Tuesday, August 12, 2003
It's My Party
posted by Julie |
It is. I'm officially 43 today. And I started this day running straight uphill, through a very, very hilly course around a beautiful, enormous lily pond, with about half of the lilies in bloom, then down a dirt/gravel, balsam-lined road, along the Atlantic shore. And back. Just three miles, but a faster three miles than I think I've ever run before. Somehow. Despite the hills. That doesn't make sense, but I'll take it.
Next, I worked on client's sales presentation. Sexy, huh?
Then I stared at all the backed up e-mail, and decided not to catch up on it today. Maybe tomorrow.
I started a new book for me, and one for Skinny Daily (can't wait to finish and make my book report on THAT one…). Made and drank TWO cups of rose-scented tea. Breathed in some more fog. Then the sun came out.
I had just about made up my mind to take a nap, when I leaned over the porch railing outside of my room, staring into the glassy harbor. I caught my reflection in the water and was once again caught by the strangeness of it.
I'm all collar bones and neck muscle. You can clearly make out the line of my jaw. I have not just a neck, but a pretty darned long, sinewy one. You can make out the line of my bicep inside my arm, see clearly where the deltoids attach. I have no boobs left. (Sorry, Dad, but it's true.) Well, okay I have them, but they are negligible things that don't require much support, concern, or attention at all compared with the flesh I had to manage and haul when I was at my heaviest. Above them, you can actually see the top few ribs, just barely.
My forearms are almost gristley. They are long, thin, with obvious sinew and jutting wristbones just under the skin, veins popping out over the tops of bones and ligaments. Very pointy elbows. Knobby shoulders. All of these features were covered in softness in the old days. My elbows disappeared into dimples. There were dimples where my knuckles now are, too. I never wore necklaces, because I couldn't find large enough ones. My wedding rings, now precariously close to dropping into the Atlantic, have been enlarged twice.
Once again, I'm caught off guard by this woman reflected back at me from the harbor. I know, I know, I've gone on about not connecting with my own reflection, but today's the day for saying it again. On my birthday, I'm shaking my head. I'm not used to me yet.
My body is far from perfect, nobody's idea of the ideal feminine form. I can complain about a lot of the kinds of things 43-year-olds complain about, loose wattles of flesh here and there, disproportions to bemoan. But these are silly complaints coming from me, given where I've been. I am amazed at the changes I've seen even over the past year, long after reaching my present weight.
My body's composition has continued to shift and change and redeploy itself. I ran up a certain deadly hill this morning. A 45-degree hill, a city block long. (We're talking a NYC east-west block here.) The sort of hill you avoid walking DOWN, much less UP. Two years ago, well into my diet, just walking up that hill would have left me gasping for air. Today I charged it, and kept going, using that hill to warm me up for my run.
We went out to dinner, had a lot of fried haddock and more than a few French fries. Came home to a large, LARGE piece of carrot cake my hubby had snagged and stashed away. Candles. He "helped" me polish that off, but he didn't help much. Easily 800-1000 calories of cake on top of a limit-busting dinner. A diet disaster, this day.
I did not once feel self-conscious about eating either my dinner or my cake. I automatically calculated the excess calories in my head and while enjoying the cream cheese frosting, formulated a running plan for the week that would take care of this evening's excesses. I know this cake will propel me out of bed in the morning, and most mornings this week.
Who am I? Who is this 43-year-old? This is the new JuJu. More than 100 lbs. leaner, with a much tougher heart, and able to leap steep hills, birthday carrot cake and deep fried dinners.
What is this post about?
*Oh, please know you can do it. If I did, you can. Really you can.
*Even after getting there, it takes a lot of adjustment, a lot of time to find out what it takes to stay in your new body.
*It takes years to discover and lock in habits of self-care.
*Nutritional boo-boos can be kissed and cared for with exercise and planning.
*Birthdays are good days to take it easy, celebrate successes, and congratulate yourself for your own hard work. But why wait until your birthday?
So help me celebrate today by taking some time to record the things you've accomplished in your weight loss and fitness efforts. A friend wrote today saying she's found wicked new leg muscles from water aerobics class. Last week Pink was proud to report more than 20 days on her walking program. What about you? What are you noticing? What can you celebrate? Find something, and please do. Make it a party.
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