Love and Fat

by Zen Gray

This is a big week for me. In a couple days, I’m flying to Honolulu to run my first marathon. Since June I have been running at least once a week in the hopes that I would become one of those people that LOVES running. Regretfully, this phenomenon never happened. As a person with constant foot and knee pain most of my life, I still hate it. However, before I signed up for the training, the most I had ever run without stopping was 2 miles. Now I can boast having run 18 miles during my longest training run.

Zen Gray AIDS Marathon Training

Zen's 18-mile run

And even though it didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, I’m confident that I’ll be able to finish a marathon and consequently bust through a self-imposed limitation in this area. Plus, I believe other areas of my life that seem stagnant will miraculously evolve after this victory as well.

What’s interesting is that during this time when I’ve been training so hard, I’ve also fallen in love. Ironically, this year I wrote a fitness book called LOVE MAKES YOU FAT: How to Keep the Love and Lose the Love Handles. It includes many strategies I’ve learned the hard way. A therapist can really have a field day with THAT conviction, though.  Did I fall in love so I could gain weight and have an excuse not to finish the marathon? Did I get in a relationship so I could blame him for my shortcomings? Or am I finally aware of my deep-seeded fears about love so now I can transform into the fully self-expressed romantic that I truly am?

Oh boy.

My mom told me once never to write down anything personal because it could come back and “bite me in the ass.” Well, I realized recently that my survival instinct is often in direct conflict with my need for happiness and fulfillment. And because I want to do more than just “survive” my life… I’m going to share how my relationship affects my body in the interest that other women will see a little bit of themselves in me. I take a lot of pride in all the work (and mistakes) I’ve done to evolve into the person I am today. I think there is a lot to learn from each other.

I’m making a commitment today to write at least twice a week about how relationships affect body weight. Hope you’ll join me for this journey and please wish me luck 🙂

Health & Happiness,

~Zen

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8 Comments to “Love and Fat”

  1. Good luck Zen! Look forward to reading your coming blogs. And congrats on falling in love, that is wonderful!

  2. Zen, I think what you have committed to is absolutely remarkable! I believe that you and I deal with some of life’s struggles in the same manner and that is why I find that I can relate to you so well…I pray in this lifetime I can actually get the opportunity to meet you face to face…Across so many miles I have discovered such an awesome and inspiring person and no matter how far the distance…I hold a very special place for you in my heart! You have motivated and inspired me in ways I cannot explain! So good luck to you Zen in your upcoming, life changing marathon…I “raise my glass” to you!

    ~Melissa Dorsett~

  3. “I realized recently that my survival instinct is often in direct conflict with my need for happiness and fulfillment. And because I want to do more than just “survive” my life… I’m going to share how my relationship affects my body in the interest that other women will see a little bit of themselves in me.”

    Zen, this is what life is all about! I am really looking forward to reading your book and staying tuned into your blogs! We all are effected by body issues everyday and love has had a huge impact on my weight over the years! You are an inspiration; thanks for being so brave and putting yourself out there. As a psychology student who is also newly in love this is right up my alley!! ❤

  4. Congratulations on going from 2 miles to 18 miles in less than a year Zen! I’ll be thinking of you marathon day. BEST of luck:-)

    Sybie

  5. It’s great that you’re having so much success and overcoming obstacles. It’s clear that many more great things are on the way because of what you have achieved so far. I wish you luck in the race, and the relationship. I hope you have a lot of happiness and great memories ahead, both together and on your own. Even as a part of a couple, you still have to maintain your own identity and interests. I’m sure you’ll have all you want, you know how to set goals and make them a reality.

  6. Best of luck as you head to Hawaii–you’ve already accomplished so much. I, too, attempted a race (not even close to a marathon) in the hopes of becoming a person that loves running. It didn’t turn out that way, yet I still mark it as one of my feats. I am looking forward to your blog as well as reading your book. And for the record (as a person getting a degree in counseling) my bet is on the last one, “Or am I finally aware of my deep-seeded fears about love so now I can transform into the fully self-expressed romantic that I truly am?”
    Mahalo!
    Christine

  7. Zen – I cannot wait to read more. 🙂

  8. Thank you for the support, everyone! It helps give me courage to share more hilarious (and embarrassing) stories in the future 😉

    Much love,
    ~Zen

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