I know you see me a lot in gym gear, or zooming past you on my bike. You sometimes see a status from me on social media talking about what I’ve been up to in the gym, or maybe you’ve seen photos on instagram of food I’ve made. You smile when you see me, tell me I’m getting smaller and in the next breath; tell me I’m obsessed with training. You may look at me like I’m crazy when I tell you what time I get up to go & train, you sometimes tell me that I’m mad, or it will damage my health doing this.
You are not helping me.
You may think that your remarks, looks and comments are in jest or perhaps, somewhere deep down inside your heart that you are, in fact helping. You are wrong. You cannot seem to comprehend how damaging what you’re saying actually is.
Do I tell you you’re “obsessed” with whatever passion you’re pursuing? Do I just look at you & shake my head when you tell me something that you’re really excited about? Even if I don’t understand why your passion burns so brightly? Why would I do that? You’re clearly extremely happy with where you’re going & what you’re doing, so why am I received with groans, looks of shock/disbelief when I tell you I did a 70kg deadlift?
My passion burns just as brightly as yours, even if you cannot see it or even attempt to understand it. You admire how much I’ve changed, but then offer me chocolates & sweets; saying “it’s only one. Go on, treat yourself” Do you know that I have issues with food? No. Because I don’t talk about it.
A few months ago, your comments would have caused me worry. Worry if I was doing the right thing, worry that I’d develop Orthorexia, worry that I’d hurt myself, worry about whether it was all going to be worth it. I don’t worry about your words now, but you should think more before you speak, even if you *think* you’re helping, reverse the situation: If I said that to you, about something you love; how would you feel?
My own personal pursuit of aesthetics as well as being able to do general day-to-day tasks (that you may take for granted) have no impact on you & your life. The way I choose to live mine; has no impact on you. Doing what I do gives me joy & inner calm that I’ve not experienced for years – so maybe, yes I am obsessed. I’m obsessed with being happier than I’ve felt, I’m obsessed with eating to fuel my body, not to gorge on garbage, obsessed with making an active decision to stop needing painkillers, obsessed with seeing if I can lift more, push more, cycle faster or cook something that tastes incredible, but doesn’t also want to kill you. Obsessed with being better & feeling better.
It is a lot of effort, but that doesn’t mean my choices can be something for you to poke fun at. I get you don’t understand, I do. I get that. I know you’re not interested enough for me to be able to eloquently explain why I do what I do & that’s fine. I don’t want to bore you, however please, please, please don’t interpret your not wanting to know as an excuse for telling me that I’m “obsessed”.
Passionate, not obsessed.