By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
November 22, 2015
I got to tell you, it is pretty darn confusing to be single right now. I say that because I seem to be constantly wondering what I need to do to try and make myself more presentable to the opposite sex. Be rude and manly? Keep being polite and nice? Be arrogant? I mean, you hear so many competing ideas that a rather awkward individual such as myself cannot figure out the lies from the reality, and often times I just be myself (which is some circles of women, may or may not be preferable, especially since my tastes are rather strange and all over the place). And then you have to deal with the whole “look” side of the coin. Should I grow a beard? Should I have a lightly cropped goatee? Should I let my mass of gray hair flow or cover it with dye? Should I grow long hair so I can have a “man bun?” Truth be told, I really have no idea what to do or expect or even think when it comes to this world I keep trying to enter. There are some days where I wish I could get back into a relationship with my old girlfriend, that being pizza, especially now that it has been roughly two months since I have had any. But as I traverse the weird landscape, I kind of just say “fuck it!” and prepare myself for something else. Either way, it seems the only thing I can firmly say I have control over is myself, and right now, things are going to get a little hectic for me.
Like I have mentioned before, I’m pretty much gonna be stuck in a warehouse for a month, and I really have no idea what in the world I’m going to do in regards to my fitness. I have some ideas that I plan to try out this weekend, but who knows if I will be able to keep up with them when the time comes. Since I will pretty much have no social life to speak of until the New Year’s, I have a firm idea about trying to actually put some more work into my body. I say this on the heels of one of my worst workout weeks ever, merely because I just pushed myself so hard on Tuesday that I turned my legs into pillars of stone and slightly hurt my ankle in the process. I got really excited earlier this week, killing it in lunges and box jumps, only to realize I would still need the use of my legs for everything else in my life. It’s pretty much the price I pay, especially when I have once again made an early New Year’s Resolution. While I know my workout schedule is going to be awful, I still want to make some strides again in regards to sculpting my body. I kind of fell off the wagon in that regards, merely because I got caught up in a lot of other things like cardio and work. But now I feel it is time again to try and make another push, one that will challenge me and once again make a huge change in my body.
I can tell you one thing, even though the changes are subtle, I still enjoy surprising myself when it comes to the changes my body keep going through. I did have a very positive experience this past week, one that allowed me to enjoy a few moments of happiness. For weeks, it has felt like my size 36 jeans and my size 2X shirts have been getting a little too big. First of all, when I look at myself in the mirror, I just see a frumpy looking man that has absolutely no style sense. But through the subtle details that are reflected in the mirror, I realized my clothes just look awful on me. It wasn’t because of grease stains or tears or the simple fact the clothes have faded to a ugly, stale color. No, it was because I am steadily growing “underneath” them. I really have no term for this so I’m trying to create a description that best suits me. Let me tell you, all of my shirts are starting to look too big, so much so that I may be ready for 1X shirts sooner than later. Here is an example that happened last week. A couple years ago, Jon had this idea to have a runner’s club, a group of people that were of varying ability and supporting each other with some timed running. We all got t-shirts, and they were pretty nice considering. But here is what ultimately pissed me off….he got me a 1X shirt! At the time, I was barely starting to get comfortable with the idea of wearing 2X clothes, having spent a significant amount of money on workout clothing. So you can understand that I got a little upset, because at the time, I really wasn’t thinking in future terms. I wasn’t working for the day when I would be thin enough to fit in the shirt or think about the day I would be fitting into much looser pants. All I could think about was the fact I had just bought a shirt that I could not even fit into. The shirt was so tight, you could see the bottom of my stomach sticking out. I remember being pretty mad at Jon for the longest time, but I think I quickly got over it when my size 38 jeans started fitting more comfortably.
