It’s summer again and I’m finally able to spend some time at the pool. (Being unemployed has so many perks).
However, this summer, it’s not work or clouds keeping me from donning that bikini, it’s the fact that it probably won’t fit.
I’m at my heaviest weight. Ever. I thought I was at my heaviest weight ever when I went away to college.
My freshman year, my roommate and I felt like shit and decided to do something about it. We dieted (a bit too) heavily and spent two or more hours at the rec every day. I dropped thirty pounds instead of gaining the Freshman Fifteen.
Unfortunately, all I’d been doing was cardio and no strength training, so not only was I essentially skin and bones, but I gained it all back (and more) over the past six years.
Jesus Christ, has it been that long since my freshman year of college?!
During my sophomore and junior years, I managed to run about three miles almost-every day, but I definitely found the pounds I’d worked so hard to lose.
A couple years ago, a coworker talked me into doing a ten-week kickboxing program that’s supposed to just get you shredded. It works if you follow everything to a T, but who am I kidding? I think I lost a bit, and she didn’t lose much either, so we then decided to get a gym membership.
I’ve always phoned it in when it came to working out because I’m chronically out of shape and just lazy. Something about Lifetime made me want to spend no fewer than three hours there. Every night. I’d pop in around 11pm or midnight and wouldn’t leave until two or three in the morning. No one was there, I had the place to myself. I could spend an hour and a half on the stationary bike and watch a couple episodes of Doctor Who, I could use the weight trees and the lifting area usually occupied by super buff dudes, I could sit in the sauna for a half hour and sing along to my iPod. It was glorious.
I noticed after a while of doing that, I toned up quite a bit. I could tell I was turning fat into muscle.
As usual, there’s always that event that comes along to fuck up all of your progress – https://friisey.com/2013/11/21/two-days-in-nowhere/ – I stopped going to the gym and ordered way too much Jimmy John’s.
So here I am today: at my heaviest weight, at the beginning of summer, dying to go to the pool (well, okay, it’s a bit overcast at the moment), and wishing I’d spent the past six months whipping my body into a shape other than blob (like I’ve done for the past who-knows-how-many summers).
Although, today, I’m optimistic. Now, I go through this every time I start working out. Oh boy, this is sure fun! I love the endorphins and the sore muscles and I’m gonna do so well this time and this will be the last time I’m going to do this so I can just spend my time maintaining my perfect fitness!…. And then I sabotage myself or just get bored or I don’t see progress quickly enough for my liking and then I’m on the Jimmy John’s website before I know what my fingers are doing.
But like I said, I’m optimistic. And I’m kind of at my wit’s end. I know I’ve also said that a million times. I’m going to be twenty-six in six months. I’m an adult. I want to find a man and get married and have kids sometime within the next five years. I want to write a book. I want to feel comfortable with myself. I want my inner confidence to flow outward. I just want to look good because I feel good, and vice versa. Enough is enough. This is my last last straw.
Since Friday, May 30th, I’ve worked out every day (except my rest day yesterday). Today is National Running Day (or something) so it’s not like I can pass up a run today (even if my legs are fucking killing me). I’ve been on the Health and Fitness Pinterest boards which I knew existed, but never noticed. I made a calendar for the month of June with a smoldering photo of Benedict Cumberbatch on it as inspiration: “He’s giving you the eye. It can either be a look of disappointment or a look of sex – it’s up to you.” (You can have that). I gave myself a stipulation: I can only go to the pool once I’ve lost ten pounds. My overall goal for now: Lose twenty-five pounds.
I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I’ve started, and I’m going to do this.
I’d love to enjoy this summer (and, um, fit into any of my shorts), I have mom’s wedding end of August, I’m a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in October, my birthday is in October, etc. It just has to happen now.
And honestly, I feel loads better already. I swear it was the third day, I hadn’t even worked out yet, and I just felt super comfortable with my body. I felt good because I felt sore, I felt good because I’d started this mission, and I felt good because I know where I’m headed and that I’m finally going to get there. I think the recent blast of female empowerment helped, also. My lack of fucks given has increased (or decreased) and I’m going to Walgreens in yoga pants like, oh, I’m sorry, can you see my thighs are a bit ripply at the moment? Well, bring your eyes upward – no, not to my eyes, to my ass. That’s right, my ass. It’s round and shapely and it’s mine. Oh, that bit of jiggle on my tum? Yeah, well, that won’t be around for long, but since it’s here right now, feel free to wish you could run your fingertips over my soft skin.
Another unexpected bout of confidence, and my inspiration for writing today, came from the amount of pins on the Health and Fitness Pinterest board regarding butt-lifting workouts. Or butt-plumping workouts. Or butt-enhancing workouts. I scrolled past about twenty of them before it hit me that I was scrolling past them because I don’t need them. My ‘ghetto-booty,’ as we used to call it, used to bring me to tears in the dressing room because it wouldn’t allow any goddamn pants to fit over it. Today, it brings a tear to my eye because I now realize it’s something to be coveted by men and women alike.
In fact, I’d be nervous about doing too much cardio in fear of losing it.
This has been a healing moment between my ego and my ass.
In conclusion, whether you’re wanting to lose weight or gain weight or firm up dat ass or whatever, start now. Just start now. You’ll literally feel better the second you do, and then even better once you finish, and then even better the next day. Then you’ll come to that second life-changing opportunity when you have to decide between making it two days in a row or settling back into old habits. Then you’ll have a chance on the third day to turn it into a streak or wish you’d continued with it yesterday. Whatever motivation, do it for you. Do it to feel better, because even when you gain two pounds the first week (it’s the fluid retention from the muscles repairing themselves, don’t worry), it’s already worth it – it’s your health. It’s your sanity. It’s your confidence. It’s your happiness.
And in the mean time: embrace the body you have right now because you have it right now. You’re not going to lose three dress sizes after a mile run, so you might as well be okay with you as you are. You’re going to be changing, and embrace all the changes along the way. There’s someone in your life who deserves to have you happy, and that’s you.
This has been a public service announcement brought to you, in part, by Jimmy John’s.
God, seriously, they’re delicious.