It is staggering to me how different it is to work out now. When I was last exercising this often (early 2007, before I started this blog) I was barely eating, my hair was falling out, and I got painful and intense headaches on a daily basis. My reason for pushing so hard was fueled 100% by my overwhelming self-hatred. I really and truly despised every facet of myself. I thought that if I could change my body, I could change who I was. Thankfully I found the fat-o-sphere in 2008 and thus began the slow and laborious process of accepting and ultimately loving myself for who I am and what I have to offer the world (including my love handles, lack of neck and abundance of belly).
Now that I'm more than a few years into this process (and yes, it is STILL a daily practice that I have to be deliberate about) my dripping sweat and sore muscles are fueled by my bursting love for myself and my desire to take good care of myself, which means different things on different days... today, it meant going balls to the wall on the elliptical. I went for 25 minutes, 82 calories burned, approximate distance: 4 miles. When I first started using the elliptical I covered the display because showing the calories burned was a bit triggering, but now it's interesting to me to see the connection between calories burned, distance, speed, pulse. Like... SCIENCE IS EXCITING. What I eat is fuel for my body and I can do badass things with that energy. And if what I eat is fuel, then what better way is there to celebrate my body after a workout than to whip up a snack!
This is what sounded amazingly delicious after blasting out those 25 minutes of hardcore sweating: 1 egg with a tsp of chopped basil, salsa, a touch of cream, sharp cheddar, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was going to be an omelet, but ended up as more of a scramble since I kind of suck at flipping. Having a healthy relationship with food can take a lot of work, especially with my history of dieting and disordered eating, but it feels SO GOOD.
Speaking of feeling good, my recent dive back into hardcore working out is mainly so I can beat my time last year on the Rhody Run, but the added benefit of feeling like a rockstar and having more energy is awesome and is what will keep me going after the 12k is over and done with. I'm enjoying the ride, that's for sure. I'm just crossing my fingers that I don't lose any of my ass in the process.
Further reading: Yes, Fat People Can (And Do!) Exercise
by Marianne Kirby for XOJANE
"In high school, I enjoyed playing tennis. Until it became clear that "tennis" was code for "thing to make you lose weight." My backhand didn't matter; my backside was all people cared about. Tennis stopped being fun really fast. In college, when I was 17, I started going to the gym and doing some strength training. Which was awesome -- I love feeling strong; lifting heavy things and putting them down again is actually really empowering to me. But my gym buddies quickly started speculating how long it would take me to lose how much weight -- the expectations weighed more than I did, by a long shot."