Friday, April 17, 2009

A Zumba Revelation

Another Friday, another week down, another night at Zumba with Morgan and Mary Beth. The class was smaller tonight and I didn't feel like my left lung was going to need to be surgically removed from my right knee when Mary Beth was finally done with us, so my mind drifted a bit while I "kumbia-ed" my way across the floor. The past couple of weeks I haven't been able to avoid the variety of bodies around me--all attending class with different goals in mind. My goal has been so neon-bright in my mind that it's all I can think about during class. I feel things shake and my thoughts shudder trying to imagine what other people see as I attempt Latin-style moves a bit too hip-hop for the whitest girl this side of the Mississippi. I watch other women and contemplate, "Do I look like THAT when I cha-cha?"

The self-consciousness took over. In several classes, I found myself refusing to give any extra hip movement, pulling my waistband up in order to "secure" any love handles that might shake during a squat and wearing bigger t-shirts to cover up offending parts that could not be strapped down or in. Today, as I hiked my britches in an attempt to do some quick camoflauge, I realized something: I like the way my body feels when I do some of those moves. Granted, if I were to catch a glimpse of myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors at the front of the room, I would probably see something the equivalent of that African anteater mating ritual from Can't Buy Me Love. But the way it looks is beside the point. It FEELS amazing. There is a freedom in some kinds of dance that is just...liberating, I suppose.

Truthfully, the problems is that it won't matter how much weight I lose--I will still have this body. I will still have problems with this body. Stretch marks, weird angles (or lack of) and odd proportions will get on my nerves when I'm not focusing on the last 60 lbs. The fact that I am the color of paper will probably come to my mind more often than my shaking thighs do now. It's not fair for me to believe that losing the last bit (as though it's just 4 lbs...HA!) of the weight I'd like to see go will all of a sudden put me into a romantic relationship with my form. But appreciating what this form can do--movement, feeling, stretching, touching--that will change the way I feel about me and what I walk around in.

It's so funny. There are different women in that class on Monday than on Friday, and it's possible that for every person, there is a different personal goal. Morgan and I joined with the intention of losing weight. In the process, I gained a friend. Who knew that exercise could give anyone the opportunity to get to know someone else without yelling about how much running sucks?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The beginning of the end

Spring break will be over tomorrow, and it's back to the daily grind of educating young minds. Chris and I spent our spring break in Orlando, Florida, and it was a fantastic get-away. To know that you're in 92 degree weather when your hometown is braving sleet and snow (not kidding) is a warm fuzzy beyond belief. On another note, I pretty well allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted to eat on vacation. This led to a 3 lb weight gain (which isn't horrible) over the course of my "wonderful" vacation.

That wouldn't be so bad, but I have somehow managed to misplace my thyroid medicine (which I JUST refilled) when we got back from Orlando. I called the pharmacist to see if I could get it replaced. Turns out, I can, but I have to pay full price--about $100--because my insurance company just payed for the refill a few days ago. Talk about frustrating. It's also a controlled substance...so those wonderful people at the pharmacy would need approval from my doctor in order to do the refill. Again, not so bad aside from the $100 price tag.

That said, I've really been trying to do some ab exercises on my own. I've also been wondering why weight loss is so hard. I don't need to eat as often as I do. I don't need to eat some of the garbage I put in my mouth. I don't mind going to Zumba or doing ab work. How did I come to this point? Any dieter will probably ask the same question. Any woman who has ever struggled to fit into her "skinny" jeans would probably confess the same realities.

It's frustrating to know that so many things in life are hit and miss. There are some who are blessed with quick metabolisms. There are some who are not. It seems really random how some are gifted and blessed and others are not given the same gifts or blessings. I wonder if this is something that evens out with age, or if it's a life constant. Something makes me think it's simply a constant that must be swallowed--perhaps with a spoonful of sugar?