I weighed myself today. I don’t weigh myself often. Perhaps I should. Still undecided. So, drum roll…I weigh exactly what I did six months ago. I consider this a good thing, all things considered. Since I’ve started exercising again, I’ve stopped gaining weight. Prior to that, I spent ten forced-sedentary months consistently gaining weight. Numbers are just numbers, but if I were to use a number, I could tell you that six months ago, I was 40% heavier than my previous running weight. Not gaining anything for six months since then, that’s a win. I’ll take it. Definitely.
Where does that leave me? Still fat. Are we allowed to use that word? Last time I was this weight, it was okay. It’s been a while. I digress. For six months, I’ve been running again. So, I don’t see myself as fat: I see myself as more fit-fat. Like a kit kat. Now I’m hungry. Focus. Okay, so the problem with gaining a lot of weight when you’re short like I am…did I mention I’m also short? Who did I piss off in another lifetime, right? The problem…is that 40% weight gain translates into everywhere for a short person. There is no where for the weight to hide, no shy corner to sneak behind where the right angle in a certain light helps it disappear. No tall, skinny legs gracefully extending from a discreetly draped blouse, no tiny waist to distract from an unusually ample backside. Nope. Even my feet gained weight. I mean, seriously, how do your feet gain weight? Yet, every time I wrestle to lean down and put on my now-too-tight socks, there they are…chubby little piggies that had too much roast beef while they stayed home. I am no longer thin, okay I was never thin…I am no longer medium. Cat’s out of the bag, and his name is Garfield.
I’ve been active again for six months and – despite my aspirations of watching the weight melt away – it has gradually dawned on me that I’m 46 and my metabolism is shite. Still, I’m optimistic. Because why? Well, that’s how runners are. We are the eternal optimists. We show up at a race under-trained and over-weight, or over-trained and under-weight, our hydration fails, making us retch for hours, the weather tries to kills us, old injuries emerge and new injuries buddy up for moral support. But, we persist and persevere and finish, not once forgetting to smile for the camera. If we could, while holding the medal, we’d sign up again with the blood that is pouring from our open wounds. Runners in every shape and size are eternal optimists.
So, the plan – not the resolution – even if I’m not too old for “I resolve”, I’m definitely too cynical…the plan is to continue on continuing on. Consistency over time, that’s my motto. Because if there is anything that being a runner, nay, an ultra runner, has taught me is that we persist. Even when we don’t want to, and especially when we don’t know any better. Here’s to running against stacked odds while wiping the sweat away and smiling for the camera.