Uphill Battle

All of it is a mess.
I’m crying again.
I’ve gotten nowhere. I’ve wanted and wished and prayed, and then played that sad record on repeat. So here I am in tears, 8 months after realizing I was #justalittlebitfat and the only measurable difference was about 3lbs. 3lbs that may come on or off depending on my alcohol intake.
I thought I had it figured out: cut out this, cut out that, be hungry, eat less, either way it seemed no real change had occurred. So, I spoke to a friend in an honest and ugly way no one but my mother is usually witness to. And he said “you know what you need to do … go exercise”. He didn’t say it so I might create a drastic calorie deficit and wake up at the end of a jog thinner than I ever had, but because my mind needed to shut down and my body needed to wake up. So I might spend a little less time in the spiraling anguish of my perceived failure.
So I’m angry, but for whatever reason I trust his words and I do as he says and step out my door with a timer that says 20 min (as instructed).
I am not a runner. Running is the thing that makes me hurt the most. I threw up twice in middle school attempting to “run the mile”–the most feared day in gym class (to this day I don’t know how, after that incident, I avoided the gross nickname and reputation of “vomit breath”).
So… I run. I’m still crying. Like a two year old mid temper tantrum. I run out my door hunched over, slow and resentful. I run up a hill and it fucking hurts. But I tell myself it’s cause I’m upset and crying and I keep going until I need to stop. I’m sick and it’s too soon for a woman my age to be afraid of her own physical activity. I walk, I bend over, and clutch my side. I try to regain my breath through the tears blaming everything within easy reach of my mind.
Yet, all my excuses are making me more angry so I push myself as much as I know how and I am screaming through my tears “Run! Run you stupid, fat bitch” (frightening the stream of yoga-pant-clad Hollywood hikers passing me with ease). I am cursing the sky and yelling and gnashing my teeth in a most dramatic display.
How? How could I let this happen… catching a glimpse of myself in a window, the slow and bloated figure barely climbing the hill at a pace my “speed walking” mother might disapprove.
Then the timer goes off. It’s been 10 minutes. I can run back down the hill… back to being comfortable. Yet, through the wheezing and shame I’d mustered some deep anger that made me go just a little bit further forward and reach the top of the hill where I might look out at my struggle up the steep path as an accomplishment and not a sign of all the failures I’d been accumulating.
The view fills me up with hope; something I had been completely empty of just seconds before. It tells me that I am capable, in the basic flesh-and-bone way of pushing myself through the darkness.
So, I continue to do it, to prove over and over to my constantly doubting inner dialogue that “yes, it is indeed possible to change”. It is not a hopeless task.



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