Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nothing a little workout can't cure...

I realize now that my journey into cold-turkey abstinence from all things gay (including PG websites, underwear ads, swimming competitions etc. all those really "hard-core stuff" - get the picture?) wasn't the right thing to do. Though my motives were to be more sensitive to my kids and respectful to my marriage, it was an over-reaction... something I'm very good at. I was uptight, angsty, uneasy, and difficult to be around. Not the "cleansing" I expected.

I've tried (since falling off the wagon) to still limit my viewing pleasures and to cut way back on downloads... not a perfect path, but maybe a more manageable one, seeing that I'm not perfect.

So, I've decided to take up something in its place that will keep me occupied and productive... I've started a weightlifting / strength-training program. Now, don't laugh at me! This is very new and different and I feel awkward and stupid. But I have a home gym and some weights that I have seldom used and I'm getting into a morning ritual of working out a bit.

Now, if you knew me, you'd know how foreign this is to me. I was always intimidated by the jocks and the athletes at school who were always so much bigger and stronger than I was. That intimidation has extended well into my adulthood. I still feel very weak, and scrawny and skinny and inferior. I would rather be strung up a flag-pole with only my underwear on, or be found dead in a back alley than be found in a weight room. Gyms of any kind, including the mall-type fitness centers still give me the chills. Locker rooms make me want to vomit, remembering past experiences of abuse in those testosterone dens. Even though I know I could catch some beautiful eye-candy in the flesh, I just won't go to gyms. They just are too intimidating and I feel so out-of-place I get sick thinking about it.

So, like I said, don't laugh...

But, after a couple of weeks, I really am enjoying it. I'm starting slow and I don't have a lot of time, but just a little bit every day has helped me to feel better about myself. I enjoy the pump, and I enjoy the feeling of muscles burning. I'm still weak and scrawny and skinny and inferior, but I see progress already.

I'm not really doing this for my health's sake. I'm not that committed. It's all for vanity, for self-confidence, and for staying away from the computer at down-times. Aren't those good enough motives? I'm not after getting big, but if I could be more "normal sized" and look younger and be stronger and more confident and LIKE MYSELF a bit more, then maybe there are benefits to this new goal.

Maybe someday I'll be willing to take my shirt off at the beach and not be embarrassed... this 40-something may still have something to show after all.

I feel vulnerable and stupid for sharing such a "teenager" type post, but it feels good, and it's what's happening - so deal with it and don't make fun of me - give me a little encouragement!

BTW, does anyone know where I can get some 'roids? :)


Anonymous said...

yoga: strength AND balance AND flexibility

Beck said...

My wife and youngest daughter take yoga. Maybe I should join them?

I don't know... I definitely want strength and balance and flexibility. I want youth and vitality. I want silly vanity. I want to be validated. I want lots of stuff...

I'm very shallow and self-centered at the moment. I think I need to go out and do a good deed or something noble!

Potentate said...

Try yoga,at least. But regardless, props on working out.

Silver said...

What I'd give to be scrawny! I took up exercise a year ago in earnest and lost some weight. Also took up pushups. My suggestion is 100 per day. In a press conference, Ronald Reagan was once asked how he stayed so fit. I think by then he was in his 70's. He said, "100 pushups per day". I have two friends who do this and it works well. I was pleased by the toning and I can now do 50 in one set without stopping.

My daughter took Yoga in H. School. One hour per day completely transformed her. I'd never seen her so fit! Wonderful idea, I just could never find classes at the right times.

Since I'm about your age, can I just say, I honor you! Keep it up? It's a great idea, you will feel better and you will be amazed how a 40 something body will respond to consistency. I sure was. Never too late to overcome an intimidation.

Public Loneliness said...

hey where are the before and after shirtless pictures? How are supposed to compare? : ) jk

Kudos on the progress!

GeckoMan said...

I'm sure you are a doll baby, so I hope you get some physcial satisfaction from the exercise, as well as 'massive' results!!

And keep it up. I'm proud of your initiative to do something positive and possibly life-changing. I haven't got beyond the talking stage yet... I know going to the gym would be good for me, it's just kind of a scary place for little geckos like me.

Beck said...

POTENTATE: Thanks for the encouragement!

SILVER: I'm lucky to do 10 pushups let alone 100! What kind of stud are you anyway? I don't know whether the thought of Reagan doing them is motivation or not - I feel weak and discouraged. But, I want to be consistent and work on this "intimidation" factor in my life that ties with so many other things. Fear and inferiority complexes that have been with me my whole life aren't easily overcome...

Beck said...

