Once Upon a Fat Girl

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reclaiming My Inner-athlete

Once I was an athlete. I was a swimmer, a runner, a soccer player. I rode my bike two miles each way to school everyday, and then to swim practice. I swam four hours a day year round. I ran ten miles a day in training for cross-country track. I went to summer basketball camp, and played on a neighborhood soccer team.

Even then, I thought I was fat, because I weighed 160 pounds (at 5'9") when all my friends, my sisters and my step-mother weighed less.

I wore a size 8. I had one tiny handful of fat on my belly if I laid on my side. When I laid on my back, my stomach was completely flat. I wore a size 36B bra. I wear a 46D now.

I hated my body. But I loved what it could do. I loved to push myself and I loved that feeling of exhaustion that comes from using your body. Feeling all my muscles, knowing they've been worked. That was something I loved, once upon a time.

Now exercise hurts so much, I avoid it. When I walk, my hands get this weird swollen feeling, and I get a pain in my right leg. My back hurts. My heart hurts, too, because I am so very, very concious of my body when I exercise.

I can only swim two lengths of an Olympic-sized pool without feeling like I'm going to drown. When I was seventeen I swam twenty lengths as warm-up.

I can only walk 30 minutes at 3 miles an hour before my body hurts so much I'm in tears. When I was seventeen I ran ten miles five days a week.

What have I done to myself?

I'll never be seventeen again. But damn it, I don't have to feel like 100. I can have my energy back. I can enjoy moving and using my body again.

I can get back to the point where I loved riding my Beach Cruiser, and where swimming was a challenge, not a near-death experience. I can remember how much I love basketball and how running used to make me feel like I was flying.

I've been concentrating on making sure that I cut 500 calories a day from my diet. I'm not dieting. I'm just trying to eat more healthfully. And the cutting 500 calories a day thing is working well. I'm actually cutting much more than 500.

I've spent the last year convinced that I had some sort of thyroid dysfunction that was making it impossible for me to lose weight.

Then I went on Calorie King and started keeping track of my calories.

Seems simplistic...a lower-calorie approach to weight loss? No carb or fat counting? No celebrity endorsements?

But I realized that while I was whining, I was eating...nearly 4000 calories a day.

Cutting down to 2000 was HELL for the first two weeks. I was eating half what I ate before. It felt like torture.

I don't feel tortured anymore.


Blogger Jen said...

Know what? You are absolutely RIGHT. You can get back there. You can. You might have to take it slow for a bit...but slow and steady wins the race. You'll do it.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Living to Feel Good said...

I agree with Jen! You are doing so great so far! You are acknowledging what needs to be done, how to do it, and that you really want to do it. Those are all winning recipes for weight loss! Once upon... indeed!! :)

9:44 PM  
Blogger Living to Feel Good said...

Hey congrats on the loss!!! Woohooo! I think she looks DAMN good at 150!! You are tall!! Again that is a great loss!! Congrats!!! :)

11:24 PM  
Blogger Purl_Princess said...

Wow great post - and great attitude!

6:14 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Guess what? In absolutely NO time, you'll be progressing towards that athlete inside you at the speed of light. Just look back in 2, even 3 weeks. What you'll be able to do then compared to now will be AMAZING! Just keep going, one step at a time. As for your not "dieting" - that's the best attitude! It's all about health - and that's why you'll sustain this for the rest of your life.

7:48 AM  

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