Today I did not put in the same amount of effort as I have the past 4 days in the gym.
I’m on my period, and I’m cramping, and I feel gross. So I only did half the workout I normally would. Half the C25k workout, half the weights, half of everything.
And you know what? I feel great about that. Because I did something even if I couldn’t do everything I wanted. I did enough because I prioritized how I feel over some arbitrary goalpost. I did enough because doing literally anything is better than doing nothing.
And sometimes selfcare looks like compromises between your body and your mind.
The power of half assing something is that more gets done than if you just decide you just don’t have the energy to do something whole-assed and so you don’t do it at all.
And a win, no matter how small, is an amazing way to start your day.
Burt’s Bees didn’t pay me. Also, I didn’t receive anything for free in exchange for this post (although… Burt’s Bees if you’d like to sponsor a post I wouldn’t say no 😉 )
So I have incredibly sensitive skin. I mean, incredibly sensitive. I break out at the first sign of chemicals or most herbal supplements. And I have tried a lot– like, a literal drugstore aisle full– of cleansers, lotions, creams, you name it.
So go figure, it’s the stuff I bought for $5.99 at Winco that changed my skin care routine for good. Look, gents, ladies and others… I have to REALLY like something to want to plug a product. But these wipes feel so good I look for reasons my skin might have gotten dirty so I have an excuse to use them.
They’re mildly vanilla scented, and they have aloe in them, so if either of those is an allergy trigger for you, avoid them. But if they aren’t, GET THEE TO A DRUGSTORE FORTHWITH.
They are smooth, cool, soft, and leave my skin feeling moisturized and soft. None of that stinging or tightness I’ve come to associate with face cleanser. They feel good on my hands and face, and they’re excellent at removing makeup as well as the daily grime of life. They’re biodegradable and super cheap ($6 bucks gets you 30 wipes, which is about a two week’s supply for me) so I don’t feel bad about using as much as I want. And, I can use them before or after shaving without redness, bumps or irritation.
10/10 would (have and will) buy again.
Today, I worked out.
I know that’s nothing new for most people talking about health, wellness, and beauty, but it’s been years since I worked out at a gym.
My motto for now is doing anything is better than doing nothing because I am out of shape and I know it. I’m never going to be athletic, I’m never going to be “skinny,” I’m never going to be a body builder, and all of that is okay. I’m comfortable with that.
I am not comfortable in my skin though, due in part to dysphoria and due in part to being constantly sick. I’m tired of being sick and of my body feeling alien to me. So doing literally anything is better than the nothing I’ve been doing so far.
Today, I went to the gym. I did cardio. I did strength training. And I feel AMAZING. Because just getting my body moving, even if it’s not as fast as the guy next to me or as strong as the lady on the weight machines, makes me relaxed and alert. The headache I woke up with is gone. I’m drinking water like it ain’t no thang. I feel good.
And no, before you ask, the dysphoria I live with isn’t totally gone– but it’s bearable for today. The cold I’ve been fighting for months isn’t gone– but I can think anyway.
I’m going again tomorrow. And again, and again, and again. I may not do a lot every time. But if this is how I feel after one workout, I know a little bit will go a long, long way.
A lot of people want to pretend health has something to do with weight, or with athleticism. They want to pretend this because it gives them something easily visible and measurable to say “I’m x far away from ideal,” and then they can blame whatever’s going wrong in their lives on not being closer to their ideal.
The truth is that health is a lot more complicated than that; that health is not a prerequisite for value; that weight and athleticism sometimes correlate with health and sometimes don’t; that being whatever Platonic form of yourself you have in mind won’t stop bad things from happening to or around you.
Look, I’m not here to tell you that if you feel bad, you’re doing well. By all means, if something will make you feel better (long term… Don’t take this as permission to shoot up because you’re jonesing or anything) then you should do it. I am here to tell you that health sometimes means moving just a little closer to comfortable in your skin.
I want to be clear, as we start this journey together, when I am talking about health, I mean what makes me, personally, more comfortable in my skin. That means the fact that I’m downing water each time I crave a cigarette (and cutting back to eventual quitting smoking), and the fact that I made lobster pasta with a lemon pepper butter sauce for dinner last night, and the fact that I’ve taken the maxim “doing something is better than doing nothing, even if I can’t do much yet” in regard to physical exercise are all part of being healthy for me. It means that I refuse to shame myself for what has been. It means I refuse to measure health by the number on a scale or on a tag, and I choose to measure it by whether I experience fewer headache days a week, whether I can meet my eyes in the mirror, and whether I have enough patience and serenity to give as much as I take over the course of my relationships with others.
That’s health, for me: Being comfortable enough in my own skin to care about the people and world around me.
What is health to you?
Today, I am trying something new.
I am fascinated by the science and psychology behind habit formation. I’ve been working on quitting smoking, using the Butt Out app to step down. Because I’ve also read plenty of science that says replacing the habit is better than pretending you’re just not a creature of habit (spoiler alert: you are)…
I am going to begin replacing smoking with drinking water.
Confession: I’m terrible at drinking water. I just don’t like it. And I can tell, because my skin is feeling dry and my muscles are crampy. But still… I don’t like it.
Solution: I’ve got myself some Crystal Light pink lemonade stuff. After coffee this morning, I’ll be making watery pink lemonade and carrying that with me throughout the day.
I know it’s not, like, perfect. But it’s gotta be better than diuretic sodas, right?
I am fat.
I am beautiful.
I am stylish and talented.
But I am not healthy.
This blog serves a couple purposes: first, it keeps me on track with getting and staying healthy. We’ll never talk weight numbers or diet plans because I don’t do that. I believe health is about how you feel, not about how much you weigh, or what size you are. I’m not trying to lose weight, although I accept that might happen.
I AM trying to:
- Quit smoking for good
- Quit diet soda and replace it with water
- Give myself a space to talk about getting and staying healthy
- Give some representation to femme guys
I like makeup. Particularly eye makeup, but I’m expanding my repertoire! I’m a beautiful boy who is trans and fat and that’s not changing but my health and thoughts might be.
I’ll always be a spoonie. Chronic illness doesn’t go away. I’ll always be autistic. I’ll always have depression.
But I can get stronger. I can make better choices. And I can take you along for the ride.
Here’s to Health At Every Size and to all of us femme guys who refuse to let toxic masculinity mean we can’t be pretty.