Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Walking, wounded

That’s me. In a fit of white-wine-and-impending-wedding-of-friends-induced glee the other night, I took what could kindly be described as a flying leap off the bottom step of said friends’ porch and landed…badly. The kind of landing in which you twist your ankle and end up in a crumpled heap. The kind in which, so forcefully do you fall, snow is propelled up your sleeves. The kind of landing that has you whimpering with pain all the way home in the cab.

So that’s me then. I’ve been hobbling around Winnipeg with an ankle that just won’t bend, after having bent entirely the wrong way the other night. Add to that the cold that seems to be rampaging its way around the internet. Oh, wait, and add to that the ear-plugging that happened as a result of 1) said cold and 2) bad decompression on the flight from Toronto to Winnipeg.

To recap: I am limpy, snotty and deaf in one ear. And so, I am decidedly not working out this week.

This pains me, truly it does (possibly not as much as said combination pains Taco, in an entirely different way). I was a paragon of exercise virtue on the weekend, diligently using the treadmill at the Ancestral Palace and performing my wee strength workout. Couldn’t do much cardio though, as it kind of hurt my chest. The strength workout seemed to help loosen stuff up in there, which boded well for the week ahead. But then, Winnipeg, wine and wedding, and well, you know the rest.

Speaking of rest, that’s what I’m doing this week. Just resting. I walked to work today (about 25 minutes, I think) and walked again at lunch for about the same. Taco and I are staying with friends till Friday afternoon, when we move to a fancy hotel for two nights. Fancy Hotel has a gym. If I can tear myself away from Fancy Hotel’s well appointed bed and lush bathrobe, I will investigate and probably even use its gym. And then, of course, there will be dancing at the wedding on Saturday, and then road hockey in Toronto on Sunday.

So the week is not a complete write-off. So long as the twisted ankle doesn’t interfere with my plans to wear my nice new big-girl shoes to the wedding.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sweet Sixteen

A week that involved less-than-perfect eating (stupid Toronto meetings meant pastry breakfasts three days in a row and room service twice), but plenty of working out (every day but Tuesday, a travel day! Cardio, strength, the whole pierogi), ended with victories of all kinds, scale and non-scale.

First, the scale. I am less concerned about this kind, as I still don’t have an accurate, regular, old-stand-by scale for weigh-ins. On Saturday, I weighed myself at the Ancestral Palace. The scale there showed me 23 pounds down from where I was in October on the same scale, and four pounds down from my weigh-in two weeks ago on the scale at the New Gym. How does New Gym’s scale compare with Ancestral Palace’s scale? Who the hell knows! Which brings us to the much more important and meaningful Non-Scale Victories.

To wit: an excellent shopping day on Saturday, during which I purchased a number of super-cute items of clothing at H&M (how I love thee, let me count the garments…), all in size 16. Size! Six! Teen! When was the last time I shopped with impunity in a “regular” store? This is an excellent question. Suffice to say that it was some time ago. Long enough ago that the rough date, in fact, escapes me. And this wasn’t any kind of flukey, this-one-size-16-item-fits-but-everything-else-looks-like-hell kind of shopping trip either. (I’m looking at you, pants from The Gap). Rather, I fit nicely into a dress, a wrap sweater (size 12 on that, if you want to know, though I consider that flukey in the extreme), a lovely semi-structured shirt, a jacket (size 14 in that one, though the 16 woulc probably have been better, it had sold out. The 14 will do for now, and will last me a few months, at least), and a bunch of other stuff, some of which I didn’t even buy. In fact, I tried on an extremely lovely mocha coloured skirt with a blue lace overlay that fit like a dream, maybe even a slightly loose dream. But my very smart sister pointed out that by the time the weather warrants wearing it, it probably will not fit. Such a smart sister. And what a novel feeling, to leave behind something that fit. That is, to not simply buy clothes because they fit, but to actually make choices. A revelation, to be sure.

