I have a tendency to live my life in a bubble. My job requires long hours at my desk with my head buried in computer screens, so when I get home I’m usually exhausted. I eat, watch TV and then go to bed. This is a usual weeknight for me.
On the weekends I wake up and watch soccer in the morning, sometimes do laundry, ignore my dishes and then try and make plans for the evening. If it’s a Sunday, I wake up and go to church, play some music, have some lunch and then go home and take a nap.
This is a pretty tight schedule……and I think it might be killing me.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve become an unhealthy bachelor living a cyclical existence of eating whatever is close and failing to exercise on a daily basis, or a weekly one. I’ve fallen into habits that are becoming harder and harder to get out of.
In Paris, 2009 (Forgive the weird hair).
In college I did some of the same stuff but I was younger and actually did exercise on a somewhat normal schedule. This is the point where I’ve decided to be vulnerable with everyone, including myself. I weighed a steady 135-140 lbs in college, pretty average for a 5’7″ male with a small frame. I was healthy, could run like the wind and, most of all, I felt good. When I was in Paris in 2009, some things began to change. I was under a lot of stress. My diet was sporadic and for the most part unhealthy. I walked miles every single day, sometimes skipping meals to stay in the city longer. When I came back to the States, I weighed ~120 lbs. My parents looked at me oddly, belts became a necessity and for the first time, I didn’t like how I looked.
After a couple of months of living with my parents and having fresh food every night, I was back to my normal 135-140. Things were good and I was feeling fine. But soon my family moved away, I got a place of my own in the city and started said desk job. The hours got longer and slowly over the past year all of my clothes stopped fitting.
It’s not that I had let myself go, it mostly just crept up on me. In a single year I had somehow managed to gain around 30 lbs on my small frame. Without any fanfare or warning, the scale started flashing 165 back at me. According to some online BMI indexes and calculators, that falls outside of my ideal weight, but that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t feel good about myself. I’m not fat, extremely unhealthy or anything like that. I’m just uncomfortable. No, this isn’t some vast conspiracy caused by seeing Ryan Gosling in basically any movie (but especially in Crazy Stupid Love’s faux Dirty Dancing homage), I’m not buying into that in my case. There’s no mental comparisons to George Clooney, Channing Tatum or anyone with perfect abs or pecs, just a want to be back to the way that I see myself. A healthy me.
I honestly don’t care what others think about this topic, I’m not attempting to change my lifestyle to impress any girl or prove I can be a more athletic guy. I’m simply taking stock of my life and choosing to be a healthier, happier me.
Back to the bubble thing. My life is a huge one and that isn’t good. My friend Lane recently joined a boot camp class to get back in shape. I desperately want to join in but until I find some balance, I’ll have to start working out on my own. The thing is, I know I can’t do it on my own. If I could, I would’ve never written this thing. Community is for a reason, whether that’s a local, global, internet, or family community. For all the crazy, destructive stuff the internet is used for, there’s thousands of stories of hope, grace and freedom that were achieved over the vast interwebs. This is going to be one of those stories.
It’s not about losing weight or getting healthy, it’s about living a story that’s worth telling in public. After all, we only get one story, I’d rather mine be read in a Shakespearean accent in the middle of a crowded square. It just seems more fitting that way.
Oh….if you’ve made it this far, we just might be able to be friends.