I've gone and done something slightly mad. I signed up, this morning, for the Portland Marathon. I have never run a marathon in my life, so what possessed me to think it was something I could or even should do?
I have always had body-image issues. In my teens and throughout most of my 20s, I was too skinny. Now, before you think "Oh, boo hoo, Olive Oil", my sisters and I can tell you that being too thin is just as painful as being too heavy. In high school in the early 80s, leg-warmers were in. I got some and wore them UNDER my levis (pulled aaaallll the way up to my crotch) in order to make my legs appear less stick-like. I did not wear shorts in public until I was 20 years old and then only because I was in a foreign country where I didn't know anyone. My oldest sister has NEVER worn shorts in public and she is 52. I was actually called Olive Oil by certain mean-spirited people, and I HATED it. I once had a girl corner me in the bathroom of a bar, when I was 21, and DEMAND that I admit to being anorexic. If only she knew how desperately I wished I weighed 10 or 20 pounds more.
Then, in my late 20s, my wish came true. Suddenly, I started gaining weight. Friends who'd known me all my life could NOT believe that I was no longer a string bean. I know they secretly LOVED it. And I did too, for awhile. I actually liked having boobs and curves in places I'd never had them before. For the first time in my life, I felt like a woman instead of a 11 year old boy. I had always been a size 4...and then I was briefly a six...and then and 8...and now I'm a pretty solid 10. For awhile I was pretty comfortable in my skin, feeling like a "big girl" and being ok with it. But I'm not anymore. I am sick of putting on clothes and feeling like they look a size (or two) too small. I am sick of looking at darling clothes (like the ones in my post below) and thinking: "If only I were a couple sizes smaller, I would buy that and it would look great on me!" My thought-process now, when shopping is "Will that hide my stomach?" And I'm sick of it.
I went from feeling too skinny to look good in clothes, to feeling too heavy to look good in clothes. I have never been truly happy with or in control of my weight or my body, and it's time.
Last night David and I went to dinner with our friends Sarah and Carla. Carla is on a very strict "eating plan" and she has lost 120 pounds in the past 2 (I think) years! She is so cute; she brings a little scale to restaurants, orders a plain chicken breast (NO sauce or oils) and a side of steamed vegetables. Then she whips out her scale and weighs it all and eats only her allotted portion. I KNOW that I do not have the discipline to diet, and so before I get to that point I need to get moving. Anyway, at dinner, Carla and Sarah were telling us that they are going to do the Portland Marathon; they are going to walk it. And so, after I'd had a glass of wine (or two) and I got fired up and declared "I'm going to do it too!"
I have been an off and on runner my entire life. I actually LOVE to run. But I enjoy it only outside; I can not stand gyms or treadmills. I have run a few 5ks in the past and I do better at sticking with it if I have a goal such as a race. So a couple of times a year I'll start running for a week..or two...maybe three...and then I stop because my hips hurt, or my knees hurt, or I have a cold, or it is snowy or....you get the picture. If there is one thing I excel at, it's QUITTING. I am a champ. I can't tell you how many unfinished sewing and knitting projects I have in my sewing room.
But this has to be different, and that is why I am announcing it to the world, to be accountable.
I AM GOING TO RUN THE PORTLAND MARATHON.
And along the way I am going to get fit and healthy and I hope to stop having the reoccurring dreams where I am so weak that my legs don't function. I am going to show my daughter what it looks like to set a goal and achieve it. I am going to lose weight and I am going to feel good about my physical being for the first time in my life.
And so I need all of you to hold me accountable and ask me how my training is going so that I stick with it.
HEAR. ME. ROAR!!!!!
PS. It's time for another edition of "Celebrities: WHAT were they thinking??" Head on over to Hair Thursday to read my post there.