Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Why No Mountain Roads Go Straight Up

As a friend pointed out to me recently, Los Angeles is probably the worst city in which to deal with weight loss and body issues. It's not what people think, that Hollywood and people in "the biz" in this town are the strongest influences over the general population, but it's more like a cultural phenomenon. Fit people exude privilege here, their spindly limbs or huge shoulder bulk send a subconscious message: this person is one of the desirable ones.

With the cost of living here, weight really does separate the "haves" from the "have nots," or at least it provides that illusion of "having" from "have notting." Even if you "have notting" you try to look like you do. Unless you're a hipster, of course. ANYYYWAAYY...

Like I said, L.A. and weight loss goals can be rough on a person. It's annoying to lose a big chunk of weight and to still be fat and know you'll be "fat" for a very long time yet, perhaps forever, if you choose to stay in a town full of sticks and skinnies. I really sympathize with folks who are very obese and have hundreds of pounds to lose before they get down to a healthy weight. Back in St. Louis, I might have thought that a size 10/12 was a normal size, a size that didn't make me seem too chunky next to my peers. Here, however, I stand out like the pudgy sore thumb in a sea full of pinkies. Not cute.

What's worse is, while getting closer to my goal, I know that the progress will be arduously slow. And, all the while, I still battle not to let food have power over me. It's certainly much easier now to control my food intake, as my body is normalizing and my blood sugar levels are becoming more stable, but it's still a conscious effort. I still fear losing control, even though it hasn't happened yet. Sure, there are days when I eat a bit more than I should eat, but I keep telling myself that it's a lifestyle and that even skinny people have pig out days. One day of "pigging out" is not going to ruin all of the hard work I've put into this. I'm learning to communicate with my body, to find out what it's really craving, how much it really needs and whether I'm really hungry or just bored or anxious.

And I find substitutes for things. Instead of a big desserty binge after a stressed out day at work, I unwind with a bit of fruit and a glass of red wine. Weirdly enough, that works great for me instead of chocolatey ice cream or cookies. Weirder still, I haven't really craved chocolate, the love of my life, in at least a month. Wild.

I'm trying not to get frustrated about my hip keeping me from reaching my speed and distance running goals for the time being. Injuries can really make you feel like a lazy slob, especially when you were just getting that immense high from being strong and in-shape. I know that I will find that strength again, especially after starting my Team in Training sessions (you can follow my progress with that here: Patience is the lesson for this year. I guess I am a glacier.

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