Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saying Goodbye to the Girls' Section

Maybe it's my general feeling of the doldrums, maybe it's the dog days of summer a little early, maybe it's feeling sorry for myself for not being in Death Valley, maybe it's my general affect toward work and related things lately, maybe it's my hamstring that won't allow me to do what I want to do.

But I found myself doing some retail therapy today. I haven't spent any money on clothing for a long time. I decided it was time to splurge a little and perk up my summer wardrobe since summer is halfway over. I hate shopping for anything, but if I'm in the mood for looking for clothes, I like to go to REI, where I buy most of my non-running, non-working clothes. I usually don't need much for clothes anyway since I am either in scrubs or running gear 90 percent of the time.

I ended up buying three dresses and 4 new tank tops. Most of them on sale, and I didn't even do much damage to the checking account. Not even two hundred dollars. I used my dividend, too, which helped. I bought a running dress, too! Imagine that! I'm sure I won't be running in it, but I love the fabric, it's so cool. I imagine I might wear it running on the beach, though. I'm long past the days of being able to run in a bikini. And I wouldn't subject the world to the sight of that, either!
I always visit the kids section, but I'm starting to get to the point with my expanded body, where the girls' stuff doesn't fit as well as it used to. I can wear extra large girls' shirts as long as there are no seams that bind around the chest. It's not even my chest that's the problem, it's my back. I'm getting wider.

My body is doing things completely on its own, without permission from me. When did it get so uppity and decide it was in control? All of my clothes are getting tighter. I'm having to change to adult medium sizes where I always fit into smalls. I take up more room in the clothes! Not fair!

It's really hard, no matter how much I think I have been able to avoid the body image crap to which so many women are slaves, it still affects me, I'm not completely immune to it. I did read this article the other day, thanks to Heather Whiteside Ward, an ultrarunner in Alabama whom I know, she shared this and I think it should be required reading for women athletes.

I was good, though, when I was in the dressing room trying on the clothes, I did not get annoyed with myself for the extra flesh in places that used to be flesh-free. I did not criticize myself for being fat here, and there. I simply got a bigger size and covered it up and looked for the telltale signs of being in clothing that was too young for me...the tiny bulge of flesh over the top of my bra in back, adjacent to my armpits. Just enough that it can be seen if the shirt or bra is too tight. I could call them baby back boobs, but I don't want to be that cruel. And then there's the soft, menopausal belly pouch that can't be sucked in anymore. It's there.

I need to let go of the need to have control over every little thing my body does. I just want to stay fit and be able to run well, and I need to remember that running well might change definition as I get older. I have to figure out what goals are realistic. I live in a completely different body than I did 6 years ago, 3 years ago, and even one year ago. I need to not do that self-hating crap that I always tried to avoid doing, that I see women my own age and older doing to themselves.

So I'm going to try really hard to let go, see what other modifications I can make with my eating, but I do know that once my training picks up things will get easier. I tried the Joe Fejes thing and it doesn't work for me. Starving and calorie restriction does not work for me. I thought I was doing really well and then my body decided to gain weight anyway.

I did run 10 miles yesterday, all easy, and I'm on target to do the same today, I ran easy this morning and when Dennis gets home from work I'm getting his butt out the door to run with me. The hamstring feels good, but I'm being careful and not pushing the pace at all.

I survived Monday, and tomorrow I start the real deal...four of the next five long days spent at work, surrounded by too many hovering computer geeks, kindly helping us out, but still, taking up too much space in our cramped little area and messing with my claustrophobic tendencies. I need my personal space, at least an arm's length, please. I wonder what would happen if I started offering them breath mints. It's too much torture to even think about it.

I feel like I'm moving into a new phase...from RPB to CDMB: Chocolate-deprived menopausal bitch? Could that be my new alter ego? Actually I'm not really chocolate deprived, I don't even crave the stuff very often any more.

Time to go for another run...


HappyTrails said...

I, like you, do not enjoy shopping - blech - unless it involves retail therapy at REI or Title Nine. Then I can tolerate it for a bit. :-) It's hard to not be self-deprecating when a person has worked hard to preserve her/his body and it refuses to cooperate - loss of control over our "destiny" - and the humiliation/fear of being viewed as a willing participant in obesification takes hold (my own fear). But worry not, you are far from being lumped into that sad group! Don't become discouraged - you are still very fit and beautiful despite what the scale and clothes show. And a little chocolate therapy now and then works wonders. :-)

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks for the supportive words, Kathleen, it's a struggle, some times more than others. I'm trying to let go and let it happen, and figure it out later. And you're right about the chocolate.

giraffy said...

I hate hate hate hate shopping for myself. Blech. Those two tops in the middle are GREAT. I love those.

Eat chocolate. It's the best.