Back in the day I was an athlete. I ran track and cross country for a few years and played varsity soccer. I never ventured above 115 lbs despite eating or drinking whatever I pleased. I was active year-round, and I was that bitch in gym class who smirked when other girls in the class couldn't run a mile without walking some of the way. I was the first girl picked by the boys when split into teams, because even though I was largely crap at everything but track-related things and soccer, I was at least able to keep up and wasn't afraid of catching a ball.
Oh, how times have changed. At 19, everything spiralled out of control and before you could say "polycystic ovarian syndrome" I found myself much larger and significantly less fit. Or, shall we say, not fit in the least. I subsisted on junk food and soda, and never bothered to exercise anymore. A closet full of fabulous, largely vintage size 2 clothing sat forlornly next to my new chosen wardrobe of bland tops and dull pants from Old Navy. There was nothing to show off anymore, so I saw no point in dressing up what should be hidden away.
Since that initial weight gain 10 years ago, I've existed in a state of self-loathing. I wouldn't dare have The Dude see me naked in a non-lying down position. At least when I'm laying down the flabbiest bits look slightly less evident. I can think of only a few pictures that I've allowed to be taken of myself in this period, as viewing of the end product makes me ill. I don't even see a hint of the person I used to be.
I know the obvious thing is to exercise. Of course. However, I've developed a sort of fat girl agoraphobia and have struggled greatly with the idea of being seen out in public exercising. I convince myself that everyone I pass will be laughing to themselves, wondering why this chubby woman even bothers. I have big boobs as well, so I'm self-concious of how they look when running, as well as my posture as a result. One of my fears is looking unathletic, which I know is strange given that it would be difficult for me to look any less athletic if I tried, but I still see that ghost of my past self sometimes and I know I have betrayed myself greatly by letting her drift away irretrievably.
I thought there was a new dawn a few weeks ago. For the first time since I began to repulse myself, I got up the motivation to go running. I waited until 9pm when I thought few people would be about, and I went out. I walked and ran (largely walked) for 3 1/2 miles, and did so three more times during the next week. I felt fantastic, a combination of the mental images of my new and long-hidden body and the concept that pushing myself to the limit physically was a great method of punishing myself. Disturbingly, I liked the fact that I felt exhausted and sick. It made me feel like I was finally getting what I deserved for letting myself become this way.
I once mentioned on here that I have been a serial near-cutter, which is so overly dramatic I feel guilty even saying it. At low points in the past decade I have been compelled to hurt myself in this way, as I was convinced the physical pain would help release, or at least balance out my emotional pain. Exercising was my new way of attempting that balance without being self-injurious.
However...because there is always a however, this plan has already been scuppered. I have developed extraordinarily painful shin splints and knee pain which inhibit even walking and going up and down our stairs, let alone running. When it first happened I took two weeks off to rest my legs, and also bought brand new insoles with arch support for my return to running. I went out last night, made it about a mile, and could then do no more. Today, I can't take more than a few steps without pain shooting up my legs.
During that mile last night, I felt reinvigorated. I was pleased with myself that I could do this again, and I knew that my dedication would remain. Until. Until. I worry that I have waited too long, and perhaps I am too big, thus putting too much weight on my poor fragile knees. If I can't run, which is painful enough of an idea in itself, what can I do so that I'm no longer this disgusting, gelatinous disappointment? I'm sure my GP would recommend walking, but PCOS means that I'd have to walk about 40 miles a fucking day just to lose a pound a week. Besides, I walk everywhere all the time anyway and it hasn't diminished the Pipgut, shrunken my boobs, or narrowed my face. Swimming is a no-no, once again due to PCOS - children would run screaming from this body in a swimsuit, nor can I bother keeping up the hair maintenence that would be required to be in a swimsuit.
My goal was to lose weight before I went to the States. We are having a big first birthday party for P. and I wanted to be able to be in the pictures. I don't want her to look back on her childhood photos someday and notice that I am absent from most of them. Conversely, I don't even like thinking of myself being photographed at the party, forever documented as the frumpy blob I have become, so far away from that girl who used to be.