I’ve been lucky enough to have many, many mentors as far as my physical education is concerned. Far more than most people are likely to be afforded in their lifetime. My dad was the first, soccer coaches followed–even actual gym teachers. At times, my brother was the real inspiration for me and last year, I think I was inspiring myself. They come in all shapes and sizes–maybe yours have been friends or some lady at the gym who always kills it or boyfriend who wants you to work it out with him. Currently, my mentors are Lifestyle Engineers at The BodyLab. I really, really like them. I’ve had other trainers that I cared for, but like, these people are my people. I invited them to my birthday party, ya know? And, they just keep coming through for me when I need it.
Lately, all I do is talk about what a struggle I’m having and how I can’t get back to my smoking-weight (a.k.a smoking hot, but also smoking ciggs so not really all that hot after all. It’s actually pretty nasty). I’m hard on myself, like so many people. For all of the time I spend doing the right thing, I spend a lot more time talking shit to myself about all the ways in which I’ve screwed something up. I would never allow someone to treat my friend this way, let a lone a family member or a colleague, so why am I being such a bitch to myself? I’m like a bonafide bully.
Yoga blogger Aubrey Brobst told me to cut out the negative self-talk awhile back. She sympathized with my dilemma but recognized that I was being crazy-hard on myself. Maybe even mean. And, that doesn’t do anyone any good. So, I’ve been trying to turn, “I feel like a fat, disgusting failure,” into, “Look at how awesome I am. I am learning so much. I’m going to succeed!” But, it goes beyond that.
Last year, my trainer told me stories about how people would lose a ton of weight and then gain it all back. I couldn’t believe anyone would allow this to happen–I mean, losing weight is really hard work. It is so sad to think that someone would just let it all come back. Despite the fact that I haven’t done this, I feel like I have let way too much come back. And, I don’t want to start again. Or worse, have to start again with even more weight on me. But, why am I thinking about this at all? I should be thinking, “I am losing weight,” with no energy spent on fear of failure.
Tyler put it for me plainly today. We were doing pull-ups, but if you can’t do pull-ups (moi), you work on your negative. You climb up the machine and then drop down. When you’re a shorty, like me, the ground seems to be a frightening length beneath you and I was scared. I said, “Tyler, this is such a joke. I’m so scared, I’m hardly doing anything.” And he said, “Instead of focusing on how we suck at something or how we’re afraid of something, why don’t we focus on getting better at something and working on something?” Fair enough. It was like kindergarten in there today, because I seriously need to go back to basics.
Honestly, I tend to have such a positive attitude and happy perspective on life, I didn’t really realize what a bully I had become. Well, that stops now, despite the fact that I don’t exactly know how to fix it. But, if I were me giving me advice, it would be this: fake it ’til you make it, sweet cheeks. Which, in this case, means: no name calling, no negative self-talk, no doubt, focus on my goals and try to smile with my whole entire self, even when I’m on the step mill.
Hey Tyler, how’s that for working on my negative? Get it?
AWESOME THINGS I’VE HEARD AT BODYLAB SINCE LAST POST
“Let’s do some stretchy time. If you were in kindergarten, it would be called nap time. It’s like nap time for exercise.” – Tyler Corbett
“Standley. Don’t let me catch you in this gym without jean shorts.” – Matt D’Amico, on jean shorts day. Best part? He and another dude were wearing short-shorts, headbands, gray tanks and aviators. A man working on The Lab’s roof was wearing this outfit, too. When he walked by Matt and the other Labber, I was like, “Wait, whaaa?” But, nay. It wasn’t so. That sir was not dressed up, though his ensemble was topped off with a Hulk-ian Fu Manchu, which made him the ultimate in this sweating-in-denim competition. (Did I just write that? I feel like I deserve a pat on the back.)
“Hey, you’re taking advantage of my little movement. You need to go slow with it, take it out to dinner, buy it flowers. You can’t rush through it…” – Tyler Corbett
“This next movement is called Crotch to Mouth. See why? Cause you go from your crotch to your mouth. Crotch to mouth. Crotch to mouth. Due to the nature of this movement, you might want to get some hand sanitizer when you’re done.” – Matt D’Amico. He then stood up and, low and behold…he got himself some hand sanitizer.
Laura Standley is the editor in chief of 303 Magazine. She has been blogging about fitness since January 2011. To read her past blog posts, click here.