I haven’t been able to work out this week because my knee still hurts to walk on (and I’m not one to push through pain EVER), so I have been in a real mood.
I have a lot of pent up rage and anxiety, and I really just need to exercise that out because otherwise I’m going to get fired. The semester will begin in a few weeks, so it’s that time of year when parental complaints start rolling in. Thankfully, most people are understanding once I explain to them why something is the way it is, but there are always those few who are just waiting to yell at someone. Anyway, I’m having a lot of feelings this week and I really just need to go sweat it out in a dimly lit and slightly orange-tinted room.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been involved in some frustrating conversations regarding bodies and weight. I don’t typically talk about weight, exercise, or eating a specific way to lose weight at work, but it does occasionally work it’s way naturally into a conversation. I don’t hate my body. I don’t hate myself. I don’t feel that my value as a human is tied to my physical appearance. And my life and happiness doesn’t resolve around what size I am. But, I do not always have to love my body all the time no matter what. I have a right to want to change it or to be frustrated with it because it is MY BODY.
And I’ve written about it before, but it just keeps popping up! Our graduation ceremonies are two 16 hour days and a bunch of us are trapped in a lounge with an endless food supply between ceremonies. At a previous ceremony, I was sitting at a table with a man I work with and we were eating cookies. He held up one of the cookies and said, “I need to stop eating these. I’ve gained 30 pounds this semester from stress eating and I feel awful.” Another lady at a nearby table heard him and said “I’ve gained 20! After this weekend I’m recommitting to working out and making better choices.” I also added that I had been stress eating a lot too and needed to cut that out. We all groused a bit about work and how it can make eating healthy and exercising feel impossible at times.
Another woman popped in and started lecturing us about how we need to love our bodies and get over our “weight hang ups.” I like this lady a lot, but she’s also a size 0. I know she’s a size 0 because we were once commiserating about how the quality of J. Crew has really gone down the crapper. She said that she has always loved them because they offered sizes smaller than 0 as she often has a hard time finding pants small enough to fit her (I couldn’t relate less to that problem). I was extremely frustrated by her commentary to us because you absolutely have a right to be displeased when you gain unwanted weight. Or lose too much weight because you’re dealing with health issues or stress. Or you are unable to exercise for a while and your stamina or strength suffers. I have a right to be frustrated with myself!
I see both sides of this with my friends who have kids. I want moms to do whatever they want without comment. If you want to get going on getting back in shape ASAP, then go for it. If you are exhausted and don’t give a shit for 15 years, then go for it. If you never want to lose weight, then go for it. IT IS NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS. I had a friend who recently wrote that her kids are now in school and she wants to focus some on getting into better shape. She said that she would like to lose about 40 pounds, but really just wants to feel better and the actual number isn’t important to her. A whole bunch of people commented that she needed to love herself, be kind to herself, and accept where she is. Why? Why can’t she decide to exercise more and try to lose some unwanted weight? She isn’t putting anyone in danger. She isn’t doing it via some unreasonable or unsafe method. She isn’t doing it because someone told her to. She never said she didn’t love herself or her body, so why can’t she make a change if she wants?
A few weeks ago someone offered me some candy at work and I simply stated that I was taking a break from sugar. I didn’t want to get into it, but the person persisted in asking me why I wasn’t eating sugar. I tried to explain that I was doing Whole30 to see how I feel without processed foods, but that ended with person asking me why I want to lose weight. I reiterated that I was doing it to feel better, but foolishly acknowledged that I wouldn’t mind if it resulted in some weight loss. The person then told me that I’m perfect exactly how I am (perfect is not a thing that exists) and that I need to focus my energy elsewhere. I can focus my energy wherever I damn please. If I am not happy with the way my clothes fit or how I feel because my body is heavier and makes me uncomfortable, then I can I can DO WHATEVER I WANT.
