Thursday, June 30, 2011

My protective shield....


If you asked most people what they see in the picture above they would say a worn out sweatshirt. If you asked me I would say its my protective shield.

That sweatshirt has been with me since I decided to lose the weight in May 2009. If I was in the gym you can bet I was wearing it. It started out with long sleeves and a hood, and when I first bought it , it was also kind of tight fitting but I wore it anyway. I remember the first day I walked into the gym I wore it and worked out with my hood up over my head, I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone in the gym. I hid my face inside it for months, I hid my body, I hid the desperation in my eyes.

As I started losing weight I stopped wearing the hood over my head and eventually I cut it off, I didn't want to hide my face anymore. As I started to incorporate weight lifting into my routine I decided to cut the sleeves off, I wanted to see my muscles as I worked them.

I have had that sweatshirt for over two years now and like I said before  I have worn it for 99% of my workouts (yes I am always washing it). It used to be a lot tighter than it is now but I still haven't been able to part with it, I still wear it for all my workouts in the gym. Part of me wants to retire it but another part of me stills need it to protect me and I am ok with that for right now. I know when the time is right I will let it go....


Do you have any protective shields??

7 comments:

Emily Sandford said...

Great post, Alan. We can all tell you that you shouldn't hide, but you have to feel that for yourself. I'm glad you've shed some of your protection. One day, you'll get to where you want all new workout shirts, and you better holla at your fashion-forward friend (ahem, me.)
My protective shields? For me, they're not physical, but they're reactionary: how I respond to a compliment or how I interact with strangers at the gym or elsewhere. I'm conditioned to deflect everything away from myself, and that had gotten me to a place of not realizing my worth. It's a tough thing to get over, but we'll get there :)

Molly said...

yes, I wear baggy shorts and a cut-off that is one size too big. Good post alan!

Tammy said...

My shield is my front door. If I don't go anywhere, then I can't see the look of disgust as people react to my size. Yes, I leave the house for work and the essentials but rarely do anything else. I know this isn't right, but I'm not comfortable changing it yet. I liked your post Alan and it's great that you're not in hiding.

A Girl Who Loves Cupcakes said...

I'm sorry you feel like you need to hide. You are a beautiful person inside and out and I hate that others can make you feel less than that. I have finally shed my protective shield at the gym. I used to wear baggy sweats and tshirts two or three sizes too big to Zumba and other dance classes and then decided, I can't see my body moving correctly! I shed that shield and while I might have a long way to goal started wearing more form fitting clothing so I can actually see I'm doing the moves correctly. I worked hard for that swagger, I wanna see it! With the help of one of my best friends, I also stopped hiding in the back of the class and stood in the front row, not only can I see the teacher better, but I KNOW I got swag, and I can show it off and not worry about what the people think behind me. I hope you get to a point where you are ready to toss your shield out and be proud of what you have accomplished because you do have a lot to be proud of.

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

I love that you recognize that you still need it for now, but that some day you won't. You went from needing the hood, to not needing it. From needing the sleeves, to not needing the sleeves. Nothing wrong with that!!

And it reminds me of a friend who, when she was a child, had a blanky (security blanket, shield, whatever you want to call it). Her Mom started cutting off a strip of it whenever she washed it. Eventually it became so small that my friend looked at it and decided she didn't need it any more.

Same principle,

My shield is my office...I hide out here when I need to.

Annelies said...

Alan! When the time is right, maybe you'll trade in the black Wolfpack modified sweatshirt for a black wolfpack t-shirt. If it's part of your workout gear then so be it. Think about pro baseballers- they have superstitions about their game. Maybe TMI but Aubrey huff wore a thong during the baseball play-offs last year. It's tmi and yet part of their shield.

Yum Yucky said...

Darn. I was all set to leave a highly intellectual comment until someone started talking about man-thongs. Sorry.