1. Bad angles. You know how you bend over to stretch your hamstrings? In Yoga this is a pose called "down dog". If you're over 40, do not look back at your thighs. It's tempting...they're right in front of you...just look away.
2. Miles for September: I ran 100 miles in September!! That's lower than it should be, but higher than it's ever been. Most of the miles, I'll have you know, have been very hilly. This will continue to increase. Oh, yes, it will.
4. Weight. Still holding steady at 175 pounds, give or take a pound, despite tracking my calories and exercising regularly. This has been my weight now for about ten months.
5. Fad Diets. I remember when I used to scoff at fad diets, back when it was easy for me to maintain my weight. "How can anyone fall for that?" I wondered. But now, I know. I know. I'm not buying into them. But I understand.
6. Grades. I've passed my midterms, so far, and gotten good grades on my papers. I feel pretty darn smart these days! I like writing papers, actually. I like laying out my argument, or thesis, and researching the information that supports it. My research professor even asked me to explain how I do my literature reviews to the class. I was awkward, and a couple of the girls in the back rolled their eyes at each other, crossed their arms, and sighed deeply in feigned patience.
Yeah, go ahead beeyotches. see if I ever help you with your grant applications.
7. Oilcloth. I have a pretty oilcloth tablecloth. It wasn't expensive, but it makes me happy to see it. It's sunny yellow with fruit on it. It's completely ridiculous.
And yet: happy.
8. Speed. Sorta. I ran a very hilly 4 miles in my neighborhood the other day - including a long, 1-mile uphill - and kept it under a 12-minute mile average. For me that's pretty darned good! Lookout, world: WHOOOSH!
(Yeah, I know. Speed kills. I'll take my chances.)
10. Rituals. Every now and then, when I have some calories left to the day, I sit down with a small amount of dark chocolate, wheat thins, and some hummus or reduced-fat brie. Rounding out this experience is a small glass of a sweetish white wine. I sit with this plate and this glass of wine on the sofa, look out onto the hills, and feel very, very good about my life. I remind myself of all I have to be thankful for, and what a good person I am.
11. Exercise. I may be currently an unemployed bum, but I'm a bum with a gym membership and access to running trails. I'm staying (mostly) with my training plan each week. In addition to the running, I'm doing yoga, swimming, and I try a new and different class at the gym each week.
12. Frustration. There is something medically wrong with me.
- In 2005, at 194 pounds, I joined weight watchers, and dropped 30 pounds in one spring, just by watching my calories and portions. Then I started exercising, and lost five more.
- Throughout 2006 and 2007, my activity level increased steadily, and my weight stayed steady, a bit heavier in winter, fluxuating between 155 and 165.
- Then in 2008, I did 7 marathons and an Ironman. I gained 10 pounds. After I injured my leg, I gained another 10 pounds.
- Throughout 2009, my activity has increased, and in September, I ran One hundred freaking miles. My calories are tracked on The Daily Plate as those of a 150-pound sedentary woman.
But when I talk to people about it, I get suggestions that I'm feeling sorry for myself or that I look fine. I know they mean well. I know they care about me. But it's not an answer. I hate feeling vain for worrying about what I believe is a medical problem.
Well, I don't feel fine. I've never exercised at this weight before and it's awfully hard on my feet. It's hard on my knees. My hips hurt.
It came on my mother, too, who was also a slender child, adolescent, and young adult.
Look at it another way: If you knew someone who, despite being apparently healthy, started losing weight until they were 25 pounds below the ideal weight for their frame size, and they were unable to put it back on despite very reasonable efforts, wouldn't that be worth getting concerned about? Why should this be any different?