September 9, 2012

All of the Ugly Details

Not really much new news on the roller skating fashion front. What I have is that everyone agrees that I should wear a helmet and knee pads. No info as far as clothes go. I will keep working on it. I did see a woman roller skating with a partner who was on a bike a few nights ago. She was serious, heart rate monitor strapped around her chest and all. She was wearing black running shorts (the loose kind) and a tank top. I'm just not sure the world is ready for me in running shorts. I know that there are women in worse shape than me heading out to the grocery store in tiny running shorts, I apparently have more self respect than they do.

This is not exactly what I wanted to write about.

Growing up, I always thought of myself as strong and I was proud of my body for that reason. I didn't always have good feelings about the way it looked, but I could easily move furniture, carry bales of hay, or unload a truck of fifty pound feed bags with no issue. My mom and sister once helped us move, and while we were loading the truck she turned to Mr. A and said, "Those girls are freakishly strong, aren't they?" I loved it.

I was in the best shape after I returned to Austin and went back to school. My Senior year I was working two jobs, one of them as a waitress, and I was walking all over campus as fast as I could to get to tightly scheduled classes. I didn't have time or money to go out and drink or eat fast food. Near the end of my Senior year, I moved into  a neighborhood where everything was within walking distance, even work, but I cut down to one boring office job. I gained a little weight. Once I left that job, I was able to take yoga once a week in the gym at work and occasionally I would add in an extra workout. We still lived in the same neighborhood, I was making more money. We could afford to eat out more, we could go out more. We still walked quite a bit, but I gained a little bit more. We got engaged, and once I started thinking about dresses I decided it was time to loose weight. I had made it up to a size 14 from a size 10 in just a couple of years. I went on Weight Watchers, walked 30 minutes everyday with Lauren. Got back down to a 10 again, I was happy. Just before we got married, I was hired into a new position at work. I had unlimited overtime available, and had to use it every week. We were so busy all of the time, and I never caught up. For two years I tried to be the employee they needed me to and I couldn't handle the pace. I don't do well not being good at something. I quit going to yoga on Mondays, I no longer had a daily walk. I was making more money that I ever have, and we ate out or ordered pizza even more, because I usually came home exhausted. I drank regularly after work to try and smooth out my day before bed. I hated so much of my life.

That is what I quit. I was an auto insurance claims adjuster, working in a centralized office. All of my claims were handled over the phone and Internet. I spent eight hours everyday wallowing in negativity. Having to tell people something was their fault, getting yelled at for 1,000 different reasons, usually, none of them my fault, and never catching up. Once every couple of weeks I would help someone and they would genuinely thank me, but it was not enough to make it worthwhile. My happiness is worth more than they were paying me, though they paycheck was very nice.

I am a size 14 again. I recently (finally) changed my name, and at the DMV I told them the truth when they asked for my weight, 180 lbs. I am not strong. There is nothing firm about me. I hate getting dressed.

I recently read Lady Chatterley's Lover, and in it, Connie states that her body has gone "meaningless" with disuse. Though the type of "use" differs, the point resonated with me. What is the point of being in my body if not to use it?

 I am using my body again. I started back into my yoga practice, after a year long break. I am currently working on the Yoga Journal 21 Day Challenge, and I have started getting at least 30 minutes of other activity everyday. A couple of days we walked to the library, one day we rode our bikes, later today we'll be taking Emma to a nearby park for a walk. I haven't made any major modifications to my diet yet, but it will likely follow. Right now I am just focusing on my body, and enjoying the subtle soreness that comes from regular use. It's like a creaking hinge - not impeding movement, but quiet, noticeable. I want this to continue. I want it to be one of the positive changes that comes out of me deciding to take control of my life and happiness.


Ellie said...

Hooray! I did exactly what you did-- went from a 10 to a 14 in a couple of years. Reading "I hate getting dressed" made a flashing neon sign ("ME TOO") go off in my head. What I hate is the feeling of being out of control of it-- my body just happens around me. Good for you for starting to use it again! We swim 3x/week (just a half mile but it's better than nothing) and I walk to the store every day but it doesn't seem to be enough for me, probably because I in no way watch my calorie intake. Because who loves Manhattans and has two weirdly-shaped thumbs? This girl. Sigh. Anyway, you inspired me this morning so thanks for that!

The Q said...

I'm glad I could inspire you. It turns out, the feeling of our bodies "just happening around us" is pretty common. I have not started watching my calories yet, but I think about it every time I grab a beer or figure out how to fix my sweets craving. It is most sad when I'm craving sweets RIGHT AFTER eating an apple.