Sunday, May 13, 2012

I feel gym-fat.

I'm always amazed at how off my body image can be...and that's in either direction. I think I'm thinner than I am when I've gained weight and larger than I am when I lose.

I was rooting around in some old CDs last night while trying to find the installation disc for my wireless router and ran across a disc with some video from a vacation on it.

When I first started dancing Salsa, I saw the clip below on YouTube and was mesmerized by the Chinese guy dancing (not to mention the awesomeness of the song). His name is Huo Yao Fei and is a great Cuban style dancer who spent years studying on the island. I jokingly swore to a friend that I would dance with him one day.

Well, that CD that I found had the video of me finally getting that dance with him in Beijing. (Dude's lead is crazy subtle)

The crazy part though, is that viewing it last night, I thought "wow, look at how less bulky I was." At the time though, I felt much larger than I looked, even on film and even larger than I "feel" now, even with extra jiu jitsu mass. I need to keep a more objective look at myself and strangely, jiu jitsu makes that harder. While I feel street-thinner, starting agility/ginastica class has me feeling gym-fat...basically, my point of reference has changed. I expect more. While before training I might have viewed my weight in relation to your average, sized 14, 169 lb and 5'4" American woman(I still swear that seems a bit skewed toward the heavy/short side) who does little more than walk, type and hit your occasional spin class, I now see myself in relation to fitter people AND see where excess weight slows me down and makes upper body work insanely hard.

I'm counting this as a growing pain though...both of physical improvement, and of getting past physical self-acceptance and into self-appreciation. 


Heather said...

I'm so with you on this one! A lot of people call me thin now, tell me that I don't need to lose anymore weight. The people I train with, though, are extremely fit and toned - and I feel like a hippo compared to them. Plus I am pretty much always the slowest person, the last to finish all of the drills. It gets really frustrating sometimes.

Yeah, I've still got a ways to go on the 'physical self-acceptance' side of things... Though I did meet a heavier girl in a competition last weekend who knew how to USE her weight. That was REALLY cool, to see that it could be an advantage. She was knocking me around left and right. :) Now if I could just figure out how to do that...

Megan said...

Hi Heather!

I've said it before, but being "the slow kid" is crazy difficult, especially since it's likely you'll always be the slow kid. I have to remind myself constantly that I train for my personal improvement. Easy to forget sometimes though.

I'm at a point where I hope using my weight will just come to me as I learn to move more.

Liam H Wandi said...

It doesn't matter how you slice it, women will twist things around so that:

1. They are not quite happy with their attributes
2. Somewhere, somehow walks a man who's partially responsible


Megan said...

Sketchy on 1, but I definitely beg to differ on 2.

Heather said...

Liam - Waaaaay oversimplifying the matter.

Megan - that's a sad fact, that it will never get better from being the slow kid. But something that I'll need to accept, as most of those that I train with are teenagers, lol. No WAY can I keep up with them! So, yeah, I try to focus on personal improvement.

Kinda like the fact that the people I spar with are mostly black belts - and many of them 2nd or 3rd degree. I have to keep reminding myself that it's about personal improvement there, too... really. ;) "Hey, he didn't kick my butt QUITE so badly this time!" ... lol.

Definitely easy to forget, though.

Liam H Wandi said...

just pulling your leg ladies :)

I do agree that the way we see ourself image has a lot to do with the people we see around us. That's why I often try to seek objective figures (weight, blood lipid values, resting heart rate...etc.) to measure against. One of my main objectives with BJJ (and I have many) is to use it as a vehicle to be healthy and happy. I'm doing quite well in that :)

Liam H Wandi said...

Oh and Heather, I really liked your blog!

Heather said...

Thanks! :) I'm browsing through your Grappling and BJJ Tips blog right now (I saw you have others, haven't gotten around to them just yet. ;) ), and am enjoying it too!

It's kinda funny, because I know NOTHING about BJJ - but I'm finding most of the martial arts blogs that I enjoy to read are those who train in BJJ. Makes me go hmmmm.

Megan said...

lol@Heather...I went to your blog and was digging thinking "she MUST train BJJ".

Heather said...

lol! Nope. All I know about it is what I read from the various BJJ blogs I have in my RSS feed.

I have to admit, sometimes it makes me wonder about what types of people are drawn to which martial arts, that I keep getting drawn to BJJ journals...

Liam H Wandi said...

Thanks ladies you just inspired a blog post :)

As for martial arts, if you get too attached to the technical details that make them up you lose the big picture:

Healing Taekwondo

Heather said...

Inspired a post? :)

Thanks for the video link! I do agree with them ... TKD has been very healing, for me.