Sunday, March 01, 2009

End of Week 1

5 days, 5 pills. Feeling good.

I won't really feel any effects of the drug until it's been in my system for about 3 weeks. And even then, it's one of those individual things. Some people feel results after 2 weeks, some after 4 weeks... for some, it doesn't work, and you have to try a different drug. I'm rolling with it.

Two typical side effects are weight gain and decreased libido, neither of which are any fun for a newlywed who'd like children. The latter effect is likely not going to be much of a problem for me. I could use some calming down. But the first one...

My body image has tanked over the last nine years. Up until I turned 29, I loved my body. I loved the way I looked, and I loved that I could buy clothes anywhere, off the rack, at cheap places, at expensive boutiques, online, from catalogues, and they would fit. I could wear almost anything I wanted. And I did. I knew I was lucky.

But sometime after I turned 28, I felt my body changing. I knew my metabolism was slowing down. At 29, I wasn't fitting into just anything anymore. At 30... whole new me.

Not that I was fat. I was just... different. A little softer around the middle. I had less energy than I was used to. Over the course of two years, I had aged. I was no longer a post-adolescent. I was an adult, with adult problems.

Other things changed too. I needed moisturizer on my cheeks in the winter, or they felt scaly. My allergies shifted from my nose to my throat and eyes, some sort of polarization. I needed comfortable shoes in ways I'd never needed them before. My false sciatica in my lower left back became such a persistent problem that I had to go for regular medical massage for the better part of two years.

Part of me enjoyed the fact that I was growing and maturing. My youth hadn't been happy, and the farther I got from it, the less it affected me. But I have struggled with my self-image ever since. I think I'm fat, I think I'm disgusting at times. I'm not used to that. I hate how tired I get, and how easily I seem to get worn out. I used to be able to dance all night, now I'm exhausted after one high-energy song. That just sucks.

So, in 2004, I lost 20 pounds on weight watchers, and treated myself to a new wardrobe. It was great to know that I could DO that.

Somewhere between 2006-2008, I gained it all back. But... my clothing sizes didn't change. That was weird. I'm still fitting into those clothes I bought back then. But... I'm heavier.

I know the self-image thing, and the tired-all-the-time thing, is linked to depression. But I'm not self-flagellating all the time. But I am a but. I don't want this illness to be an excuse to let myself go. I will really hate myself if that happens. I need to feel motivated, to retain some sense of control over myself, to be able to say that I'm caring for myself, and to see the results of that. Maybe I just need to feel like a fighter. To know I am fighting.

When my last temp job ended, I decided to re-join Weight Watchers and learn how to cook healthy again. I've gotten sloppy over the years, using TONS of olive oil, way too many simple carbs, and way too much junk food. I was overeating a lot too, especially at restaurants. It was pretty clear to me what my bad habits were, and what needed to change. WW gives me a great set of tools and recipes and provides a nice structure that I like. So I've been doing WW since January.

I wrote in an email to Lisa recently that cooking has become my new creative outlet. I love making healthy food taste unhealthy. I love portioning out my leftovers, confident that my overeating days are behind me. I love trying new vegetables, new soup recipes, new ways to cook meat. And I love seeing G's face when I make something new that he really likes. Those are the best times.

The working out part is the hardest. My gym visits, over the last two years, had become almost obligatory. I love to go with G and be his workout buddy, but the quality of my workouts was very low. I'd do ten or twelve reps on a few machines at a weight that didn't challenge me too much, and trudge away on the elliptical and treadmill for 20 or 30 minutes at a light jog. Blah.

Well, at least I kept going.

Today, however, was a good day. I did 25 minutes on this uber-machine that our gym has, a new kind of elliptical that's bloody hard, but has a bounce to it, so it takes the pressure off my knees. I've noticed my knees, especially my left knee, has been bothering me since I've stepped up the cardio from walking to running and increased the resistance on the elliptical. Christ, talk about feeling old and depressed. But this new machine has a gliding feel to it, and a pronounced float up after the step down.

Today I had a new playlist specifically for this machine, slightly slower tempos:

Four Leaf Clover by Abra Moore
One Tribe by Aone
the Biggest Part of Me by Ambrosia
Sumthin' Serious by Audio Club (quick stair-climbs)
Beautiful Liar by Beyonce & Shakira
Tell Me by P. Diddy feat. Cristina Aguilera

Especially during the first three songs, I really flew. The resistance level on this machine forces you to glide more slowly, and you use the handbars lengthens your stride, like in cross-country skiing, so your upper-body works too. There is a lot of up-and-down, and the lift after stepping down is amazing. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, and it was so meditative, I thought I was flying. A couple of times I grappled the handbars, thinking I might float up into the ceiling fan. Oxygen flowed through me, my heart pumped but didn't pound, and endorphins flushed my system. Yet I didn't increase my speed, I just kept a regular, moderate rhythm, every fiber of my being vibrantly alive. And happy.

I felt happy.

Sex is kind of like that.

At some point, my iPod flew the coop. I had it clipped to the water bottle holder, and I don't know exactly what happened, but I must have caught the cord somehow, and it flew off the machine and landed on the floor next to me. I was left with my earplugs in my ears and the cord hanging down. I laughed, remembering a homeless woman I once saw in Manhattan, singing and dancing down the street, wearing a pair of headphones attached to nothing. I'm probably as high right now as she was, I laughed to myself.

Without my music playing, I could hear the music of my own body. My breathing came at a moderate pace, but the breaths were very deep, like the ocean tides coming in and out, in.... out... My heart was thumping purposefully. I could feel my muscles straining in a few key places, and did a quick technique check to make sure everybody was ok. I could feel my sarcomeres contracting, my nerve impulses racing along my arms and legs. I closed my eyes, and finished the last five minutes of my workout with my iPod on the floor and my headphones tucked into my waistband, hyper-aware of the symphony inside myself.

When I stepped down, I had only burned 260 calories, but that's more than usual for me. And I had already done two weight circuits and a whole mess of ab and oblique crunches. So I headed for the water fountain. Sweetest water I've ever tasted.

If I could work out like this every time I went to the gym... well, wouldn't I be a fine-assed mama. I doubt I'll sculpt myself back into the body I used to have, but I'll feel so good about myself that I won't care if I'm wearing a one-piece.

And that's the catch. Most days aren't this good.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I hope more days are that good! I hope the pills have an ideal effect and work as well as planned. Also, I hope they don't have an impact on your sex drive. No matter how good yours is, why should G do without? ;) Besides, sex in a committed relationship is all good!

Be well!