So yesterday, while I watched video after video of myself speaking over the last couple of years, the thing that had kept me from watching them did bother me. I haven’t gained much, if any, weight in the past two years, but I did gain weight before then, and I’m sad that I backslid— I had lost 35 pounds in 2011 and kept it off through most of 2012, but then after my strange illness (during which I lost some more weight in a bad I’m-too-sick-to-eat-or-exercise kind of way), I started to put it back on. I wasn’t worried, at first, because I was enjoying being healthy again. I told myself I’d lost a lot of muscle being mostly laid up for three months. But over time, I put back all but 5-10 pounds of what I’d lost (and I really fight those 5-10 pounds return most of the time), and I liked my body better when it was smaller. Whether I should or not.
I didn’t let it blind me to the smart or the funny or the good things those videos had to tell me, but the self-loathing and body shaming voices in my head? No mute button on that remote.
So along with the good things I saw (and I did deliberately look for good things— please read the previous post before you shame me for my body shame), I thought “two years no progress? Really? I’ve got to turn it around.”
Not a new thought for me. And I ended up in a not-a-new-to-me-place, about it. “I wish I had some roller skates!”
Here’s the thing: As a kid, I loved to roller skate. In the neighborhood, in a rink, whatever. I just like the motion of it. I like that it’s faster than walking, because I don’t have unlimited time to devote to it, so being able to go further than I can walking is pretty attractive. And I don’t run, and that’s probably not going to change for the foreseeable future. It’s not even that I’m amazing at it, it’s just one of those things I can get lost in, in a good way.
I can and do bike for this reason, but the thought I had was “if I had roller skates, I could bring them to work and do it on my lunch hour.” At first, I dismissed it as crazy.
“Right, you’re going to change clothes, strap on roller skates, and roller skate around the business park full of office-workers on their lunch hour. That’s totally not going to happen.”
Except that I was regularly hitting the gym and weather-permitting walking on my lunch hour earlier this year. It just got boring because I could only go so far in the time allowed (also, I was only allowing 20 minutes because I was also trying to write on my lunch hour and eat when I wasn’t doing either of those things, so I couldn’t go anywhere interesting to walk). Since then, I’ve realized I can take my lunch to the nearby state park and hang out there. There are walking trails all around— I could jump in the car, drive five minutes to the trail I want to explore, throw on the skates, and go.
Would I do it everyday? Probably not. It is a hassle to change, add a bunch of gear, drive somewhere and reverse the process, plus it takes the time you have set aside to eat, so you have to be willing to work and eat simultaneously for your play time.
But I could use a little play time, right about now. The benefits of roller skating are supposed to be roughly equivalent to those of jogging, which means I’d get the intensity boost I’m lacking in my current workouts, and because it would happen during the day, I’m not taking extra time away from my mom or the dog, the way I feel like I do on my bike after work or in going to the gym.
Also, it gives me somewhere to put frustration during the day, and I need that. I get up and run down the stairs of my building several times a day, taking the elevator back up, but it’s not quite enough to help me cope.
During the same brainstorm, I got to thinking about the food thing with mom. It’s been harder for me to eat as well as I normally do during the summer because mom has convinced herself that she can’t eat raw vegetables (in Feb/March, they said “diverticulitis” and put her on a liquid diet because she was fighting an infection. They didn’t tell her not to eat raw veggies (or restrict her from any kind of food), but when they started her on solid foods, they started her on bland, processed stuff. She’s taken that to mean that raw veggies give her diverticulitis, which is not my understanding of her condition.) Normally, during the summer, I make a salad or two (cole slaw, cucumber-tomato salad, green bean salad) to eat off for the week, and then just add a lean protein for dinner. I did that at the beginning of the summer, but she selectively claims that she can’t eat raw veggies, and we’ve ended up throwing out the salads and grilled veggies that I make— at least the ones I don’t eat like it’s my job. I’ve done a couple of cold salads with cooked veggies (a three-bean salad and this awesome grilled carrot/chickpea thing I made), but she doesn’t really eat those either. She wants canned (not even frozen) veggies, which especially depress me in the summer, and it’s ridiculous. I got to thinking that if I made my lunch/time at work my healthiest eating, it might partially offset the more processed foods that she likes at night. I’ve already backed off her nightly dessert thing, with some success, so this would be just another step in that direction.
I like that both of these are healthy things that excite me. I want to move toward more fun, energy, and better health, not just away from being fatter than I want to be.
I don’t want to spend a lot on skates, in case this ends up not being a thing, but since my lunch plans fell through, today’s lunch will be me going and trying on some second-hand skates at a used sporting goods store. And if not, I’ll buy the ones I found on Amazon that aren’t too expensive. And this weekend, since my house chores are done, I can take the skates out and get used to them again one morning in my highly skate-able neighborhood. And then, the plan is underway!
Take that, status quo!