THE QUARANTINE 15
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
I gained 15lbs. Now what?
For as long as I can remember, I've had a 30" waist. I ordered pants recently (why? I have no idea because I spent the last 4 months indoors and hardly wore pants) in what I thought was my size. My anticipation grew as I tracked the package online (welcome to adulthood, getting excited over PANTS) only to be utterly let down when I tried them on.
The positive is I was able to get them on. The negative is one false move and I'd be exposing far more of myself than the world would care to see. My lovely wife gently pointed out "Honey, I don't think those fit." She definitely had a point. So I go back online to the sizing chart and get instruction on where to measure my waist. Enlisting my wife's help, she wrapped the measuring tape around me and to my surprise, I am the proud new owner of a 35" waist! Notice that I said "proud," but we'll circle back around to that in a minute.
If you've had a similar experience, then this blog post is for you. If you've already started back at the gym after your quarantine, go back and read Corona Comeback for some helpful tips on how to safely return to exercise. Let's get into why I chose the word "proud."
FLAT ROLLER COASTERS AREN'T FUN.
The makings of a good roller coaster is all sorts of twists, turns, loops, corkscrews, and of course, highs and lows. You can't have a high without a low, just like you can't have a low without a high.
As usual, I'm sure you're thinking "What in the world are you talking about?!" Well, let me explain. But let's first run through a hypothetical that I somewhat laid out earlier this week on Instagram. The makings of a good roller coaster is all sorts of twists, turns, loops, corkscrews, and of course, highs and lows. You can't have a high without a low, just like you can't have a low without a high. The existence of one is dependent and relative to the other. The view from the top is most appreciated after a long hard climb from the bottom. If the roller coaster was flat the whole way, it wouldn't be much fun, now would it? Hopefully we're on the same page now.
Often, we learn best by comparison. The highs of our lives seem so amazing compared to the lows. We truly don't know what we have until it's gone. So when we were killing it in the gym 5 times a week and then shut up indoors for 4 months, we were struck with a stark comparison, a great drop on the roller coaster of life. BUT, all that means is we're due for another climb and that's what's exciting. There's something to strive for again, to not only get back to where we were, but sore to higher heights, redefining our boundaries.
If we just coasted along in a straight line, devoid of any significant obstacles, would we be able to fully appreciate our journey? Our accomplishments? Or is it the twists, turns, loops, corkscrews, and of course, highs and lows that make life worth living? (That was rhetorical, if you didn't catch it.)
Falling off means you get the opportunity to get back on. You did it once so you already know you can do it again. This time around, you'll be better equipped. Speaking of equipment, let's take a second to appreciate how well equipped our bodies truly are.
YOU MIGHT NOT BE A ROBOT, BUT YOU DAMN SURE ARE A MACHINE!
If I've completely lost you with that heavy dose of corniness, I get it. That was pretty bad. But seriously, let's think about how amazing this body of ours is. At any given time, there are more cells in your body than STARS in the entire UNIVERSE. Yeah, you heard me. These cells are constantly dividing, dying, regenerating, moving about, carrying out countless tasks I can't even begin to comprehend. That's in addition to all the chemical reactions , electrical signals, and filtering of things we come in contact with in our environment. As I've said in previous blog posts, even working out doesn't make sense! You beat your body down, causing micro-tears in your muscle fibers inducing lingering soreness and what does your body do? Bucks up and says "Whoa! That sucked! I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen again!" AND GROWS STRONGER! In what parallel universe does tearing something result in it becoming stronger!? Absolutely blows my mind to this day.
Now that we've heard about my VERY rudimentary understanding of basic biology (sorry Mr. Gallegos! He was my biology teacher freshman year of high school) , maybe we look at our bodies in a different light. "Ugh, I've gained weight. I hate the way I look. I can't fit into anything! I wish I had a body like theirs." I see and hear these things all the time. But as you get upset at the few pounds gained, or that someone is built different than you, all your body is concerned about is keeping you alive! It doesn't care if you don't look like Suzie-Q who is an instagram "influencer" (good Lord do I dislike that "term"), or if you've gained a few extra pounds. It'll keep on keeping on. Running on autopilot, continuously carrying out processes you'll never understand.
So as you hate your body, it LOVES you relentlessly. It literally does whatever it can to keep you safe and alive. Maybe we all should love our bodies, whatever shape, size, or color that may be. It starts by recognizing we are incredible machines we barely have an understanding of and we should be doing our best to take care of ourselves, even though we may stumble.
So, I'm the proud new owner of a 35" waist as a result of gaining 15lbs from the quarantine. I'm proud regardless of what my waist size or weight is. This old body of mine has done some incredible things I once thought were impossible and I bet if you look back, you too will find some the same. One day in the future, I'm sure I'll look back again and have accomplished eve more. I'm proud because this "low" only means that a high is inbound soon and I'm going to have fun on this rollercoaster of life with all it's twists, turns, loops, and corkscrews. You should too because although you might not love your body right now, it loves the hell out of you. That alone is worth being proud of; your body's got your back. Now it's time for you to have it's back. Let's start climbing.
As always, thanks for the read, I hope you learned something, and at the very least, had a bit of fun with our time together.
I'll see you on the next one!