fear. It is the image I carry in my head. Upon my heart. I was so physically unhappy at that point. Though I worked out I could not do what I wanted to do. I can bring myself to tears thinking of the years I wasted always watching others and wishing I could do more. Be less and do more. I wanted to move. I wanted grace and agility and power. I wanted to sweat and be physically active for hours.
Finally, I did it. It felt so incredible to take that control. Own that power. Become more (less) of what I wanted to be. I had so much fun getting there. I was active and more alive with each drop of sweat and each ounce dropped.
I became the image in my head of what I wanted. Not just the physical image. The mental image. I wanted to be doing.
Living, to me, was action. It is a verb. The picture below is an image I had imagined.
Now I don’t have to imagine it. I did it.
But the image I fear, and I still carry side by side with the achievement picture, is as vivid.
Both images. Both. Live with in me. I can not discard either image.
The whole long winded point of this blog that I am trying to get to is we all have fears in our lives. We have struggles. We have burdens. One of my burdens is my weight. My brain is constantly struggling with both of these images. One I fear returning to, one I fear losing. It’s a battle of self control, self discipline, it’s both mental and physical.
I use to weigh a lot more than I do now. My weight fluctuates and it scares me with every pound I put back on. It’s not the pound that scares me. It’s the accumulation of inability, the loss of control. I’ve been fatter, and I don’t want to go back. I imagine it would be the same for those on journeys battling alcohol who don’t want to drink. Smokers who don’t want to light up again. Addicts who don’t want to shoot up or pop another pill. And probably similar to those who have taken the criminal path, and work hard at trying to be a better person.
Can the world see us as
I don’t know. I still see what I saw. I still fear what I couldn’t do. It is more balanced with what I know now, with what I have done. And what I can see now. But that fear of relapse. That fear of losing the never ending battle. It’s there. Sometimes it’s a motivator. Sometimes its a burden. I wanted to try and share some of these thoughts. I have comments made to me that I “obsess” with worrying about this. It’s not an obsession about being skinny. When others say that to me it bothers me that they think this is what it is about. My obsession is about living life as fully and completely, and healthy for as long as possible. My obsession is about being able to get up in the morning and take care of myself, my family, enjoy my friends, take a walk, ride a bike, go to work, and be here.
I still have images in my head. The images above are permanently imprinted in my head, and in my life. I have been both of these things. But I still have other images in my head. I have images of seeing my grandchildren grow and marry. I have images of pictures of four and five generations of family, together with me being there. I have images of riding my bike in a bike friendly environment and I know that is years down the road. My images include me doing things for a very long time.
I think I will always be concerned about my image. I think this is a good thing. I mean it as a good thing. By being concerned, my intention is to always be working on it. I think I will always see myself as a work in progress. Yes, this is a good thing. I want to always work on the vision of what I think I can be. Which is better.