In the Beginning…

Starting out

Starting out

I write this the day after Valentine’s Day.

This is also the day after my long-time girlfriend (mentioned here) has left me to live and be with another person. I am bitterly disappointed, but forced too to look at my life and desires and take immediate action.

One of the last plans we had made together was to start a fitness blog and track our progress together as a couple. One of the last things we did as a couple was to watch a night of UFC fighting, as a co-worker of hers was fighting and she was invited by this person she went to be with. That was a week ago.

I have a problem that some of you reading may have. I look at how things will be different after a set of conditions are met, or when a set of conditions are met. This blog post has a very good description of doing this, framed as circling and waiting until you lose weight to do the things you want.

I am using the momentum of hurt and upset to re-visit my past self, lost to academia and frittered away by stress and poverty for years, and start living daily and weekly rather than exclusively living and planning for the future. I would starve to death today to keep food for tomorrow; my girlfriend would eat today and worry about tomorrow, and I think the second is the more livable scenario. Watching the UFC bouts ignited and stirred something in me that has brewed over the past month or two. It hinted and whispered and finally screamed: I like martial arts, and I miss doing martial arts. Before Saturday, I had no insight into this, aside from occasional wistful thoughts about dedicating practice to a martial art again … someday, when I was in better shape.

I have waited to be in better shape before seriously training; I used to wrestle, and do not feel like I’ve accomplished anything in the gym unless I go for three hours at a time and come home barely able to walk. That was effective, but I am no longer sixteen and living with my parents. Life is different and I am different.

I was very disciplined, having grown up playing sports and practicing martial arts (Western-style Kung Fu) and wrestling in high school, but this discipline and resolve have, over the years, turned to a kind of miserly withholding and punishment for myself–“no, you don’t deserve a cookie. You don’t even deserve to eat. You should just not eat for a few days, fatty!” is a fair example of some of the thinking and actions that occur. I want to save money for the future, so I don’t take care of myself now. I want to someday buy and eat high-quality food, so I eat processed garbage now. I want to be in better shape someday, so I plan and scheme now. There is a pattern of behavior here, and it is punitive and not disciplined.

Now, I am fat. I am old. I am very nearly out of hope. I feel like a slug, a shadow of my former self. These feelings might resonate with some of you reading, or you may know someone like this. It is my hope that as this journey unfolds, my touches every day will start to take hold and build hope and resolve in both myself and for anyone who needs it. I am trying to move from punishment to discipline to compassionate discipline insofar as how I view and treat myself, and how I handle food and fitness. I’m a painfully private person, but I will try to post pictures as I go. It’s what my girlfriend and I had planned for our shared blog, and still seems the most genuine and helpful way to approach this.

It is Sunday, which is a great day to say, “I’ll start this with the opening of the work week, Monday, tomorrow.” I will try to push against this compulsion and at least move around a bit today and bring blood-flow into my body’s systems.