Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Fatwakening Part I: Learning to Bar

A little over two years ago, I looked in the mirror—really looked—and went, ok. It's time. I mean, wow, congratulations, me. I'd actually reached a point where I both looked and felt like shit.

Everyone's body is different, but personally I had reached a point that wasn't working for me anymore. 

Admittedly unflattering dress on the left, but hey I sewed it myself

The first scary size milestone I hit was easy to reason away: relationship honeymoon, work stress, accepting the "real me" (whatever that means, since this new person was unfamiliar to everyone in my life, including myself). But then even those clothes started getting tight. I was staring down the barrel at a size that I was definitely not, under any circumstances, okay with.

I dreaded seeing new pictures of myself. My friend's wedding was coming up and I was really not in the mood to be the token fat chick. I felt uncomfortable most of the time, and mealtimes were a confusingly bright/horrible time when I ate whatever I wanted—and only stopped when I felt sick.

What I needed was a workout. A workout that I would actually do.

I know myself well enough to admit that, while I'd played field hockey and water polo in high school, I would absolutely never take myself to the gym often enough to make an impact. Why run when you can, you know... not?

I found a barre studio near work with wonderful teachers and a community of women who treated it like therapy. And so The Bar Method was the first real step.

Spoiler alert: "after"

After a few months of regular Bar Method—waking up at 6:25am to get to the 7:30 class, trudging past chipper construction workers and lugging bags of makeup and clothes to-and-from work a few times a week—I felt strong. My posture improved. I was better, right guys? Guys?

I certainly felt better. But my body didn't really reflect any of it. The women in my classes had long, slim limbs and beautifully toned torsos and I didn't. I was furious with myself. I knew under layers and layers (and layers) of chub, I was hiding so much hard work.

My family is active and revels in eating healthfully. My fiancé lost a significant amount of weight himself in college. I had all the resources to change the way I ate. Why couldn't I do it?

"Just stop eating so much," you say, and looking back on it, of course it's that easy. But when you're in it, it truly does feel like an impossible, insurmountable task. Every day is a series of choices that set you up for failure. When you're tired, or sad, or stressed or really happy, it's HAARD to pick salads or ancient grains or whatever the fuck over an enormous bowl of pad thai.

So as the (very lapsed) Catholic I am, I decided to try something with rigid structure and penalties: Weight Watchers.

To be continued...

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