The running continues to delight, amaze and frustrate me. I feel SO GOOD after I'm done with a run, but man, the progress is painfully slow. Today I ran laps around the city water supply up at Mt. Tabor, which sounds dull, but honestly, this is Portland:
I'm having a hard time getting my speed up when I run outside and it's starting to piss me off. On the treadmill, I'm doing 9 or 10-minutes miles, but outside, it's 11 minutes or more. I really want that fucking tattoo! And yet the 8-minute mile goal seems just as far away as ever. Sometimes I wish I had a coach barking at me to go faster, but the truth is I have never been in better shape than I am right now. I have never run more than one mile without wanting to die. Today I ran over four miles straight, stopping only for a fraction of a second to adjust my sock so I wouldn't get a(nother) blister. I couldn't even do that as a teenager.
Which reminds me how I need to write about the box of old photos and journals my sister gave me. The photos were somewhat life-changing and I plan to dedicate a whole post to how they made me feel, but inside the box I also found the original cheer leading uniform my mother made for me when I was TWELVE.
Which is insane. Especially since this body still feels so foreign to me. It's stronger. It goes faster. It's bendy! It has better orgasms and wears smaller clothes. But I still have no idea how much space it takes up. I just feel like ME. Not that I haven't been thinking about body size lately, especially since my little sister and I broke up over my inability to fully embrace the Fat Acceptance Movement. I LOVE the idea of body acceptance at any size and I'm proud of her for the way she has learned to love her body, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me I was even remotely healthy at 310 pounds. I was out of control. I played video games all day and ate fast food all night. Even walking was painful. I was miserable, but not because of how I looked. It was always about how I FELT and how being obese limited my ability to do normal things. Like conceive children. Or wipe my ass in a public restroom.
Now that I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum, it still isn't about how I look. I would have been perfectly happy to be a size 14 for the rest of my life and I never would have known the difference. But now I apparently have something called "thin privilege," which I agree, I do. It kind of annoys me, to be honest. Sure my inner fat girl loves being accepted as "normal," but my inner feminist wants to punch a bitch every time she (or he) tells me I look skinny.
The more I think about it, though, the more I think the real me, the one who is neither feminist nor fat girl, woke up this morning, put her running shoes on and KICKED SOME ASS. When I got home, I ate fresh berries with greek yogurt and a spoonful of crunchy organic peanut butter. My "diet" is the opposite of restrictive; in fact, it has never been more colorful. Running does this amazing thing where I can eat pretty much anything I want and still maintain my weight (food insurance, as my friend Donna puts it), but it turns out I only WANT to eat foods that make me feel good.
I no longer receive any kind of emotional gratification from food.
I eat because I need to. I only think about food while I'm eating it (or shopping/meal planning/cooking for other people). Food is fuel - delicious, delicious fuel - and it's my body that tells me when I need it, not my brain.
I'm not gonna lie - it's pretty rad. I never knew my body could feel like this and I never want to go back to the days of thinking about food 24-7. I'm not all the way there yet (caffeine and booze much?), but I feel like I'm really learning to take care of my body and in return, my body is taking care of me and my crazy, crazy brain.
This obviously hasn't been the path of least resistance. It took, and continues to take, some difficult decisions. So, much to the Fat Activism Movement's dismay, I feel strongly that if being this size affords me any privilege, it has only been earned through sweat and tears (and lots and lots of therapy). I should not have to apologize for it. Big or small, no one should have to apologize for their size.