PL: You ain't going to see any 'before' and 'after' pictures here - at least not yet until maybe there is such a thing as an 'after' picture. We'll see... :)

GECKO: So good to see you back in the community! I missed you and am excited for your new opportunities in your new beginnings. I'm not exactly sure what a "doll baby" is, nor am I sure whether I'm one or want to be one, and I'm certainly not "massive", though I think I'd like to suffer such a consequence just to know what it feels like to be on the other side... :)

But, I'm just trying to build some esteem and tear down walls of intimidation and be productive verses destructive... Gyms are scary places. I'm terrified of them. I've never felt more inferior or intimidated than in a gym. These feelings of inadequacy, imperfection, hopelessness, envy, intimidation, weakness all come together in some enormous dose of shame and worthlessness. I know I'm better than that. I know I'm more than the size of my biceps, but all the same, those fears of the junior high locker room won't go away.

That's why I'm starting small, and doing it in the privacy of my home... Heck, I'm so intimidated and embarrassed, I won't even work out in front of my own wife and kids. Now how is that for being messed up from jr. high school some 35 years later?

Old dogs can learn new tricks, right? As you venture into your new beginnings facing your fears, it gives me encouragement! Thanks.

Kengo Biddles said...

Working out every day at the pool has been the best thing for me. And I'm not that worried about taking my shirt off, because I blend right in with the rest of the faculty as far as body shape goes.

Beck said...

KENGO: Yeah, but you're solid and big and "normal" and you can go to the pool in confidence. I envy that.

This body-image hangup I have won't allow me to do such a thing without trepedation and insecurity. You can say "Get over yourself, Beck!", but all the same, such feelings are always there as I approach a public beach, a swimming pool, a hot tub.

Any suggestions on how to get beyond worrying what others think of my weakling body?

Beck said...

Maybe I need a swimming buddy?

Beck said...

Maybe I need to have my head examined?

Public Loneliness said...

Maybe you need to learn to love/accept yourself? I am by no means in shape but I like to exercise and workout. The best place I can do that is at the gym. I like to exercise, it is good for my health and I feel I've accomplished something in the day.

The way I approach it is that I'm there to do my thing and get out (My time is very, very limited anyway). Is the gym intimidating? heck yes, but if you think about it, probably about 75% of the people there are just as intimidated as you and I are. Sure there are the others who are there to show off, but for the most part they're inofensive. I understand your past traumatic experiences, but believe me there aren't many junior high bullies at the gym these days!!

Still if you have a way to do that at home, even better for you. Have you tried the Wii fit? It has tons of great cardio/balance exercises and lots of yoga. I've thought about doing more of that at home once my gym membership expires.

Kengo Biddles said...

Beck, Darling Beck. Have you seen me in a swimsuit? You would be long in forgetting that sight. I'm definitely big, but when the most part of the folks swimming are young and trim, and frankly, sexy, I sure feel out of place (even at 6:00AM).

Part of it is just that you have to say to yourself, I'm going to go out there, and be me, and that's just how it's going to go down (and force yourself not to think about it or guilt or shame, or otherwise feel bad about it.)

Mitääh! said...

Just wanted to share this great website with you. It has great guidelines that I have been using when I'm not in the gym.

You can cut and paste it in your browser window.
Just click the blue text for info. I would go through of it all since you are starting this on your own. There are great safety tips and other things to watch for to prevent injury. The site teaches you a lot and it is free.:)
I'm trying to get my xc-ski body back. This gives me something else to think about other than my husband is gay, getting healthy and I look forward my 50k with my brother.
Sometimes bulking up is not the key but defenition and it makes you feel better of yourself. Builds your selfesteem.
I'm notsure about the athletes been always bullies. It never made sense to me. I used to be an athlete and none of the bullying was allowed in the team spirit at school or out. It did not mean it did not experience was the opposite of bullies. I was beaten up by class bully because I was an athlete, did not smoke,drink, party, and who was a good a to b student. When I was beaten up by her and her followers, while shielding myself, I saw fear in her eyes. I realized she was afraid me. At that moment I made a eye contact with her and she realized I was not afraid ofher anymore. I think she realized I saw through her. I did not beat any of them up...first of all there were too many of them and a good friend of mine who actually set the ambush up...of course she was not considered my friend anymore after that. After i had made eye contact with the leader I had a mental upperhand. Some reason she called the attack to an end and they took off as fast as they could. Since then I only got respect from her.

I think you should try the gym. If you afraid to use the dressing room, do what most do, they get changed at home, they drive to the gym, then they workout, go back to their cars and drive home to shower. I do that. My main reason is I want to use all the time available to workout and i donot want to get foot fungus. That is it...foot fungus.:) I drive home and use my own shower.
The air of confidence comes from eye contact,firm but not painful hand shakes and how you carry your skeletal system. Longer you have worked out ( great muscle structer or not), you feel good inside out.

This message is from one of those not cool kids on the playground but someone who likes to make her own path.

Beck said...

MITAAH: Thank you for your words of encouragement. I really appreciate you commenting and offering support.

I hope you're not a stranger on this blog or in this community.