Today’s Happy Note: Perfect fall temperatures! I’m in love. The air is warm but also crisp, snappy but gentle.
Marathon Training: We had our first actual “class” of yoga today (I am taking Iyengar Yoga as a P.E. class). We did not do much at all — it is very, very basic. We spent the whole hour practicing standing with our feet spread apart and then doing Warrior II, Triangle, and Extended Side Angle. We finished with some easy bridges. I wouldn’t call it a workout, but it was a decent stretch that got my hips opening up. I did about 15 more minutes of stretching and abs afterwards, followed by an easy four mile run.
I didn’t feel awful on the run, but my left hip and hamstring were hurting. Again. I really don’t know what to do since it is so inconsistent. I think that stretching it out a lot helps a bit. I am praying that it is not present tomorrow for my hill run — running up hills with a hip/hamstring issue is especially hard. I was supposed to do 6×100 strides at the end of today’s run but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I made a lame attempt at doing two of them before realizing that my body just was not having any sort of speediness. It was probably the slowest run I have done in a long time; maybe 12-ish minute miles? The funny thing about this is that I didn’t judge myself for it. I just acknowledged that I was tired, my body/mind were a little off-kilter, and I was slowly but steadily ambling along. Just like that, I didn’t care. I’m proud of myself for that!
In other running-related news: I am ravenous. I am trying really hard to photograph everything because it is VERY useful for me to mentally keep track. I did well today minus several handfuls (about two servings) of TJs cat cookies, aka animal crackers for grown-ups.
I made an awesome fall feast for dinner!
We have half of a steamed delicata squash smothered in cinnamon, a pile of baked tofu (coated in TJ’s peanut vinaigrette, maple syrup, and ginger) and roasted carrots and okra (coated in EVOO, salt, and pepper). This is pretty much fall seasonal eating perfection. It was a pretty tasty (and easy!) meal. Yum.
Medical Stuff, Part II
So. Yesterday I talked about science and medicine and my body and how the intersections thereof can be a little bit inexplicable. Read that here. Thank you for all of your kind comments/emails! It is heartening to know I am not the only person in the world who has these subtle-but-also-overwhelming problems.
Today I kind of want to look at the issue(s) from a psychological/mental health standpoint.
I have always equated being overweight with moral failure. I never accepted the fact that, for some individuals, there might be other factors at play. Until it happened to me.
Here I am, 10-15 pounds too heavy. For me, losing a pound is an uphill battle. Fought with medieval instruments. While blindfolded. And standing on my head. Okay, you get the picture — it is harder than it should be. Once my body acquires a pound, that pound is not going to leave without a serious fight. Usually, I just end up psychically wounded and the pound(s) stay(s).
I am so tremendously tired of this. But here’s the thing: I accept that there are processes happening in my body right now that are beyond my control. Even if there were factors totally within my control (for example, if I were doing serious emotional eating — I’m not, but you get the point), it doesn’t matter: the point is that this emotional battle with my body, at this moment in time, needs to end.
I think that within a few months, possibly after I get things sorted out with endocrinology and gynecology, or after the marathon, my body just might settle back into its natural happy weight on its own (for me this happens to be between 145-155 pounds; I have a medium-sized frame and a fair amount of muscle).
The most important thing for me, in this moment, has nothing to do with science or medicine or numbers of pounds or calories. It has to do with stopping the judgement and the self-hatred. Being overweight (ever so slightly) is not a moral failure for me, or for anyone else. I believe that different people actually have different sizes at which they are healthy. For me, this size happens to be at the upper end of “normal.” For some, this might be a bit above “normal.” L was telling me last week how the BMI scale isn’t necessarily considered perfectly accurate or all-encompasing anymore anyways. I would venture to guess that I am more healthy than a woman who eats mostly processed foods and sits on the couch all day but is at a “normal” weight. I run ultramarathons, for Christ’s sake.
Kate wrote a lovely post today that really resonated with me, about disordered eating and body-consciousness. Unfortunately, for many women, these are all-consuming things. That has certainly been the case for me. I am not sure I understand why. Do I think that I will be a more perfect woman if I weigh 145 pounds versus 165 pounds? Will I become more caring, compassionate, creative, prolific, loving? I would hazard to guess that the answer is an emphatic “no.” I am Caronae, no matter what I weigh. I have an essence beyond my body. Kate said the following, in describing the hatred, the disordered eating, the obsession that happens to so many women in our society:
“If you don’t understand, it can’t be explained to you.”
So perfect. So true. It’s like a club — a club that, sadly, most women are members of.
That was so hard for me to say. That there is something about me that has nothing to do with my body. Think about all the things I could be accomplishing if all my physical concerns went away. I’m going to say it again.
There is something about me, something uniquely Caronae-ish, that has nothing to do with my body, whatever my weight may be. I accept the chaos that is happening inside and outside of me right now. I accept the stress, the confusing medication regimen, the grueling running schedule, my way of eating, my fucked-up homrones. I accept all of that. I accept it because I know that I am something more than that. I might not be exactly sure what this “essence of Caronae” is, but I know, in my heart that it exists. That she exists.