November 29, 2010

The speed of life

I ran 2.25 miles last night, which is more than I've ever ran without stopping, and I'm more than pleased. In the start of my run, though, a familiar feeling came over me: sometimes when I run, I feel like I could keep going and do a whole marathon. Usually the feeling only lasts about a mile, and then reality sets in. My legs start to get a little tired, and I finish up whatever distance I have left feeling grateful that I can run at all. It's not my body that thinks I can run a marathon right now - it's my mind.

My body and my mind tend to travel at different speeds, and the role of the faster one alternates between the two. On nights like last night, when I am pushing myself to my physical limits, my mind feels like it can go forever. artwork by kurt halsey - kurt halsey dot comI am so much more capable than I was only a few months ago, and I want to go out and maximize every day. The problem, though, is that despite losing over seventy pounds, I'm still very obese. There are still physical limits. Yes, I can test them and push them and sometimes I can do things that surprise me. But no matter how much I want to do almost anything and everything, I'm still somewhat limited by my size.

At the times when my body gets ahead of my mind, it is largely internal. Despite the fact that I used to weigh 345 pounds, and despite the fact that as of my last weigh-in I was in the 270s, I'm still a twenty-four year old girl, and there are things that both my body and my mind desire. My body feels amazing and full of energy and wants to go out on dates and have the normal twenty-something experience, but my mind keeps putting the brakes on. In my mind, I can always justify not going out and trying to obtain the life that I want - which is obvious, I think, since I ended up twenty-three years old and 345 pounds. artwork by kurt halsey - kurt halsey dot comBut I feel so weighed down by the idea that even though my seventy-four pound weight loss is great personally, it still isn't enough for everyone else. Someone meeting me now would have no idea how much progress I've made, he'd only see what I currently have to offer.

Which I guess begs the question, At what point will it be enough? And then I wonder if it will ever be. That's something I need to figure out myself, I suppose. My mind and my body need to meet up and travel together at the speed of life. Even the thinnest people, people who have never had to consider losing three-fifths of their body weight, have things they don't like about themselves. I know that a huge part of my journey is working on my self-confidence, and I need to put in a conscious effort now during the journey so that when I get to where I want to be, I am prepared. There is no switch that will automatically flip once the scale reads a number I am satisfied with. Lately, it's been power surges, followed by brownouts.

For some reason, a lot of my recent self-confidence issues stem from dating and relationships. My past experience has always been that settling for less than perfect and putting up with a lot of poor treatment because I was lonely and being mistreated was better than being alone. More than anything, I want someone in my life, someone here with me to share in this journey - a boyfriend, a workout partner, a culinary guinea pig, and a co-adventurer. But my mind interjects and starts arguing. artwork by kurt halsey - kurt halsey dot comI worry about the things I will have to explain to someone who isn't aware of where I've been, like loose skin. And why would I get someone involved now when everything about me is changing?

These things might not matter to the right guy. But for now, in my mind, these are dealbreakers. I don't like feeling vulnerable, and in my non-blog life, I have a very difficult time letting people in. I hurt myself enough in the past, I need to recover from my self-inflicted wounds before I let down my guard and retreat, fully exposed, from behind my shield.

I do have some savvy with dating and things like that, and so for the rest of this week, I am going to do a series of blog posts talking about my history with the three guys who have (like it or not) shaped a good deal of my ideas about and experiences with relationships and the like. I collectively refer to them as "the pains in my S," as their names are Sam, Scott, and Steve. It's just not my lucky letter, I guess. For me, these are very heavy, impactful tales, and even though I am currently feeling very good and positive about my journey, I feel like I need to express them now so I can try and ease some of the burden of my emotional weight.


Amy said...

The sad reality of life is we always seek perfection; however perfection is out of reach. We can find our own idea of perfection, but perfect perfect doesn't exist. But you know what? It's the oddities in life that are beautiful. When something is slightly off you can find beauty in that. Perfection looks strange.

I think as we age we become more comfortable in our skin. In our 20s, for the most part we know who we are, but in some ways we're still discovering that person that we can be. It's about striving to be the best version of us.

My boyfriend and I were talking about being in your 20s the other day, and we were saying from where you start in your 20s, to often where most people end is the world of a difference. At the beginning we are young adults in post-secondary school and somewhere within that most people work their way into a career, get married and have children. It's craziness and warp speed. It's a changing decade.

I can only imagine how you feel about wanting to find a significant other. I agree though that because you're changing so much right now, it might lead to a messy relationship. I think that you should dedicate this year to yourself. Making it about you. Finding a love for who you are both inside and out, and once you find that love, you'll be ready to share it with someone else. That being said, if you were to meet someone I wouldn't pass up the opportunity either, because you never know!! I just wouldn't go actively searching for someone just yet. It's a great time for you to be selfish and thinking only about yourself!

Katie Warren said...

<3 you! I completely understand the conflicting feelings of body and mind. I am in the same boat. My mind is acting like my body is at goal. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself and I am so frustrated with how far I have to go. And I also wonder what people who see me now think. They have no way of knowing that I used to be 41 pounds heavier. To them I am still fat. ugh. But we will get there!

<3 Katie

Jessica said...

I know what you mean about your mind being ready for new physical challenges, but your body not quite being there yet. That has happened to me, too! I dream about running all the time now too. In my dreams, the running is so easy and I can just go forever :)

I am glad you are joining me for the "Merry-thon!" I need something to keep me going!

How do you like the new nano? You encouraged me to change a bit, too! I had had my old ipod for over 5 was time. I haven't quite figured everything out yet...what is your favorite feature? I feel a bit ackward with the touch screen, but hopefully I will get used to it. ~jess

Unknown said...

I always love reading your posts, Mary; I'm looking forward to your series on ex-boyfriends. I know there will be at least one that each of us will relate to.
Even though you and I have a difference in age (16 years) I can read your thoughts and feel as though they were my own at your age. You are on the right track and are working on you which is so important. Once you feel ready to fully seek out a companion it will happen - you are such a lovely young woman with a beautiful heart to match.

Tim said...

I like to think the best people will always come into our lives without us actively looking for them. It's time to start telling yourself that you don't accept second best anymore. You've done excellent so far on your weight loss journey so maybe it's right to continue as you are. Keep learning and loving the new you. Obviously keep your eyes open for some hunk (lol) but keep yourself as the number 1.

Maude said...

Yet another great post! I'm very curious about the S series too.

Everyone's pretty much covered what I would say, so I'll agree with them. Your 20's are a time of so much self discovery. If someone amazing pops up, then definitely go for it. Otherwise, be self focused. The self transformation you're trying to achieve right now deserves all of your attention - YOU deserve all of your attention.