On the 24th, I started a 12 week Data Analytics class which I am very excited about. I also started planning a trip home to Maryland for Thanksgiving, and have been discussing plans with my sister for her to visit in December with my niece. I also have cool plans this Friday to go to a weird baroque burlesque experience with friends. I’ve been seeing a lot of burlesque lately, and I’ve been participating in the seasonal parties that fun spooky people enjoy at this time of year.
Every year by the time Halloween arrives I feel the same way. “Oh thank goodness Halloween is over and I can stop partying…” But not everything that takes up my time is classified as ‘partying’ and as I’m saying ‘yes’ to these social obligations and adding coursework for my class, the daylight hours are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. There is also eggnog being stocked in the grocery store… I love eggnog….
I never want this blog to turn into a weight loss blog. That said, I am setting a 10 lb weight loss goal between now and December 31st (one pound per week). What I am not going to do is update you every week on my weight and measurements or focus my posts on losing weight between now and then. I am not going to write triggering thinspo posts. My focus is going to be on saying ‘yes’ to a slice of pie and ‘no’ to a whole damn pie and finding ways to make time to run and take care of my body, while still meeting all of my other obligations. I will let you know at the end how I did and how I feel. If nothing else, I think pursuing this goal will prevent me from gaining 10 lbs over the holidays.
At 190 lbs I can run a 5K in 32 minutes, and a half marathon in 2 hours 37 minutes. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are excellent and my butt looks amazing in my new Athleta herringbone stretch pants. Can’t argue with that.
But, my recent back problems landed me in a doctor’s office on a Sunday (when I would have rather been doing literally anything else) leaving with a script for muscle relaxers,anti-inflammatories, and anti-anxiety meds. My back also kept me from running for nearly two weeks! This back issue is directly related to the size of my breasts which are directly related to my weight.
During the half marathon I experienced some very painful chafing under my left boob where the underwire of my ill fitting sports bra rubbed me raw. It took a week to be able to wear a bra again without having it painfully stick to my healing wound (gross, I know), and the pain in my upper back made it hurt to look left or right. I am not trying to get run over because my back is all messed up and I can’t look left or right. Not to mention, it’s hard enough to get up in the morning and leave my nice warm bed without having pain whenever I move.
This is also not the first time I have found myself googling how to get my insurance to cover a breast reduction surgery while laying on the floor of my living room in pain. But I do not want surgery. I do not want scars, and I am terrified of being put under to have a doctor cut into me.
And of course I would love to be thinner. I am a woman in America with all the same social pressures and media exposure as anyone. Self acceptance is a journey, and my relationship to my weight is complex and multifaceted.
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
I am vain and competitive and I love my curves. Sometimes I feel terribly sad and ruined about my stretch marks and other times I look in the mirror and I don’t even see them; I just see sexy-ass me. I want my back to stop hurting every day and I cannot pretend that losing weight would not make a serious difference in that. I am complete and good enough as I am. If I never lose a pound I will be worth just as much as if I lose 30 pounds. I can and will be proud of weight loss AND defiant of the idea of weight loss adding anything of substance to the person that I am. I can and do feel multiple ways about this issue.
Now that it is dark too late into the morning to hit the park for a run and still get showered and ready before work, mornings are for studying and tackling the coursework for my Data Analytics class rather than running.
I am committing to running at least three miles every Saturday. Friday after work will be for hitting the gym for strength training. I am also going to use my lunch breaks to go for a walk every day. I need to stop sitting at my desk working through lunch. It is important to move around in the middle of the day. I don’t want to end up as a hunch back because I spend so much time sitting at a desk – before work doing coursework, then during work not even taking a break, and again after work on my couch facebooking or whatever. I am going to work on building movement into my day more incidentally because I do still need to be realistic about my time management.
As I mentioned earlier, I love eggnog, and I am going to drink it. I am going to enjoy all of the holiday treats on offer and I am not going to stress about it. But I am also going to try to reengage the mindfulness I was practicing with my food choices when I was preparing for the half marathon. There is no reason I should be mindlessly consuming a whole box of crackers that I don’t even like that much- even after the cheese is gone. Dry crackers? WHY?
So more water and more mindfulness in my eating.
It’s not such a complicated plan. There are not hard rules of deprivation. There are no punishing workouts of atonement. There is running and working out because I love running and moving. There is only one food sin, and that is scarfing down garbage food that I am not even enjoying. I can have anything I like, but I need to actually like it.