Friday, August 31, 2012

If you were hot...

A few months ago I was doing a haircut at work while the guy and I chatted. The conversation hit on a few topics that seem to be what men enjoy most about me: my sense of humor (Goofy. I am a dork.), my favorite movies (Classic 80s, action flicks, comedies, superhero movies.), my favorite shows (Burn Notice, Big Bang Theory, etc.), and my nerdiness/geekiness (I have a NES, SNES and GameCube in my bedroom and a Wii downstairs. My dresser displays my bobble-head collection of Elvis Presley, Batman, Darth Vader, C3PO, Spider-Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Spock, Dr. McCoy and Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory.)

Basically I have the tastes of a 13-year-old boy mashed with the tastes of an 18-year-old girl. (My 6' poster of Marilyn Monroe is pinned on the wall near the bobble-head dolls.)

The guy said, "You're awesome! Man, if you were hot you'd make the best girlfriend."
I responded, "I know, right?"

I have no hatred for my body (as having 1,442 pictures of me on my FB profile my attest). Watching as many weight-loss shows as I do, it is obvious to me this is uncommon. I should be staring in the mirror while sobbing. I should hide in large shirts. I should live in sweat pants.
I love my long legs; 40" of muscle, fat, cellulite and excess fluid. Don't care about that, I LOVE THEM. I live in dresses that emphasize an empire waist. I am not delusional, I dress for the shape I am. I just don't hate myself for my body. Hating yourself is such a waste of your time.

I am really good at dieting. Really good. I can out-diet you any day. Only vegetables all day long? Great, hand me a head of cauliflower. I can out-willpower anyone.

I like to think logically, I like things to just make sense. I also have an obsessive personality. I will get stuck on one idea and suddenly my entire day revolves around it. Which is why temporary willpower isn't an issue. It is all about calories in vs. calories burned? Great, I will just not eat and will work out 2-3 hours a day. If food is the problem and exercise is the solution, it just makes sense.

I know that isn't the right thing to do. But sometimes it just MAKES SENSE. Or it did in 2005 when that is exactly what I did.
Although it was stupid and messed me up internally, eating almost nothing (30-300 calories) and working out at least an hour a day taught me some things:
It is possible for food to have no power over me. I don't need it to be happy. I don't need it to cure boredom. I don't need mass quantities to quell a craving.

I like the post-workout exhaustion. I genuinely enjoy being active. When I am alone I am usually dancing around the house. Bad, bad dancing. Horrible dancing. Would-never-do-this-in-public dancing. (Which is really the best kind.)
Every six or so months I will refocus my efforts on some sort of diet. I will succeed for a while. I am amazing at dieting for short amounts of time. When people say they need to lose 5 lbs I think, "Psh, that is easy. I could do that next week." Because I CAN. I am big enough that losing 5 lbs is as easy as just not eating a ton for a few days. Of course, results like that can't last; stop trying and it will come right back.

So. Um...yeah. My whole point:

I lost what, 35? 38? lbs last summer. Then I stopped trying and went on a cruise for 2 weeks then vacationed in Italy for a week. I am glad to say I never gained all of it back. I have never touched my highest weight since the one time. However, I definitely gained a huge percentage of it back. I lost the tighter jawline (my favorite physical manifestation of weight loss).

Anyway... Every time I have refocused my efforts it has been with a numbers/looks-specific goal. Lose lbs, lose them quickly. Get the jawline, fit the clothes, etc.

Until July 19th. In The Dark Knight Rises Anne Hathaway (that was a lot of capitalization) flips, kicks, twirls, punches and is just awesomely strong. While watching the movie I had the thought of something like "That is so awesome, it sucks I will never be that strong."


It is important to note that I have freakish self-confidence. I am not usually negative about myself to myself. I think I am waaaay more [insert adjective here] than I am. (I have a grasp on reality, though. I think one way, but don't think anyone else will probably think it. I have confidence in my awesomeness, not in your thinking I'm awesome.)

So the thought surprised me. What are you talking about, me not being strong?! Of course I'm strong! Of course I could totally do that back flip into a leg sweep!


You kidding me? Sometimes getting back into a standing position after sitting on the floor is the hardest thing I do all day because I have messed up knees and am carrying an extra hundred pounds on my frame.
No, no I could not do that flip right now. Nope. Not at all.

The more I thought about it the more it upset me. I am a 5'10" 28-year-old with an hourglass figure, fantastic lips and Kate Middleton hair when I actually spend a few minutes on it. Why am I spending my 20's being exhausted? Unable to be active because I get tired quickly? Unable to run because they don't make full-body sports bras, the swelling in my legs (and subsequent sexy cankles) from standing all day has created a pinched nerve in my left foot, my left knee slips in its socket and my exercise-induced asthma leaves me wheezing.

People talk about when "it clicked" for them. Sometimes it is a picture, sometimes it is a comment someone makes.
Catwoman made it click for me.

I have no interest in dieting. I have no interest in trying to restrict myself from things. I have no interest in feeling deprived.

I do have an interest in being my best me.

I have an interest in feeding my body real foods for the purpose of nourishment rather than entertainment.
I have an interest in living a healthy lifestyle.
I have an interest in being STRONG.

If it takes a few years, so be it. If I am trying to be good to myself every day then I don't care how long it takes to reach my best. (Though if it could happen next week, that'd be great. I have some outfits I'd like to buy before the weather cools.)

I have dubbed this venture "HOT BY 30"

I have never been a small person. Ok, I take that back. I was a small person when I was born. Since then I have been pushing "above-average", being among the tallest in class, but never being gangly. Despite hitting 5'7" while still in elementary school I never was "all limbs", I was all curves. I still am all curves. Very curvy sort of curves.

Because of this, I have no idea what my shape potential is. I have no idea if I can be "slim". (It is hard to imagine that, honestly.)
But I know I can be strong. I have amazing potential for strength.


showing off my brand new mug full of Sprite at 7 or 8
 between my big sisters, age 9
 with Grandpa

 About 12-years-old, with friends my same age
 About 14-years-old, looking angry at Monticello
 9th grade (with Amy)
 in the ocean at 16-years-old
 all legs in 2005, 20-years-old
 40" legs in England in 2005

 with all of my siblings, 2010 (don't ask about the whole grabbing-my-sister's-thigh thing, haha)
 Tall and leggy in Turkey in 2011


Meridith said...

I may have teared up just a little bit. You go, girl.

Sarah C. said...

If I murdered that dude who said that to you, would that be an inappropriate response? Because I'd be willing.