I am totally on board with body positivity, inclusion, and reinforcing the messages (particularly to young people) that you are not defined by how skinny, athletic, or attractive you are. I want everyone to feel good in their body, but that shouldn’t negate wanting to be healthier, more active, or losing unwanted weight (or gaining weight). I’m not trying to get down to some unreasonable size for my frame. I just want 80% of my wardrobe to fit again and to feel good in my own skin. I ate dairy and sugar last week when my parents were in town and I felt like garbage. My joints ached, my skin broke out, and I was exhausted. I started back yesterday with eating mostly Whole30 and completely avoiding sugar and dairy. I hope it makes me feel better quickly and with doing OTF, I hope it also helps me move towards a fitter and healthier body. I don’t hate myself or my body, but I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to jump on someone who wants to feel better physically and mentally.
1. Are any of you watching My Mother and Other Strangers? I’m afraid to start it because a second season is uncertain and I am still SO BITTER that Home Fires was canceled.
2. Thank you, Nicci, for recommending the podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law. The episodes are short and super interesting. I paid zero attention in my political science classes, so everything in these podcasts is basically brand new information for me.
3. The LA Times story on the USC Dean of the Keck School of Medicine is INSANE.
4. I watched Deep Water on Netflix over the past week (there’s only four episodes) and it was a good series. The show is based on two detectives investigating the murder of a gay man, but I had no idea about the estimated 80+ gay men who were murdered in Sydney over the past forty years.
I had a really hard time reconciling that Lorna from OITNB is actually Australian. And a detective. She sells her OITNB character SO WELL.
10. Lauren Duca, talented and brilliant author of “Thigh High Politics” in Teen Vogue is now selling shirts with 100% of profits going to Planned Parenthood in Tucker Carlson’s name. This gives me endless joy.
“A woman can love Ariana Grande and her thigh-high boots and still discuss politics. Those things are not mutually exclusive.”
My weekend evaporated quickly thanks to work. I thought something would take me a few hours to do on Saturday, but instead it took most of Saturday and all of Sunday. And I’m still not done because the more I work on it the more of a kerfuffle it becomes. There is a lot of conflicting data across multiple documents and I AM PISSED (There are EIGHT different numbers alone for tenure density. EIGHT. HOW.).
In happier news, I did get to enjoy my first post-Whole30 meal on Saturday night. I went to dinner with my friends at Sauced. I think it is a chain BBQ place, but the brisket was pretty good considering. It was a leaner cut than I prefer, but it was still moist enough. It is no Texas barbecue by any means, but it’s the best I’ve had in California, so that is something.
They had a whole bunch of cheesy items that I REALLY wanted to gobble up, but I abstained and stuck to a beer and a piece of cornbread as my non-compliant foods. They could use a cornbread lesson (it was that blasted cakey kind), but it was better than no cornbread at all. After dinner we went to Jackrabbit Brewing Company for some more beer. I started with a flight and they had a really tasty Belgian Quad (I have zero idea what this means, but that is how the bartender described it) and I will definitely go there again. Monk Belly 4-Eva.
It was a lot of fun and the place closed by 9, so we all made it home in time to be asleep by 10. A perfect evening.
I also made it to Orange Theory on Friday and on Saturday. I was very proud going two days in a row. Friday’s workout went really well, but I thought I was going to die on Saturday. I really struggle with the “strength” days. Well, I really struggle on all of the days, but I SUPER struggle on strength day.
I also ate it while using the ab dolly. I just cannot figure out how to coordinate that movement without making it buck forward and causing me to fall. And when I put my feet back further, then if flips up the opposite way. HOW.
In the most important news – TV news – I am finally caught on The Tunnel. I started watching the first season a few weeks ago and HOLY MOLY I LOVE IT.
I am watching it on the PBS Masterpiece app on my FireTV, so I’m not sure where else it’s available, but it is excellent. I didn’t realize the second season was currently airing on PBS, so I was really bummed when I realized I couldn’t watch past the fourth episode. I love the combo of Fleur Delacouer and Stannis Baratheon. Elise (Fleur Delacouer ) is perfectly awkward (I do deeply relate to some of the accidentally rude things she says in the name of directness) and my Stephen Dillane crush is now officially out of control.
I also personally enjoy Olivier’s style transformation from schlub to chic wearer of turtlenecks and blazers. Much elegance. Such French. Anyway, are any of you watching it??
LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL GoT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!