Pretty consistent internal dialogue:
“That donut looks so good. Blueberry old-fashioned? I haven’t had one in so long. Maybe just this one time.”
“No. I don’t need one. I’m training and need to stay fit. I have projects to send this season and shouldn’t give in.”
“But it’s been so long! Remember what happened last time you didn’t indulge? You had a binge episode. Do you really want that to happen again?”
“No, but I have more self-control and learned from my mistakes. I know eating donuts or any sweets for that matter will only set back, and I need to focus on my strength-to-weight ratio. I was sending so much harder when I weighed less, and now I feel weak again and need to step it up.”
I don’t think I need to go any further to prove that part of the dialogue is me, while the other part is a culmination of my competitive spirit intertwined with my lurking eating disorder mentality. It’s been a year since I’ve had to manage it the way I have to now, and I was taken aback when it kept strengthening this time around instead of regressing. I went from accepting my body with pride to bashing my body when I compared it to others. This has to stop now.
Do you want to know something incredible? I don’t have a six-pack. Do I think I’m strong? Sometimes. Does one have to have a six-pack to be considered strong? Absolutely not. How is strength even measured or determined? It’s subjective. What one considers strong may be considered weak to someone else, so how can we say muscle tone is the ultimate say? Standards suck.
Although muscular strength is measured by tests that put certain muscular systems under a tremendous amount of stress (i.e. one-rep max, sprint, etc.), my way of measuring strength is a variation of this. In climbing, one is often portrayed as strong for sending, say, 5.13 or 5.14. To me, strength is measured by the will-power required to send x grade/climb. I am not saying climbers who send 5.13 and up are not strong, in fact, I am always impressed with the strength they exude to climb that grade of difficulty. What I am saying, however, is that those who train at their personal edge and push themselves to reach their goals of sending a project are just as strong. Strength isn’t just physical. This is something I’ve had to reiterate daily.
I’m pledging to end the trash talk. I am certainly capable of whatever I put my mind to, but what I think it will take is gaining some self-confidence back. It’s not easy for me to tell others that I look at myself in the mirror and tyrannize myself, but I’m willing to divert my negative self-talk into positive affirmations. I think my new training cycle with the Power Company Climbing has reinforced the positivity, and I don’t think I would be as motivated to train otherwise.
Here’s my gentle reminder to you: love yourself and everything it is capable of doing. It’s really all you have, so don’t abuse it whether that be physically or emotionally.
[featured photo credits to Zak Stoldt]