Dysmorphia.February 22, 2011 at 9:53 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), My life | 17 Comments
I didn’t run this morning.
Because I was out until nearly midnight last night at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
And because sitting through three hours of movies isn’t conducive to staying well-hydrated, I woke up really THIRSTY this morning.
I didn’t run, and I am okay with it. I’ll swim tomorrow to make up for it, and do my usual run on Thursday morning.
But as I was getting ready to take a shower, I opened my latest runner’s magazine.
And came across a column with a quote that rang so true, I wanted to seek out the author and kiss him on the mouth.
If you’ve ever been fat, you will either be fat for the rest of your life, or you will worry about being fat for the rest of your life.
I was, in fact, a fat teenager.
There aren’t many pictures of me from those days, because I refused to be in pictures. But I vividly remember, when I DID have to be in pictures, sticking my chin out, elongating my neck, so maybe you couldn’t see the double chins.
I used to wear men’s jeans, oversized flannel shirts and sweatshirts, and a baseball hat over my long hair.
I used to look only in the bathroom mirror, which showed me from my shoulders up.
I did my best to hide my body from everyone and anyone.
And even though I’m probably 50lbs down from my heaviest ever?
I see that girl whenever I look into a mirror.
It’s completely nuts.
I STILL hate being in pictures. Usually, I’ll hide behind someone or have them zoom on my face or something that hides my body.
Yet when I DO get a full body picture of me? I can’t stop looking.
Because in those pictures I look SKINNY.
I guarantee you that this dysmorphia plays into a LOT of my intimacy issues in my marriage.
I don’t like undressing in front of my husband. I feel most comfortable when the lights are off and I can’t see my body.
Ironically, LOSING all the weight has made this come to the forefront. I was happier when I was 20lbs heavier – because I had made peace with the fact that I would never be skinny.
And now that I’ve lost that weight, well, I alternate between terrified that I’ll gain it all back…
… and it not being ENOUGH. My belly isn’t flat enough (nor will it EVER be flat enough). My thighs still touch. I have flappy arms.
So part of what I’m trying to do right now is come to peace with the person I am.
Which means finding some sort of balance with the body I have, the life I want, and the time I have in a given day to stay healthy and fit.
It does mean that I need to devote time for running again, get back into the regular 4-5 mile runs every time I go out. I have not been as good with the motivation this winter. It’s cold. It’s dark. There’s a TON of snow which means I have to run a dreadmill.
I hate the dreadmill with the power of a thousand suns.
But I have gained back a little bit of weight with the lack of activity, emotional eating, and cycling. Only 5lbs, but it’s enough for me.
And I’m not HAPPY, either. Truth be told, I was at my happiest this summer where I COULD indulge in chocolate and brownies and cheese and hamburgers and all the stuff I enjoy eating – I knew I was going to work it off the next morning in my run.
Where I felt healthy, and powerful, and LOVED my runs.
Where I ran my 10k in September in 55 minutes, and I felt great doing it, and I loved every minute of that run, as hard as it was.
But, you know. We’re cycling again. And the day I KNEW that my pregnancy wasn’t going to work out, last November, was the day where after a four mile run I had bleeding and cramping.
I know two things.
It wasn’t my fault that the pregnancy didn’t take hold.
Cycling is about managing the emotional rollercoaster.
So where I am now is that it’s better for me to do short runs and swim and yoga then it is to push the mileage and speedwork and interval training and hillwork.
I miss it something fierce. I miss my long easy runs, where I finish a 8 mile run at a relaxed 9:15 pace. I miss feeling strong and confident about running.
I think that’s part of why I feel so strongly about wanting to be done with ART.
Because I can stop worrying about whether my runs will hurt my body’s ability to get pregnant. (Because, you know, we have a HARD ENOUGH TIME getting pregnant. I don’t want to do ANYTHING to make it HARDER.)
So I keep going back and forth and back and forth. Wanting to run hard but scared that it’s going to make it so I’ll never get pregnant.
And always seeing the fat girl in the mirror, looking back at me.