God help me, I went for a run this morning.
I HATE running. I hate exercise in general. The outdoors and I do not get along, unless I'm floating in water somewhere with a frozen boozy beverage awaiting me on the lanai. Those who know me (and let's face it, you're probably not reading this if you don't know me), know that I am not a fan of exertion.
And yet. AND YET. I RAN.
And I actually ran-ran, all the way to the end of my street (maybe 1/2 mile?), walked back up the hill a bit because let's not go too crazy here people, and then RAN AGAIN to the park and around the loop.
Why, you ask? My friend Kari posted this article from Runners World this am. And damn if Mirna Valerio's story isn't going to a light a fire a hell of a lot more than some bullshit thinspo on Pinterest. I will be following her blog, Fat Girl Running from now on, for damn sure.
It's not just because I'm going to turn 40 this year, though that's part of it. My family history of diabetes and weight struggles doesn't help my natural inclination to laze about. I've struggled with my weight for pretty much my entire life, and my natural inclination is to gain weight, not lose it. While diet can control a lot of it for me, at almost-40 I'm far far less likely to subsist on sugar free jello, cool whip free, and popcorn, they way I did when I was at my skinniest.
And the almost-40 part is actually a boon, because I am far more comfortable in my own skin than I ever was when I was younger. Despite always being outwardly relatively self-confident (except, ugh, teenage years), 20 years ago I would have been MORTIFIED to go out and exercise where people could SEE me. Because yet another fat girl sweating in public, taking up space, daring to do what the THIN girls do. (Not really, but you see the thought process).
I still don't believe the platitude that "no, no one's watching you, really!" because that's bullshit. Bullshit spread by the non-fat and parents of self conscious teenagers. People ARE looking. And yeah, some are judging. It's one thing a big girl learns early: people watch the big girls, people judge the big girls, and people feel free to share their comments on you.
But the biggest difference is that now? I got zero fucks to give y'all. Want a show, looky loos? I GOT ONE RIGHT HERE. MY FACE VS. A BEET: CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?
I will say, a decent outfit helps. A decent outfit being not cocooning myself in heavy, stretched out shitty cotton. I mean, a solid sports bra is a literal requirement, but the rest of the gear helps too. So now I had:
- a good sports bra that comes in my size (F, by the way. Good luck finding that at Sports Authority, fuckers.) I've since bought two, in case they discontinue it. I am paranoid.
- athletic leggings that weren't a vain attempt of let's-hide-the-big-girl-in-a-sack (P.S. Decent plus size workout wear options are few and far between. Don't even get me started on attempting to find tennis whites not in size XS. I'm damn lucky I have no ass and can fit into Athleta's XL pants).
- a pair of running sneakers that were wide enough not to make my feet get pins and needles after 15 minutes of torturing them.
And the capper? It wasn't eleventy billion degrees and sweltering outside.
I mean, it still took me over an hour to prep for what wound up being 40 minutes outside (I count my stopping for food after as well), cause I had to find my ipod, charge my ipod, fiddle with the playlist and delete some weird shit I'd put on there, sync my ipod, decide maybe to listen to a podcast instead?, download a bunch of podcasts, revise that plan, and tweak the playlist some more (I confused that Budapest song with Barcelona, and realized it just in time but couldn't think of Budapest, so was like, hm Euro city with a B.... Belfast? Belgrade? Then I figured it out.). Then which water bottle to bring? (note: carrying a water bottle while running hurts my shoulders but I need to drink the water so I don't pass out and die on the curb. Solutions, runner friends?)
Now I'm drinking green juice (what, I like celery and cucumber!), sweaty and gross after a run, outside, in SUNLIGHT. I'm even debating another tennis lesson.
Jesus, I don't even know who I am anymore.