My colleague, J, says that I always have to have something to worry about. He’s right. He says that when I don’t have anything to worry about, I’ll make sure I find something to worry about. Again, he’s right. That’s how I roll (man), and I’m not going to change. At the moment, I don’t have a great deal on my mind (apart from the usual insurmountable issues of money, career, state of the world, etc.) so I’ve made something up. And that something is exercise.
Now, I’m 5’4″ in height (or 1.62ms), 118lbs in weight (or 8 1/2 st, 53KGs), and 8 to 10 in UK dress size so I really don’t need to lose weight (well, I have a little bit of a belly but, to be honest, I sort of like it) but I’m still gonna. I’m obsessed with my weight now, you see. My weight can fluctuate, certainly, and I had too much weight on, say, this time two years ago but it never gets particularly excessive and it’s never a threat to my overall health. I eat very healthily (because that’s another obsession), I know the approximate calorie and fat count of most foods, and I seldom drink, so I don’t need to worry so much in that respect either. But I’m still gonna.
Some things happened a year or so ago that gave me a touch of body dysmorphic disorder.1 Since then, I’ve been very conscious of how I look and how others perceive me. I really don’t like it, and I hate how I spend too much time thinking about that and not enough time thinking about what I should be thinking about, but I can’t turn it off. I use a site called myfitnesspal.com to keep track of my food and exercise per day and if it tells me that I’m saving any fewer than 400 calories a day, I’m not happy with myself. Sometimes it tells me that I’m not eating enough calories a day to maintain a healthy diet, and I sort of like that. I probably spend more time on that site than I do on any other right now. I walk a lot and very quickly. This is all embedded, of course, in a patriarchal culture that is cruelly prescriptive about how women should look (and, importantly, not look) and I get very angry at myself for subscribing to, and ultimately perpetuating, those norms. But I still do it.
What has long been a source of frustration to me is that I can’t run. I could cycle or walk from here to Ireland, but I can’t run. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t have the lung capacity for it at all and I don’t quite know why (as I said, I walk a lot and I do so very quickly). As such, I today started the Couch to 5K running regime and completed my first 20 minutes (well, 18) this morning. It was hard in places, but I did it anyway. (The major problem I have is finding places to run – Yorkshire is very hilly!) Apparently it doesn’t take long to build up capacity and to start running for longer. I hope so. I half-heartedly tried to do something like this before but I’m determined this time. (Any tips would, of course, be most welcome.)
I want to get to a place where I’m completely happy with my weight and I just need to stop all of this before I don’t have a stitch of clothing to fit me any longer. I’m not sure which will happen first.
1 And that’s as personal as I’m ever going to get on this blog.