About a week ago, I posted a blog called Five in Five. In it, I showcased five things that I want to do in the next five months. I know it’s only been a short period of time, but the first month, September, is about half gone, so I wanted to give a little update.
Number five on my list is health related. Before the end of the year, I want to lose another 15 pounds. I’ve been working steadily on my health for a few years and have lost 40 pounds since I started. I could stand to lose another 50, but I’m pleased with my progress thus far. Fifteen pounds in five months is a realistic, but it won’t happen if I don’t focus.
Knowing that, I’ve made a couple of minor changes (more to come). I hadn’t been to the gym in almost three months, and I started back this week. This morning I took it a step further and went swimming.
This presented more of a mental challenge for me than physical, but I feel hugely victorious for having done it. I agonized for several weeks, debating the possible physical gains against the challenge of actually putting myself in a swim suit and, gasp, letting other people see me. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I mean, really, how hard can it be? And the payoffs? Huge! My work out partner had surgery on her foot–thus the break from working out–and my shoulder has been killing me. The pool is the perfect compromise. But the body image? Massively prohibitive.
When I was a teenager, I went through a brief period where I was a bit of an exibitionist. I never flashed anyone while driving down the road because I thought that was tacky, but I thought nothing of changing my clothes in a parking lot full of people because going inside was just too much of a bother. But that was twenty years ago and now I’m a bit more…reserved.
Last night, in preparation for the big event this morning, I busted out my razor and shaved my legs. Now, this in not my favorite activity, but I do it semi-regularly. Tara likes it, so I try to keep it under control. But seriously, do you know any woman who actually likes to shave her legs? And I invariably miss a section, which I don’t discover until later, typically while driving to an engagement of some sort and I’m wearing shorts with no time to turn back and fix it. Tara spends a LOT of time laughing at me over this.
Freshly shaved, I rose at 5am this morning to conquer my fear of my swimsuit. Lots of people are afraid of water, and by extension, swimming. That’s not my issue. I’m terrified to see myself as I really am. In my head, I’m still 25 and several sizes smaller, so it’s quite a shock when I see myself in the mirror wearing revealing clothing, ie a swimsuit. I try to avoid it as often as possible. That way I can also avoid thinking about other things like cellulite and stretch marks and spider veins.
At some point, a person has to just man up and face whatever fear is holding her back. And this was my morning. We swam for about 45 minutes, with only one near drowning accident. I realized within the first 2 minutes of being in the water that a) nobody else gives a good goddamn what I look like in a swimsuit at 530am, and b) I’ve forgotten how to breathe while doing the breast stroke.
This morning I cut myself some slack and used the time to just get used to the feeling of being in water. I did several laps (no, I didn’t count) all on my back. I remember now, even when I was swimming on a regular basis, I most enjoyed the swimming on my back, propelling myself along, ears submerged so sounds are muted, but I can see everything around me. I love weightlessness of floating. My left side is much weaker than my right and I spent a lot of time correcting so that I didn’t cross the pool diagonally. Next time I’ll work on breathing techniques. I know the technicalities of how to do it, I just forgot the mechanics.
After swimming, I sat in the sauna for about 10 minutes. I love that dry heat that sucks the moisture from my skin and the thoughts from my brain. Tomorrow, if we go again, I’m going to use the time to meditate on something. Tonight my homework assignment is to think of a topic to focus on–yes, folks, I really do give myself homework assignments.
There’s my rambling update. No, I haven’t lost five pounds in the last week, but I took some small physical steps and some huge mental ones in the right direction. I’ll keep you posted about the actually weight that goes with the movement.