Thursday, September 10, 2009
These Final Laps
It's strange when randomly it hits you - you're losing weight.
I remember when I started this in April. My highest weight, or at least the weight I started to psuedo-diet with in November of 2008, was 197. I had given up after only a short time due to pnuemonia, and other personal problems, and when I began again in April...when I started this blog...I was at 187.
One Hundred and Eighty-Seven pounds.
I would look in the mirror and not think I was too terrible, or too fat. Because I couldn't possibly be, could I? But still, I started to restrict more as a social experiment, I suppose. And it became an obsession. Quickly unhealthy, but quickly wonderful all at once.
And I realize that yes...yes I was that big...
My waist was larger than a man's size 38. I was wearing a woman's size 20.
I'm not even 5 feet tall.
When I reached 184, I remember thinking, "What I wouldn't give to have those last two numbers switched...."
"If I could get into the 140's, I might be okay."
Today, after the gym, I weighed in at 131.6. A new low. Lower than I remember being since I was in, maybe, Jr High. And I wore shorts into public. I had on shorts after the gym, and I walked into a grocery store to buy mouthwash, and vanilla-chai soy milk. And I wanted to pull my shirt over my legs and curl up, because i felt like everyone was staring, wondering what that fat girl was doing wearing that outfit....
...that outfit, which consists of a shirt that is now incredibly baggy, which I wasn't able to fit into back in April at all.
And shorts. That are literally less than half the size of what I used to wear.
Size 7's. From a size 20.
I don't ever remember being any smaller than 8.
I'm two pounds away from being in the 120's.
It's going slow. Yes. It's painfully slow. Hair pulling, ragingly, agonizingly slow. But it's going.
When I got into my car, wearing my shorts, I looked down expecting to see large thighs smashed together, with those pockets of cellulite.
Instead, I saw the bruises from running, and my knees touching, my legs slightly elevated, and a wonderful little gap between my thighs that I hope will one day be there when I'm standing.
I sit down on the edge of the tub waiting for the bath to fill, and look down at my naked body, and expect to see my stomach swelling out to cover my pelvis and weigh heavily on my thighs.
Instead, I see the tattoos I got when I was 18 right at the crook of where torso-meets-thighs, and while there is still a swell, it doesn't extend beyond my pelvic bone. It doesn't protrude so badly as it used to.
There's still a long way to go, and yet, in a way, it feels like when I run.
I'll be on the treadmill, and that first mile always is the easiest. I'm filled with that excitement of being back on it - of tackling another challenge. After the first, the second hits with more of a buzz, but partway through, the exhaustion begins to touch the back of my arms. My breath starts to shorten, my heart rate picks up. I feel like I'm going too fast but not fast enough at all.
Near the end of the second is when the pain starts. I wonder if maybe I should just shut off the treadmill, or slow down, but I don't. Because i have a goal. I have to get there.
Then I reach the homestretch after I hit mile 3. I know I'm almost there, but still so far. I push past that first lap...that second lap...that third....they're the most painful. So close, but so far to the finish. I contemplate stopping, but I know my goal is coming, and I'm nearing the end. And when I start on the fourth and final lap around the digital track of mile 3 and see that ticker nearing the 4 mile mark, I know I cannot stop. I speed it up, I push harder - I see the finish line. The final home stretch.
When I cross the line, I nearly collapse, but I take my time to cool off. Let the machine slowly notch me down despite wanting to stop early. I let my body regulate again until I can walk without feeling like I'm going to throw up. It flashes my distance. I've finished the fight. I've won.
I'm somewhere in mile 3 now. I have 28 more pounds to lose. I'm on my first lap of mile 3; the 120's will be lap 2; the 110's will be lap 3; and the quest to 103 will be my home stretch.
I know some people say it's hard to lose the weight, and it is. But it's also hard to run. I never did it before this. I never thought i could. But I learned that the trick isn't to stop when it gets tough - it's to keep going. To push through until you know you're going to die, and then to push a little more. Some of you girls - more than one - has said to me that I am your thinspiration because of how much I've lost, and what I've done, and you have no idea how much that means to me. Just how good I feel when I see that.
And I'm going to be worthy of those words.
I'm going to make all of you proud.
I'm going to push through this final mile of my weight loss until I reach my goal.
Will you run with me?