Picking my own brain

Ah, good ol’ delayed-onset muscle soreness, I’ve missed you! (Not really.) My legs are quite stiff today, which I expected, but it doesn’t make it any more fun. I like lifting and I love getting stronger, but the time in between hurts. I went back to the weight room today, to do upper body and core stuff, and hit it pretty hard. If I can trade off days of soreness between my upper and lower body, I’ll be okay with that!

I’ve been kicking around some ideas in my head lately, ideas that make me vaguely uneasy, so I need to take some time and write about them (and ask for feedback, too). After the race this week, I was pleased with my 3-minute improvement– I earned those 3 minutes. I trained hard. But I am acutely aware that there is another way to improve my time: I would need to lose weight.

(I’d wondered if all that running would lead to weight loss; it hasn’t. Which is okay– that’s not why I was training, after all. My body seems stable where it is, but I haven’t tried to change it, either.)

It is known that I hate races. Competition makes me weird. Finishing as the last runner on Monday was an ouchy data point on my psyche, and maybe I need to let that heal before making any choices.

I look in the mirror now, and for the most part I like what I see. I admire my curves and my muscles (I am totally guilty of flexing in mirrors). I bought a bikini for the summer, and it fits well and I think it looks great. Why do I want to change?

Maybe some things would be easier. Running would probably be easier. Maybe I would feel less conspicuous out in public. Facing legions of office ladies who want to congratulate me on weight loss would not be easier. (Seriously, that’s one of the things I dread. Weird!) But my only long-term weight loss was unintentional and tied to a pretty drastic life change; I don’t have any evidence that I’ll have success with pursuing it intentionally.

It says something about the amount of thin privilege I’ve gained that I might hope to aspire to more of it. I’m not in a place where I can reject it all; I have a bit. Just a bit. And I feel like I could have more, if I tried. But I’m not sure it’s worth it, or if it’s even possible.

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4 Responses to Picking my own brain

  1. gaayathri says:

    Thanks for being honest about this. I think It is reasonable and normal to want to claim more privilege than we have, it doesn’t make you a bad person. I guess you have to decide what is more important to you the principle or the privilege and no one else can make that decision, we all negotiate our own marginalisation. I would say that if you do decide to intentionally lose weight to think about the impact it may or may not have on your mental health.

    I don’t run so I can’t comment on performance related goals on that but in general being heavier will allow you to lift heavier weights than you would be able to if you were smaller so perhaps re-focusing on that could help.

    • G says:

      I would say that if you do decide to intentionally lose weight to think about the impact it may or may not have on your mental health.

      I think you raise a very important point here, and one that I forgot to include in my thought process. Thank you for reminding me of it! Dieting, and its associated implicit discomfort with/rejection of myself, was terrible for my mental health. If I do decide to go back down that road, I will have to really, honestly check in with people I trust about how I’m doing.

      Yes, good point. Thanks.

  2. Prashah says:

    I just discovered your blog and I have a feeling that I will visit many more times. I am just starting a Couch to 5K myself. I will be sharing via my blog. Hope you give me feedback along the way.

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