It really doesn’t. At least until you realize that you are now capable of carrying a five gallon jug of water up a set of shady-as-fuck basement stairs without breaking a sweat. Then, you feel like a beast!
Again, weight-loss is not something that happens overnight. Weight-gain doesn’t happen overnight either. I find it kind of funny how both situations are met with some sort of despair and procrastination as to how to resolve the issue at hand. But once you get started (with the loss, I mean; I can’t imagine why anyone would want to gain weight on purpose. Unless you’re dangerously thin, in which case, please eat a McGangBang or double up on the salad ’cause that’s not much better than weighing more than a baby killer whale.), you begin to notice small, peculiar things that you didn’t bother making a note of before. A perfect example for me would have to be the appearance of my clavicle. I swear, I have never, ever been able to feel this particular bone before. Obviously, it was there the whole time, just hiding beneath the subcutanous fat like everything else, but one day, it seemed to jut out just a bit more than it had before. A couple weeks later and you could faintly see the outline and trace along its curves, maybe even make it more prominent by hunching your shoulders forward enough. Now, it’s there, really and truly there. I still find myself grinning like an idiot when I look in the mirror, feeling for the slight depression just beneath my throat, the raised bumps along my shoulders.
The discovery of thinner fingers and suddenly being able to do that thing where you can clasp both hands over your shoulder and behind your back can say a few things, namely that somewhere deep down, I didn’t like myself as much as I had thought I did before. Maybe I’ve overextrapolated a bit here, but that seems like a reasonable conclusion. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror so I changed it. I didn’t like being painfully aware of weight restrictions and the lack of space around me in crowded areas so I made it in order to not have to be cogniscent of such things anymore. Most of all, I sought to find some sort of redeeming quality in myself and I have; I’ve found that I possess the drive to make a plan and stick to it. I like who I am becoming, this person who is stronger and more capable than before.
Maybe Narcissus wasn’t some completely self-absorbed moron who became a flower because he couldn’t tear himself away from the lake. Maybe it was because he had never really had the means to look at himself before, like really look, and he actually liked what he saw for once. So, narcissism or self-acceptance?
Of course, self-hatred of any degree doesn’t need to be your motivation for getting on the treadmill and giving it everything you’ve got. For me, it was just the thing to ignite the whole process, a catalyst if you will, but then I became facinated with what I could do now and I kept going. Again, it doesn’t seem worth it, but I exercise because I want to learn more about my body. Getting toned is not so much a primary concern as it is something nice to look at in the mirror.