During my first six months at Mark Fisher Fitness, Brian Patrick Murphy said he’d once heard that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” I took a look at my Facebook feed—filled with lots of things I love like Dolly Parton Buzzfeed lists, pictures of drunken nights in Hell’s Kitchen, and 1,000 ways to pack booze into any dessert. I didn’t have a fitness or health community at all. I had a social community, a work community, family, friends, people I “networked” with, but no one was talking to me about health and hotness.
I’ve always been kind of average. No one calls me fat, but I just never felt comfortable in my own body. My whole life, I’ve struggled with taking my shirt off in public. It’s never been my M.O. to drool over muscly guys, and I never wanted a six-pack or crazy muscles. For me, it’s always been about taking care of myself.
I took a look at my eating habits. I was eating like a total asshole, and wasn’t even KIND of mindful about what/how much I was putting in my body. Watching my dad suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and COPD really hit home. Let’s face it, change is hard, but it is a hell of a lot easier to change my life now, in my 30s, than it will be when I’m in my 70s.
Prioritizing MFF and making sustainable changes in my life hasn’t been easy. I have to say “no” to some social activities because I need to get to bed early. It costs more to eat healthy, actually go the gym, and buy all the new clothes I need for this hot body. I’m not the over-achiever I used to be at work because I put in my time and then leave to cook dinner at home to actually use all the groceries I’ve bought.
During my time at MFF, I figured out what my deal with taking my shirt off was. It wasn’t that I thought I was fat or ugly, it was that I KNEW I wasn’t taking care of my body. I KNEW that my stomach and saggy titties were the visual representation of that lack of self-care. It was all about shame, the shame of other people seeing that I wasn’t taking care of myself. When I take my shirt off now, even if there is a little fat and no six pack, I still know that I’m taking care of myself, doing my best and running my own race.
When I think about why I’ve taken to MFF so well, I have to assume it’s because of the community. My Facebook feed has changed pretty dramatically. Now I get updates with recipes, new healthy eating spots, workout ideas, and even invitations to make vision boards with other ninjas. It still baffles me that I had a membership at a gym ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE for more than 5 years and never went, yet I trek to MFF from Astoria 3-4 times a week with no problem. At the same time, I see my friends from outside the Clubhouse tracking their food, or starting to make healthier choices—and telling me that my journey inspired them to jumpstart their own journey to health and hotness.