The Biggest Loser was my second favorite show growing up (the first being Wheel of Fortune, but that’s because I’m a widowed grandmother trapped in a gay man’s body).
Every week, my mother and I would sit and watch while we ate dinner, and then dessert, and then fistfuls of buttered popcorn. We would ogle at the spectacle, maybe in part wishing that one day, we would be on the screen ourselves. It seemed like a possibility: I wanted to look different than I did, and if only I could change the outside of myself, then everything internally would magically align too. I just needed some fit-zilla to yell at me in the gym, What do you really want, Spencer?! All the while, my boob sweat and tears cascade down my ravine-filled body towards the absorbent and fainting-proof floor.
And to be honest, that’s what I was expecting that when I joined my first Crossfit gym in DC. But all that happened there was toxic masculinity and terrible lifting form.
Now, though, I am still plagued by this paradigm: that one day, I will wake up and my body will have magically transformed, all of my skinny clothes will fit, and my outside will match my personality perfectly. There are far too many flaws in this reasoning to list out here, but the one that I want to tease out more is this idea of a “comeback”.
When I first started this blog last fall, I figured that it would be a way to document my journey “back to fitness” and that everyone following it would be second-hand inspired to reach their own potential. This was going to be my Biggest Loser moment, and I would be a gayer version of Bob Harper. Except that it wasn’t. And it isn’t going to be. And while it’s taken me a while to reach this conclusion, but I couldn’t be more content with that result.
Because this is my reality, and as far as I am aware, my life is not being televised. It won’t be spliced and edited into a background sob story, there will be no finale, and thank goddess — I can’t be voted off.
So here I am. At chapter two of this blog, but actually in chapter five-hundred-seventeen of my life and relationship with my body. I went for my first run since I turned 28 today. It was less than three miles and I felt terrible after first ten minutes. But I did it. And I’m going to do it again tomorrow. And the day after. And maybe a few months from now, I will be at a goal weight and hitting PRs, but maybe not.
All I can say for certain is this: that I am here to put in work and sweat and struggle and wear crop tops and frustrate myself and make excuses and triumph and share it with all of you. Just don’t call it a comeback.