38.9 Seconds Later

The numbers on the sheet were disappointing.

I had, in fact, improved my health. Everything, except for stress, was at ideal levels. Even my blood pressure had improved. But those three little digits glared at me from among the other numbers on the page, and I was immediately disappointed in myself. Somehow, I was 15 pounds heavier.

Then I saw the challenge. Row 200 meters for time. Winner gets a FitBit.

I declined.

I’m in a dress. And heels. And I’m already feeling defeated. 

“What’s the time to beat?”

Hmmm. I think I can beat that.

Ok. Shoes off. Dress tucked between my legs. Rowers moved to face the wall so I don’t expose myself. Deep breath. Go! And that was the moment I remembered that the scale has no idea how to measure me.

Advertisements

Midday in Classics

image

I want to get lost in a book.

No. I mean a good book.

The kind that makes you come up for air to you realize two hours have passed and you’ve been breathing something foreign to your everyday world. One of those that swallow you whole from the first sentence. A sentence that has reverberated in wandering minds for years; that you’ll cleverly find ways to insert into conversations because you know it makes you seem… well-read.

I want to find myself in a story. One penned and perfected long before I existed. A story that tells the human condition so accurately that it doesn’t matter who I am, where I am, I feel it so completely I know the next line.

I want to hear the sound only old and yellowing pages can make. I want to feel their roughness on my fingertips, see their faded ink on my hands, fill my nostrils with their musky scent, and, if only for just one afternoon, be with those braver than I.

*this post was inspired by Lois and Michael, two authors I met this week, doing what I am still too afraid to do – write.

~that’s life… in no particular order

Bleeding Softly

My draft box is overflowing… brimming… boiling over with pain, tears, anger, hate… fear.

I’ve remained silent, despite having so much screaming in my head. I’ve maintained a cold numbness, despite having so much aching in my heart… not lashing out, yet still bleeding softly.

I wanted to explain how a system with a pervasive narcissistic personality disorder would only serve itself. I wanted to say terrorism is defined by its victims. I wanted to point out that according to ISIS, every American assassinated has a long wrap sheet. Still, we would NEVER justify those killings!!! We don’t malign those “perpetrators”. But, what would be the point? Who is “we”? Americans? Clearly not! Humans? Just as egregious! So there… What would be the purpose of speaking? Yelling? Begging? Pleading? Joining in the wailing? Who’s deaf ears would care?

There is no cause to celebrate today. A man is brutally beaten and left to die in the hands of six who are sworn to “serve and protect”, and it takes a city burning for it to matter…

I am overflowing… brimming… boiling over with pain, tears, anger, hate… fear… still bleeding softly.

~that’s life… in no particular order

A Whole Lot of Something

Day one: May 1st

I have been tired and sleepy all day. But honestly, that probably has more to do with my lack of sleep over the past few weeks than it has to do with coming off a sugar high. I’ve also had a dull headache all day. Now this probably has more to do with the sugar withdrawal than the fatigue. The fatigue is definitely attributed to the mild insomnia. It’s true, I haven’t been sleeping. And because I’m not sleeping, I’m not working out. And because I’m not working out, I’m not eating well. And because I’m not eating well I feel like crap… And my body is aching… And my mind is racing… And I’m not sleeping.

But back to today. Day one of a whole something or another. Fortunately, I happen to like coffee – so I don’t mind it’s bitter black taste on my bored tongue. It’s something else beside water. It’s a welcomed alternative to falling asleep at my desk or reaching for a piece of candy. Coffee, I can handle. Walking away from the pizza, I can handle. Saying, “no” to the cookies and the chips, and the candy, I can handle. It’s the sleeplessness, the aching joints, the wacky hormones threatening to drive me crazy… those are the things I can’t handle.

So, here’s to another Whole 30.

~that’s life… in no particular order

Chip on My Pretty Little Shoulder

I’m going to attempt to write this without any hesitation. No emotional edits. No disclaimers. I’m going to attempt to write it, really, with all my unfiltered thoughts and feelings pouring onto the page. Knowing me, ever the diplomat who is always sensitive to the effect of words, this will be quite the feat. And if you are reading this at all, it will most likely be an edited and emotionally correct version of my self*. Nevertheless… here we go.

I have heard, over and over again, the assertion that when a “fat girl” loses weight she develops a “chip on her shoulder”. As in, she suddenly thinks she is “too hot to handle”. And won’t give people, whom she would have “happily given a chance before”, the time of day. And she becomes, among more colorful words, “conceited”.

Soooo… by this estimation, I’m left to assume that it’s perfectly okay to be rejected because of my weight, but when that’s no longer an “issue”, I’m suddenly a hypocrite for having preferences? Of course you’re not shallow for only caring about my physical appearance, you’re just being honest. But heaven forbid I should express any of my “honest preferences” while my weight is “still an issue”! Obviously, I’m expected to accept whatever schlep is thrown my way.

image

The day I reached a PR on deadlifts (205lbs)

You see this woman – with her back fat, and her thighs that rub together, and her giggly midsection; this woman with her lungs about to collapse, who panics at the thought of running a mile and wants to cry in the face of burpees; this woman right here is the only one strong enough to fight for the woman you’ll claim to love later. If you don’t like her, if you can’t imagine yourself being attracted to her, how could you possibly love the one she’s building? The one only she is strong enough to become?

Why should I feel guilty for wanting to be with someone who’s adopting the same healthy lifestyle as I am? I’ve worked so hard to leave where I was, why would I want to be with someone who’s going to drag me back there. Lean or Not… Fat or Skinny, I don’t want to be with someone who’s not active. Someone who I have to drag to the gym kicking and screaming. Someone who’s “put off” by the thought of eating healthy. In the same way I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to serve in church. I want someone who finds those things just as important as I do so we can be working towards the same goals. It’s called being compatible! But if you want to call it a chip, tattoo it on my shoulder with permanent ink.

A friend asked me if I thought losing weight would change me. And the fact is, yes it does. It is. It continues to change me. This isn’t about replacing a few items on your plate. You have to go through so much. You have to give up so much. You have to accept so much. Of course it changes you. How could you possibly stay the same as your life morphs into something unknown?

Yes, you develop more confidence. You feel better about yourself. Your looks. Your abilities. But I’ve never really had an issue with being confident. If anything, I am often accused of being borderline intimidating because of my confidence. But even that has changed. Previously, I used my confidence as a heavy shield – to protect myself from the painful judgments caused by my weight. Now this confidence is morphing into an adorning accessory. It’s beautiful to wear, but I don’t need it to protect me anymore. And if that’s a chip, I’ll gladly wear it on my pretty little shoulder.

~that’s life… in no particular order

*This post has been sitting in my draft box since December 1, 2014… reviewed, reevaluated, and reconsidered multiple times… But never changed from my original thoughts and feelings.