I used to be a NPC/IFBB Fitness Competitor, that is to say, I used to do really mean things to my body all for the sake of getting a panel of judges to think that I was more fit than the girl standing next to me. I have run miles on a torn hamstring, performed one-armed push-ups on a torn rotator cuff, denied myself water for days, carbs for weeks, taken diuretics prescribed to someone else and number of other supplements, enhancers and of course pain killers just to get though it all. I have gotten up before dawn, and stayed up passed midnight just to train. I once even had to pass through a sobriety check point on the way home from the gym after a late training session; it must have been time for the bars to close, the only bars I had seen that night had weights on them and started at 45lbs. I have dieted to the point of loosing my menstrual cycle (imagine my surprise when I found myself pregnant during one such phase!) and then during the off season I bulked up, just to diet down again.
I stopped competing, for obvious reasons, when I was pregnant with my daughter and then for other reasons after she was born. I have not “worked out” or “dieted” in five years. I still eat pretty clean but I don't beat myself up over ice cream. I practice yoga regularly and I run when I feel like it, which isn't very often, I go on long bike rides with my husband and short ones by myself. I don't think I can do a one-arm push up anymore but I can do side crow. All and all I would say that I am healthier now then I ever was as a spokes person for exercise and nutrition.
So why can't I get over the guilt?
I hurt my foot showing off in a yoga class about six or eight weeks ago. Feet and toe injuries are kinda like rib injuries, you can't do anything for them but wait it out, and as I discussed in an earlier post, patience is no friend of mine. So the healing process is taking longer than it should. It feels fine most of the time, but if I practice yoga it throbs for days, running is out of the question and when I wore heels to a dress fancy event the other day I almost died for fashion. And so, I have been taking a needed/deserved break from anything that involves standing. It's been two days... and I have enough guilt to start my own religion.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we not take the care we deserve, the help we need, the rest we require? To whose standard am I trying to live up to? There is no panel of judges in my life. No point system, no list of required skills I must perform in order to prove myself worthy. Julia Roberts in the film adaptation of Liz Gilbert's book Eat, Pray, Love said that she was thru with the guilt and she was just going to buy a bigger pair of jeans! And as soon as my foot feels up to a walk through the mall I just might have to do that! In the mean time, I will have to make like a L’Oreal commercial and affirm that “I'm worth it”.