When I was heavy, I sort of felt like I was walking around in somebody else's body, and looking at somebody else's face in the mirror. I felt tired and weak and...schlumpy. I know that's not a word, but it fits so I'm going with it.
I lost the weight not by dieting, but with consistent exercise. I know, we all hate the "e" word. Believe me, I hate it as much as the next person. But I knew I wasn't going to be successful through dieting. I just don't have the patience for counting and pointing and....depriving.
I've never really been good at self denial. Why I'm not a 400 pound chain smoking alchoholic crack addict prostitute living in a house with 18 cats stacked to the ceiling with boxes from Home Shopping Network is anybody's guess.
So I made a few small changes. I made a point to eat breakfast, cut out soda, replaced good fats with bad fats and practiced portion control.
And I exercised. The funny thing about exercise is that at first, you hate it. I mean really hate it. I used to spend the entire time I was working out, wishing I didn't have to work out.
But I stuck with it, because I was tired of back fat and bat wings.
And along the way, I began to feel strong. That is a GOOD feeling. It kept me going for almost a year. I was, if not exactly svelte, toned and non-jiggly. I had some muscle definition and I had endurance and I was ROCKIN' some blue jeans for the first time in years.
I felt attractive and healthy.
And then I quit working out.
What an idiot. After all that work, I quit because I was satisfied with how I looked and felt. The logical thing would have been to create a maintenance program and make it a part of my life. But no. Not me. I just quit altogether.
I did that twice. Lost it, regained it, lost it, regained it. How ridiculous.
So here I am fat again.
I'm not like, morbidly obese, as you can see from my picture. But sometimes I have to undo the button on my pants when I sit down, my butt fat moves independantly of my body when I walk too vigorously and when I wave or clap, the momentum of my arm flab sometimes knocks me off balance.
All that is bad, but you know what's really bothering me? My erm ...oh hell, let's just dispense with the euphemisms, my pubic mound is drooping from the weight and pressure of the belly flab directly above it. Gross.
I just turned 39. I've made my peace with my age for the most part, but I think 40 is going to be tough...IF, I'm not feeling good about my physical state. I have 11 months to whip my ass back into shape.
I'm not deluding myself. I'm fairly short (5' 3.5") and short waisted as well. I had a baby that weighed almost 10 lbs at birth. My abdomen has been severely traumatized and no amount of crunches are going to give me a six pack. Nothing can take away the stretch marks. And Pilates can't shrink bone mass, which means these hips? Are here to stay.
But I want to feel good again. I want to feel like I can conquer the world. And I want to feel attractive.
A couple summers ago, we went crabbing on our vacation. The barrier island we were taken to was uninhabited, so the only restroom was on the boat. The boat was banked directly on the beach, accessible by a gangplank, which was out, but not fully extended. See Exhibit A.
I approached the boat, and the guide hastened over to finish lowering the gangplank for me, expecting that I would not be able to step up that high. But before he could get there, I mounted the gangplank easily without using my hands. I simply stepped, and let my muscles do the rest. And they did, easily. I turned to tell him thanks anyway, and was gratified to see that he was impressed.
This fit, young, twenty something guy was impressed. With me. My strength. My fitness.
Goddamn but that felt good.
I want to feel that again.
So I've started excercising again. I know to start slowly and build up my endurance. I've been frustrated, because I'm essentially starting all over again. I used to walk 5 miles easily and do 45 minutes of Pilates without breaking a sweat. And I didn't wake up aching in every joint and muscle.
I used to be strong. And now I'm not.
But I'm motivated and I'm sticking with it.
Yesterday? I walked 5 miles.
The place that I walk is awesome. It's a nicely paved trail in a beautiful park. But it's not an easy walk. In fact, it's pretty challenging. There are plenty of slopes and hills to work you really hard. I had to stop after 3 miles because my right foot was completely numb. So I sat for five minutes, let the feeling come back, and did the other two.
(I've found out that walking in running shoes is bad. It puts too much pressure on the forefoot, which is causing the numbness. Essentially, it's like walking uphill. Walking and running shoes are made differently to account for the difference in stride. So, I need to get some walking shoes.)
I couldn't believe how pleased I was with myself. I was so invigorated. Exhilirated. And proud. Damn proud.
My body is beginning to remember. My body is responding to my efforts.
I can't wait to be strong again.
And I can't wait to impress some other fit young twenty something.
I'm tired of not being looked at like a woman. I want to see admiration in the eyes of a man when he looks at me. Becuase my time for that is growing to a close, and I want it back for just a little while.
Is that so wrong?
I suppose it is. It's very shallow and vain and superficial. But I don't care. Whatever keeps me motivated.
So I walked 5 miles. And today, I'm going to do it again. Can you believe I'm actually looking forward to getting out there and walking?
I think I'm on my way.