While I would never count down hours to a time I don't get to be with my family, I will count the hours down until I can feel the rush of adrenaline and excitement I get from a hard workout...especially one that I enjoy so much. I don't get that from swimming or walking or jogging. They are all what I consider my relaxation workouts. I still work up a pretty good sweat from walking/jogging, and I can get some pretty good soreness from swimming - neither are as thrilling. They help me clear my mind and give me some alone time, but apparently I am becoming a fan of team sports.
I guess you could say that I'm a bit of a warrior.
I crave exercise that is challenging, but also competitive. I like to compete. I like to feel victorious. I like to be a part of a team. It makes me feel strong, capable, and determined. It gives me motivation to keep pushing because I don't want to let my team down. Regardless of whether my team is made up of people my age or kids that just tower over me.
Friday, I have to admit, I felt pretty darned good about myself. I felt good that I'd been able to keep up with those crazy kids...and it empowered me a little. For years, I've been telling myself that I didn't want to be a fat teacher because I wanted to be able to run around and play with my students. To still be fat and still get out there and run and play is a pretty good feeling. Of course, being less fat would make it feel a lot better - I'm sure. Which is probably why it's motivated me so much to keep working so that by this time next year, I'll be back in summer school running circles around those kids.
It's also given me a bit of a self-confidence boost. In the sense that I don't feel as self conscious about the fact that nobody wants to watch a 250+lb woman running around a playground. If any of those kids were making fun of me or calling me names or laughing at me, they did a darned good job of keeping it from me. Because all I felt while I was out there with them was support and encouragement - and maybe a little shock because I was able to do what I was doing.
Which is why, this weekend, I decided it was time for a new look. Something to go along with the feelings I'd been having on the inside about how much better I was feeling about myself.
Friday evening, I took this picture...
You see my hair in that pic? It's in a pony tail. Which is where it has stayed since it's been long enough to put in a pony tail. Every day, I brush it and throw it in a pony tail. Nothing else. I just can't be bothered to do anything with it. So, I decided it was time for this...
Yep. Short. Which is just how I love my hair. Except for the fact that every time I get my hair cut short - I end up not really liking it, because it makes my face look fatter. This time? I LOVE IT! I actually think it makes my face look less fat. Just take a look at the two pictures. Both taken within 24 hours of each other, but I think my face looks thinner with the haircut than without.
You'll also notice in that picture that I'm sporting a dress. Nice tan lines, right? HA! Yeah, that's something I haven't done in a while... wear a dress, I mean. Not one that shows that much skin, anyway.
I think it's truly amazing what a bit of exercise can do for a person. I've stood on the scale since last Wednesday, and I've lost a tiny bit.. but still not that much. But regardless of what the scale says, I can already feel my body starting to change. Not in a physical sense, just yet, but definitely in the sense that it enjoys being pushed to the limit. It enjoys being bashed and bruised just a little. It definitely prefers feeling sore than feeling dormant.
Only one week ago, I was the woman that did everything in her power to cover the body that I've grown to despise. Baggy shorts. Baggy t-shirts. Especially if I was out in public.
While a week later, I'm not parading myself around in scanty, barely cover anything clothing, I'm also stepping out of my comfort zone just a little by wearing tank tops and dresses like the one in the picture (which, by the way, is actually a calf length maxi-type dress).
I planned on writing this post yesterday. But, to be honest, I was having a little inner conflict with myself. I kept trying to convince myself that what I was feeling was stupid. How on earth could I feel better about myself after only a week? Is it really healthy to start feeling better about myself so fast? Did that mean that I was going to be OK with staying the way I am, and just learning to love the body that I'm in being that I'm already starting to feel better about myself?
And you know what I realized this morning?
This sudden change in me isn't causing me to start loving and accepting the body I have...it's making me more determined than ever to get my body to match my inner athlete. That was the real wake up call. I have an athlete inside of me. Not just someone that wants to be more fit and thinner. I want to feel the sculpt of muscles on my arms and legs. I don't want a stomach that bounces around while I'm running and jumping around. I want to look in the mirror and not see a beautiful woman, I want to see a strong and powerful woman.
I feel her. I just don't see her. Yet.
I'm terrified that I only have a week left to feel the feelings I've been having for the past week. What's next? What do I do when my teams are gone and I'm left alone to try and motivate myself to continue the adrenaline rush?
Well, I haven't quite figured that out completely just yet. But, I don't see any reason why the kids and I can't go outside for an evening game of basketball or volleyball or even frisbee football. My friend Cathy made the suggestion about trying boot camp again during the month I'm off. Something to look in to. If not that, I'm sure there has to be other things I can look in to. There has to be. And, if nothing else, I may have to up the ante on my getting back to running so that I can start competing in races or athletic charity events.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself... but I really need to. If I've learned anything about myself, it's that the desire to be thin just isn't enough to motivate me to do it. The desire to be fit and a person that can take a few risks and compete with others does motivate me. That feeling is what charges me and gets me all fired up.
And I just can't lose that once this week is over. I just can't. I'm starting to remember just how felt those few years ago when I was doing things I never thought my body was capable of doing. And I can't forget it again.
So, this week, I move forward with the fierce attitude...and am determined to keep it with me.
I know I have an athlete inside of me. And she's dying to be set free. Now it's time to break her out of her fat prison and let her lose on the world!
Till next time...
a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman