Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Struggles the Bear

I've been struggling lately.

As you have seen, I have had a lovely aircast (lovingly aka "The Boot") on my left leg for quite some time now. I have/had(?) severe shin splints or a possible stress fracture. I'm going with stress fracture because my leg didn't heal on its own after resting completely for 4 weeks and the doctor said, and I quote, that yes, that was "weird."

Anyway! The Boot = No Exercise. For a lovely birthday treat, though, I went to the orthopedist (I know, I'm a bit lavish on my special day ;) and he told me that I could start weaning myself off of my boot.

Now, this really shouldn't be a problem for me, as I have come to view my boot like John Locke on LOST views his wheelchair. But, being told that I can finally get out of it, and heck, just being in it to begin with, has brought up a lot of body image issues for me.

First, due to the above equation (The Boot = No Exercise), I have gained a bit of weight. Now, I panic and exaggerate with the best of them, so when I tell you it feels like I've gained 175 lbs., it's probably more like 5 or 10. But I just feel so "off". And yuck.

So, what do I hate about this weight gain? My cute winter clothes don't fit!! I usually feel sassy in my cute jeans and sassy boots (that I purchased with uber cool fashionista Lori's encouragement). But no. Now I'm in ridiculous old jeans from high school (pre-ED) that actually BUTTON UP THE FRONT. Are you feeling me here? How is a girl supposed to feel sexy when her underwear is constricting her and her jeans are hardly short of a stonewashed disaster?

So, what do I like (not love, but like) about this weight gain? Shocking, isn't? But there ARE positives. Just the other day, I looked in the mirror and I looked like a WOMAN. The added weight makes me look a little more grown-up, and I really revelled in the moment. I also feel more womanLY sometimes. These larger hips make me feel baby-ready and like I am rockin' the curves that Mother Nature intended me to have. And sometimes, I just feel a bit more like me.

Oh, did I only mention the shallow downside? I forgot to say that after running every other day for a lonnnng time, I am now huffing and puffing up the stairs and just feeling generally unhealthy.

So, today was the first time I went exercisin', sans boot (okay, I never went exercising with (avec) the boot, but I wanted to get that fancy French word (now TWO!) in there ;). A miracle occurred, I tell you! As I rode the little leaning-back bike, catching up on the latest issue of ABA Journal (there's that lavish lifestyle again...), life was good! My leg didn't break! Or hurt, or anything less dramatic like that. :) Of course tomorrow will be a rest day, but then we'll try it out again on Thursday.

I left my apartment complex's workout room with the zest and energy that a good workout brings. And happiness- oh the happiness! I'm sure that there was a rainbow-colored trail of serotonin floating behind me.

So, it's good that I'm back on the right track, but I can't forget the panic and fears that the lack of exercise and subsequent weight gain resurfaced in me.

I had the good fortune of running cross Brie's blog. An awesome, Hilarious (capital H there, people) woman who has struggled with an eating disorder as well. Right now, she is wearing a tube in her nose to get the nutrition she needs. Sorry to make an "example" of you, Brie, but it's true- my eating disorder could have gotten a lot worse, and I am so thankful to be reminded of why I AM grateful that I got better, not sicker. (And Brie has made the nose tube quite a hilarious adventure, so I know that Goddess chose the spirit who could handle it best.)

And, of course, as I headed off to law school, one of my therapists (yes, ONE of THEM- it takes a village, people, it takes a village) told me that she didn't want me to be the top of my class in law school, because that would indicate that I am not properly taking care of myself.

So, ya know, I have that excuse to get me through finals. :)

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