Of course ,you know where this is kind of going. After being a little fired up the week before, I decided to do a little fashion show for myself to see what fit and what didn’t. During my once a year check, the jackets that I call my own continue to shrink in size. But that was when I stumbled across the Parsons’s running shirt, I decided to give it a try. With one slip of the shirt, I fully realized I fit into it! Sure, it may have been a little tight around the stomach, but it was a form fitting shirt after all. The most important aspect of the shirt was the fact it evenly and perfectly covered up my stomach. It would stay covered even when I lifted my arms up. Now to say this wasn’t a small miracle, I was quite ecstatic. And it didn’t really stop there. Jon started giving away some of the shirts he occasionally sells, and when he offered me one, I didn’t speak out in my normal “2X,” I blurted out “1X” and got a face full of t-shirt. Truth be told, it fit quite nicely, especially since it wasn’t a form fitting shirt like the Parsons Running Club shirt. But I was pretty happy about having a second 1X shirt. I decided to try on the cool Mr. Gnome 1X shirt that I had bought a few months before, reveling in it’s awesomeness. For the first time in a while, I was actually pleased with my body. And here is the thing….it still didn’t stop there!
Okay, I have little confession to make, but I actually went out on a little meet-up or date or whatever the heck you would like to call it on Friday night. I was feeling rather nervous and for the first time in a long time, I kinda noticed how baggy my size 36 jeans were. So I started thinking, wondering how close I was to actually fitting in some size 34 jeans? Since I was nervous about the evening, doing something that would take my mind off things might have helped. I stopped by the Ross next to my house and instantly started trying on size 34 jeans. A couple of the pairs fit pretty well, and I almost decided to buy this third pair that was utterly perfect for my legs. But here was the doubt in my mind…I was sure other yokels had tried these pants on and maybe even stretched them out a little. So I needed further proof….I needed to try on new, untouched jeans. So I walked over to the Old Navy, and I was gravely disappointed in the lack of khakis selection they had. Sure, I hadn’t been to an Old Navy in years, but they had no cargo khakis!! How do you build such a reputation and then sell out to become a low end women’s and children’s clothing store?!?! I will admit, the new line of athletic wear they have is quite impressive and reasonably priced, but I have enough workout clothing. Anyway, I found a couple size 34 jeans, grabbing the straight leg variety that I have kind of built my life around. (let me remind you, I love straight cut….straight cut used to be skinny jeans for me!). Anyway, I tried both of the pairs that I got off the rack, for I needed to make sure there was no anomaly after trying on the first pair. Here were the results. They were kinda tight around the waist. But this brought back an old feeling from nearly a year ago, when I first started to try on size 36 jeans and had this suffocating feeling just under my stomach and around my waist. Right there, I understood what was happening. History was repeating once again, and I was happy as a clam. In fact, I was so chilled out and relaxed that I didn’t seem to mind too much the next day when my date—who enjoyed my presence by the way—basically said she just wanted to be friends. Back in the day (which was literally just months ago), I might have been upset about such a statement and moped around for a couple weeks. But I was feeling great and the good beer I had that night certainly didn’t hurt either. Not to mention, I met a pretty cool person and checked out one of the last spots on 4TH Avenue I hadn’t been to yet, Ermanos. So despite the endgame, it was a pretty good day for me to feel good about the one thing I am always putting down.
I didn’t really have much time the next day at work to really pat myself on the back, for I was so tired that I didn’t mind the fact it was boring while also working an extra four hours when I probably could have gone home early. But hey, I was feeling good about my body for once, which if you know me, is not something I do too often. Since I was starting my first day as something of a supervisor/trainer, I walked around with an extra zip, standing a little taller than I normally do on most days and walking as fast as I could. Personally, I would consider this past week as a monumental victory for my personal well being, for I haven’t had this kind of positive reaction in regards to myself in quite a long time. Even in this blog, I frequently put myself down, knowing full well that I don’t have that perfect of a body just yet. So hen I saw the tangible changed once again probing my own self deprecation wrong, dare I say I experienced a little pride in the process. Over the years, I have never been shy about putting my body down. I have too much acne. I’m not toned enough. My tan lines are horrendous. I just don’t look “perfect” enough in my own eyes. These are all stupid things I kept saying to myself, and I kept believing. Now there is no reason to think I will not randomly say some of this garbage again (especially if I am upset about something), but at least I have something good to think about in case I do start spouting such terrible things in my mind. For crying out loud, fitting into a size 34 pair of jeans was something I never imagined. And here is the best part, the amount and variety of jeans to choose from at Ross’ size 34 rack is unbelievable. It is like society has gotten heavier and wider while I continue to get lighter. I put this into perspective in regards to Old Navy. It used to be they hardly had anything bigger than size 38. Now they hardly have anything under size 36. Just think about that for a moment.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.