Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weightlifting Can Be Pretty

It's no secret I have body dysmorphia and eating disordered thoughts. It's also no secret that my sports (weightlifting and powerlifting) require that I face that my body fears and wear a singlet. I've had to wear one for 13 years. It's never fun. But I've come to realize it can be pretty. 

New Singlet

Last week I wore my new singlet for the first time. I videoed myself in it and made a post about it on facebook and Instagram. Below is the wording that accompanied the video (which can be accessed in this link)
"Lifting requires I eat. However competitive lifting also requires I be classified by a weight class and wear a singlet. I don't know how much I weigh. I don't step on a scale unless it is a meet. Even then I tell the official to not tell me how much I weigh. I know I have gained a considerable amount of weight since my back injury last year. It generally doesn't bother me much. I've been wearing shorts in public (something I never did before) and consistently eating.

But when I have to wear a singlet I break down. It is a necessary evil in my world. Whether I was 107 or 170 I always felt fat and disgusting in a singlet. I have a meet next week so I had to wear it today. In a gym of people I didn't know. I was half exposed and essentially wearing shorts to train. I never wear shorts to train. I hate how it feels. And how I look.

But I wore that singlet today even when I wanted to put pants over it and lift isolated. I had a bad session (in my mind) and was all over the place but I did it.

Posting all the angles of that outfit and my perceived imperfections to take away the power of the thoughts. You can choose how to handle those thoughts.

Rodney Yee said "The places where you have the most resistance are actually the places that are going to be the areas of the greatest liberation."
So if you are feeling down on yourself...for whatever reason...just remember that you only get one body. And quite honestly you're probably the only one who cares what it looks like. After all, doctors told me I'd never snatch or squat again and here I am. Waist size and singlet size be damned...I'm lifting again and that's what counts. You can check out my whole story from injuries to ED to comebacks at"

Old Thoughts

That post garnered quite a bit of attention and I had a lot of very positive feedback. 

Truth be told, it shocked me a little. I felt like this ugly sausage stuffed in a casing. I didn't believe any of the kind words. All I saw was cottage cheese legs and a huge stomach. 

Weight Worry

I knew I had a meet coming up and I didn't want to be upset when they weighed me. I can tell the official not to tell me my weight but I either see it on a screen or they announce it. 

I always want to be prepared for anything that may come at me on meet day. I've trained with music, no music, people, no people, people in front of me, people next to me, one shoe looser than the other, belt, no name it, I've done it. 

So I weighed myself this week. I weighed well over 75+ kilos. Writing things in kilos lessens the blow. I weighed 190 pounds. I typed out my thoughts to a trusted friend. I acted like it didn't bother me. But it did. I gained about 30 pounds since last July. Of course injury will do that. ED relapses will do that. Does that make it feel any better? No. 

I went to the grocery store and had an old episode. One of near debilitating fear. I wring my hands and stare at aisles of food and produce. It takes me 5 or more minutes to calm down. I ducked into an aisle and focused on my breathing to calm my mind (thanks yoga). I texted my thoughts. I ended up getting food and leaving. And eating.

Haters Gonna Hate

Two days later I had someone tell me I had it easy because all I did was sit around and coach. Granted they didn't know me very well but I'd be lying if I said that didn't hurt me. A lot. Especially after that weight situation.

If you've never been a seriously competitive athlete, had an extensive injury, and had to fight your way back (mentally and physically), I'm not sure you can understand how it feels to have someone say that to you.

I felt like they said that because I'm bigger than I used to be. Trust me, I didn't gain the weight because I was lazy. If you think I liked not being able to use my lower body for 10 months or that I enjoy having to take baby steps forward and backwards due to pain, then you don't know me. At all.

I don't just sit around and coach. A lot of what I do is coaching but I still train. I do everything in my power to train. I don't sit around and let my junk hang in the wind. I've been working daily to get back on my game, I have meets coming up, and fingers crossed a national event at the end of the year.


Things To Make You Feel Pretty Competing

Custom Singlets

Custom singlets, wrist wraps and fancy nails can make you feel like a million bucks on the platform. It can help take away some anxiety or disordered thoughts even if for a minute. Heck, each lift is only a minute (you know what I mean) so that piece of mind is worth it!

If you are a female and you need a singlet I highly recommend Heather Snethen's Glamlet Athletics. She can customize one to tailor your personality too.  

Custom Wrist Wraps

My close friend and multi-time national champion Samantha Poeth customizes wrist wraps through her company Kilo Gear. Check out Kilo Gear on facebook here.

Painting Your Nails

It's therapeutic for me and it lets me feel like a girl. Paint them nails ladies!

But don't paint them the same day you lift or this will happen. 

Iron Lesson

At the end of the day, I face all of my demons. Daily. You can't run from food. You can't run from a singlet. I wear the singlet and I still compete. Competing doesn't mean you have to win a medal or set a record every meet. Are those things great? Heck yes they are and I've had my fair share of both. You compete for the love of the sport. And if you're not competing, then you're selling yourself short.

People are petrified of not being the best. Of not being perfect. I'm guilty of it too. I get embarrassed sometimes at where I am at with my numbers compared to where I was. But unlike some people, I don't let it define or ruin my life. I wear my singlet. And now I'm even wearing shorts to train (something I never did before). I wear it to take away the self imposed stigma and  self-esteem battles.

 Don't give negativity power. 

Throw some glitter on it and harness the positive. 

 If Diesel can wear a singlet, so can you!

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