Turning it Around

Over the past couple of months weight has crept on fueled by eating and drinking my way through anxiety and grief over another failed match and the inevitable march towards 40.

My biggest fear when I put on a few pounds is that people will think I'm pregnant since I tend to gain in the stomach area, and my pelvis is slightly tipped making a protruding belly all that much more obvious.  (I keep hoping that yoga will help with the pelvis tip, but given that I've had that posture since I started walking, I may not be able to reverse it).  Along with the pregnancy twitch I've got going on, I have my share of body issues due to the way my role models approach food (read: not healthy) and a lot of my self esteem is wrapped up in how I perceive I look. (vs. how others may perceive me).  Thankfully, I have enough self esteem that I never went all the way into eating disorder territory, but food still rules my mind in a way that I don't think it rules some of my friends.  I eat when I'm bored or sad: I love all the carbs, beer and wine.

It's funny how the weight creeps on slowly, while I find myself in deep denial (oh, I'm bloated, that pound and half will come off tomorrow) until the scale hits a number that I haven't seen in almost 10 years.  It's good that I maintain my weight within a few pounds for the most part and I don't often have to take a hard look at what I'm eating and why to keep myself in a relatively good state.  My relatively "good" state, however, is one where I'm constantly trying to lose 5 pounds.  I'm not ever content with what I look like and I have a feeling that when I look in the mirror, what I see is probably heavier than what everyone around me sees.  In a crowd of people, I fixate on the thin, in shape women and wonder what they do to maintain whatever size they are and I compare myself to them in my head.  "Do others see me like I see that woman or do they see me and think, yeah, she's ok, but she's a little thick".  Ok, well, not that commentary exactly, but you get my drift.  I have friends who seem to effortlessly maintain their thinness and who tend to be a size smaller than I am.  I have friends who stop eating when they get stressed instead of consuming sweet carby things  and I'm kind of jealous even thought that way isn't healthy either.  It's hard to accept that I don't have an easily maintainable weight, and that I constantly have to stay on top of it or it comes back lickety-split.  I try to exercise regularly, although some weeks, the only exercise I get are the two Jazze.rcise classes I teach and maybe one yoga class.  It's not enough to offset how I want to eat versus how I need to eat if I don't exercise.  I use online tracking and a heart rate monitor, but I'm really great at "accidentally" missing a day when I eat like crap.  And, if I may, just bitch for half a second on how 1200 calories a day is fucking impossible?  Apparently, that's what I'm supposed to eat if I don't exercise.  I can eat that by 2pm.  I know, I know, choosing low calorie, nutrient-dense foods is the way to feel satisfied without going over calories, blah blah blah.

Anyway, enough of the bitching already.  My clothes are tight, I hate my belly, I feel gross.  Time to do the things I know I have to do to turn it around.  So, I signed up for a 32-mile bike ride at the beginning of June.  S signed up for the 100-mile at the same festival (hahahahaha crazy person).  I'm on my road bike twice a week in addition to teaching and trying to get to yoga, and.....I wish I could say I feel great.

Which brings me to the amount of stress in my life.  At this moment in time I have more stress than ever, and every single day is anxiety-ridden with wondering if we will get a phone call and how I'll react to the news of another match.  Sure, I can breathe, I can go to yoga and try to find a place of stillness, I can get on my bike and push myself and I can teach a class in which I push it all aside and play happy-aerobics-instructor (it does make me happy to teach).  At some point, it's not enough and the body takes over.  Until this journey is resolved one way or another, I have a feeling that various health professionals are going to be busy trying to keep my body maintained in some kind of functional shape.