Also in this category: I am beginning to experience ease when crossing my legs. I think this rocks. Also, working out is beginning to become second-nature. I think this rocks, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I can feel it in my bones

So, before I got all distracted by the car smashing into the guardrail, sailing through the air and rolling onto the roof, I had it in mind to talk skeleton with you.

I was leaning against a wall in a hotel suite, watching Taco lose his voice while filling in as host when the extremely erratic fiddle player (and though Cape Breton may well be full of such people, this one was an American import, no less) quit in a fit of pique in the middle of the night, when it occurred to me that I could feel my shoulder.

Like, feel the bone, as it leaned against the wall.

Please don’t get me wrong. My bones are not particularly prominent these days. But they are more so than they have been in many years. And I am at last living a bit in my body instead of entirely in my head, enough so that I actually notice things like being able to feel my bones.

With each centimetre of padding I shed, I get a little closer to the surface. In many ways, this scares the holy hell out of me, having arranged my life lo these many years in such a manner as to be protected from things like the surface. So there I was, leaning against the wall, feeling my bones. I remarked on it to Taco, and said, you skinny people, you must just get hurt all the time.

We looked at each other for that kind of split second when you realise you’ve penetrated right to the heart of your particular matter. No, he said, no more than anyone else does. And then he went back to losing his voice on stage, and I stood there, confronting the possible reality that I have made myself fat to avoid injury. Ihave surrounded myself with layers that I thought would keep me safe.

Which is funny, for a couple of reasons. I probably sustain more physical injuries because of my size. Creaky knees, weak ankles, back pain. All brought upon myself by my negligence.

And funny too because, as it turns out, carrying extra weight has in no way kept me safe. My brother died, no matter how fat I got, and while he was dying I was reaching my all-time high weight. I was trying to remember this morning if it was a size 22 or size 24 dress I wore to his funeral. The former, I think, but I can’t be sure. In any event, the flesh I’d accumulated around me, the flesh that required such a large dress in no way protected me from the pain of his death. Nor did it do anything to soften the blow of my father’s passing. Nor has it assuaged any number of hits to the heart I’ve sustained over the years. It hasn’t kept me from feeling stressed out, offended, aggrieved, broken, alone, tired, fed up, annoyed, depressed or exhausted. As a coping mechanism, in fact, it has been a complete and total bust.

Thanks for nothing, fat.

And so I welcome the still-too-rare feeling of bone against wall. More of that, I say. Naturally there’ll be days marked by pain, emotional or physical. Of course there will be. The human condition and all that. But at least it won’t be self-inflicted. At least I’ll feel that pain and know I’m strong and safe on my own merits.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Jab left, right hook, huh!

Oh, the things I have to tell you, Internet. I’ve been thinking lately about lofty topics, like the security blanket of fat I’ve been wearing lo these many years and my stunning revelation this morning, in the shower (which is where I have all my stunning relevations. Something to do with positive ions. Or negative ones. I can never remember which. Doesn’t matter), my truly astonishing relevation that I just don’t need to be fat anymore. Nope, don’t need it!

Ah, if only it were that easy to take off. But still, that’s a pretty big idea, as far as I’m concerned. And a little bit, it simplifies my purpose. This fat, I needed it before. But now? I’m all done. That feels pretty good.

What also feels pretty good, and what is precluding me from giving you a more philosophical post (also my laziness is precluding that, but that’s a whole other topic all together) is KICKBOXING.

I love it. Love, love it. I kickboxed for 45 minutes last night at the new gym and oh my god, love. First of all, I have a lot of rage inside, so it’s perfect for me. Death, take that. Crashed car, fuck you. Working for the man, whammo. Very satisfying. Also, it is an incredible workout. Like, as I type this, I can feel my back muscles working my arms. That’s how good a workout. I will be doing this again. And again and again! They teach it four times a week at the new gym. I think I’ll aim to take it at least twice.

Other things that I will tell you about before too long, I swear it:
Incidental exercise
Feeling my skeleton
Security blanket of fat

But that’s for the future, kittens. For now? Sushi.