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bear by san

March 2017



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always winter

didn't want to be... your ghost.

This is a post about physical fitness. If that sort of thing bothers you, by all means page down!

Also, this is a post entirely about me. I support anybody's right to live in their body as they choose without judgment; this is how I choose to live in mine.

The thing about physical fitness is that it never actually gets easier. You just suck at a higher level.

So I just got back from a nice little three mile run in the snow. (Okay, 2.8 miles.) It was beautiful and cold and if it weren't for my damned glasses fogging, I would have called it a perfect outing. (I only made about 11 minute miles, but I was being pretty careful of my footing.)

Two years ago, that would have been beyond the limit of my capability. I was struggling to break 12 minute miles at that point, and didn't really start running father than 5K until last winter. Now I can run ten miles in a little less than two hours, over a hilly route. It's fucking exhausting, and I only do it once a week... but the result is that shorter runs now feel like kind of a treat. (I can run eight miles twice a week. Funny how much of a difference that last two miles makes.)

So the edge has gotten further away--but the days when I run ten miles are just as hard as it used to be to run four.

Still, it's really nice to look at livejournal posts from May 2011 and see myself saying "Someday I will run 5K at more than a shuffling jog." Because today is that someday. And the hills I'm crushing (or that are crushing me!) now are bigger and steeper than the hills I was struggling with then.

Progress. It's important to track it.

You have to push the edge, in other words, for stuff like what I did today to start getting easier.

Still, I'm pretty damned content with my fitness level at this point. I haven't been climbing much (or at all, for a month, alas) but I've been working hard at yoga and running, and my biceps are actually starting to develop that little notch at the bottom. I have tripod balance more or less down, and I'm working on turning it into a free standing headstand. I fall over a lot!

Also, new more muscular and tighter thighs mean I can do tree pose, bound side angle, and proper not-cheating crow like a boss. I am very, very fond of my massive running-on-hills quadriceps and hamstrings.

Rar! I'm back on a more restrictive Discipline, because my blood pressure had crept back up at my last checkup, and my goal now is to maintain myself at the current level of fitness (I toy with the idea of training for a half-marathon, but conveniently the Hartford Marathon is the same weekend as Viable Paradise and honestly I don't REALLY want to run more than I already do, so I'm off the hook) and get a little leaner. (I suspect a lot of my recent improvements in running have to do with being lighter--it's a hell of a lot easier to shove 190 pounds up a hill or drag it up a wall than it is to do the same to 230 pounds.)

I would really like to stay off the hypertension meds. I do not like the side effects. Family history may be against me, though...

And now it's time to do some yoga, and then eat all the things.


I was down to 187 this summer, but there was this little incident with West Nile Virus and then a whole bunch of conventions, with attendant booze and restaurant food. So it's more like I'm BACK down to 190.

26 pounds to go, more or less!

And yeah, my body, my rules. It's worth suffering up those hills to be able to run for the bus without pain.
I just remember about what you weighed when you started making these posts public. +/- 3 pounds, you are still freaking inspirational. Hard work, sensible food choices == lose weight? who'd a thunk?
Yeah, I have lost a hundred pounds, total. A third of me! More than my dog weighs! By the time I am done, it will be like a whole grown other person.

Every so often I look at myself in the mirror and think "Where did I put it?!" because my body image has not changed that much. But at one point I had the equivalent of a good-sized woman hanging off me. No wonder running was hard. :-P

I had a conversation with my previous doctor, where she asked me, "How did you do it?" and I said "Exercise five days a week and count calories."

And she *laughed,* and said "So just what we tell people to do."

(She was a great doc, but I moved.)

So, thank you. It's nice feeling good.
Body image is such a damned killer. I've had essentially the same self image since I weighed 100 pounds less than I do now (15 years ago) and 50 pounds more than I do.

I've been using your posts to encourage both myself and a friend who wants to instate her own version of project less of me. Thank you for sharing.
The body image thing is weird. When I explain to people that I liked how my body looked at 230 just the same as I like how it looks at 160 (and that losing weight wasn't much about body image at all for me) I get a lot of incomprehension. There's this pernicious attitude that losing weight has to be about hating yourself ... which I think often contributes to failure to achieve one's goals.
Yeah. I mean, I'm much more physically comfortable now, and have a lot less pain--and I am, honestly, happier when I look in the mirror, because what I see matches what I think I look like more closely... but my moments of glee are not so much over zipping tight jeans and doing something thoughtlessly, effortlessly, and then realizing it would not have been possible a few years ago.
my moments of glee are not so much over zipping tight jeans and doing something thoughtlessly, effortlessly, and then realizing it would not have been possible a few years ago.

Yes. This. The clothing thing snuck up on me. I had a much-welcome dose of reality when I tried clothing on in Europe. Sizes were what I had been at a younger age, not the absurdities they are here.

Nonetheless, it makes such a difference in weight and ability to do stuff. And the Mocha mare is much happier packing a lighter me.
That 1total amount you want to have lost is a good comfortable weight for me, not too light or heavy (I'm about 12# over it now, but likely was somewhere around the the one time I met you). This is because I've very short and, though muscular, quite fine-boned.... but yeah, imagining you running with me riding piggyback is pretty mind-boggling.