Defiant Athlete: Week 8

It’ll write my two month progress report on Monday. Two months seems like both a really long time and no time at all to me.

It seems like a long time, because I am fighting the frustration of not getting the results I want fast enough. I don’t want a two mile outdoor walk to feel like an epic woman vs. nature struggle. I don’t want to have to struggle my way up a hill by coaxing myself into just going to that car, and then that sign post, and that rock.

It seems like no time, because it’s flown by. And other than those damned outdoor walks, I’m having a real good time.

Here’s what’s the best part of the real good time: You. The conversations that are happening in comments here and with my friends and family on Facebook are exhilarating. They are the most fun, they are intellectually exciting and they make me more happy than I can express. Thank you for that.

I feel on fire with the idea of the defiant athlete. I want to yell “you can move for fun!” from the roof tops. If anyone has any leads to rooftops that I might yell from, let me know.

This week, I’ve logged less points than the one before, and the one before I logged less than the one before that. I’ve noticed that the last two weeks, and this week in particular, I’ve worked out a little less, but much harder. Also, this week I stopped logging grocery shopping as points. My fitness level has improved sufficiently that grocery shopping isn’t the feat it used to be. I could probably still give myself zone 1 points, but I’ve decided not to.

This week’s Ten List:

1. I did twenty minutes of 2.8 mph for four minutes followed by one minute of slow jogging at 3.5 mph. I’d planned on doing this for an hour, and couldn’t. My lungs and heart loved it, my legs did not. After the fourth minute of jogging, the pain on the outside of both calves was intense. I did run the last minute at 5 mph, when I knew I was going to have to stop. My legs gave out, but my heart rate didn’t go as high as 3.2 mph for a minute did in week one.

2. I had a nice little indication that I’m getting stronger this week. After the above mentioned walk/jog, I went on the elliptical. I told myself I’d go as slow as the machine would let me until it started to get uncomfortable. Two weeks ago, this was about 3 minutes, although I could push to eight. This week it took ten minutes for me to feel like I wanted to stop. I probably could have gone 20.

3. I’m really enjoying yoga, and Ruby is becoming a serious little yogini. She asks me to do yoga with her before bed almost every night. She says it helps her relax, which is hilarious coming from a six year old. But awesome.

4. I walked a mile on the treadmill in just under 20 minutes this week, which is a personal best. Yay!

5. I walked 2 miles outdoors in 39 minutes, which made up for the pain.

6. I am still (still) struggling with not weighing myself. I don’t know how to stop this. I mean, I know how to just not weigh myself. I don’t know how to stop wanting to. Does the desire eventually just go away?

7. My legs hurt so bad when I try to push past my comfort level when walking that I wonder if so many years of sitting at a computer most of the day has atrophied my muscles. I’m serious.

8. I am so anxious to get to Carson City, so that I can have access to a pool and maybe by a bike, take some belly dancing lessons, join a boot camp. I want to have fun.

9. I’ll have to take what’s good about the boot camp and leave their diet at the door. And tell them I don’t want to be weighed and measured. I’m willing to give that a try for one six-week cycle, because the idea of functional training appeals to me so much. I think I’ll open a dialogue with the trainer before hand.

10. I had a really interesting talk with the owner of my gym this week. She asked me about writing, because her son-in-law has written a book. I gave her the basic spiel about being prepared for rejection, but getting it out there anyway. Then I told her about Defiant Athlete and that I want to write about it as an academic study. She got so excited. She started telling me about a woman whose been able to get off blood pressure medication and one who is controlling her diabetes through exercise. I feel like I could turn her excitement and willingness to see exercise as something other than a weight loss measure into a way to reach more people, but I’m not sure how.




Filed under body

2 responses to “Defiant Athlete: Week 8

  1. dominique

    Hello Shaunta,

    I’ve been reading on the fat-o-sphere for a long time, and your blog since you’ve been on the feed. I still had not commented because your «defiant athlete» concept made me think of so many hard things… but now I’ll do.

    You are awesome, period. You even make me feel like trying to prepare for an Ironman someday.

    You are, truly, an inspiration to anybody because what you are saying feels so REAL. You don’t hide anything. The struggles, the coaxing, the telling honestly IT’S NOT FUN. And, the desire to weigh yourself… let me tell you something.

    When I was in therapy for binge eating disorder, one of the first things that I’ve been asked to do is to toss my scale. I couldn’t. I. Simply. Couldn’t. … After a couple of weeks, with my therapist we did something that help me A LOT. We «spoke to, killed, buried and mourned» the scale. She made me sit in a quiet, lovely place, on a bright sunny afternoon, outside. She made me write on the scale EVERYTHING I thought I should say to it. (such as «when will you fucking stop ruling my life???» or simply «I’m so tired of seeing you» and even «I will miss you». ) Then, she handed me a hammer, and told me to have fun. Which I did. We did bury the pieces in a paper bag, under a tree. (it will be picked up someday when I don’t know because I don’t want to harm the environment; they told me they will. ) and for the next days I had to mourn the loss of my friend-enemy. I felt so lost, having nothing to decide if the day was horrible or good. And, eventually, it DID went away. I had a couple of epic fights with doctors (here in Quebec , Canada, you are really lucky if you have a family doctor so you don’t have the choice; when you have one, you keep it, even if he’s a Preachy McLoseweightson.) but I held on to my position.

    then, I started to go to a gym and joined for one year. What a fucking mistake; it’s a 30 minute, women only gym with utter focus on weight loss, and trainers yelling «burn those calories». I thought I could overlook that but I could NOT. I wanted to join because the time to exercise was short. But I found myself weighing myself again, and binge-eating by night again.

    so… yes, it goes away, but be VERY careful of what you are getting involved in and be aware that any environment can be harmful when you are force-fed with wrong, body-policing, weight-lossy advice and comments. If at first you think you MIGHT be in contact with that kind of shit JUST DON’T JOIN, believe me. (beware the boot camp…)

    This way it will be easier to continue to refuse to let the scale rule your life, and to stop linking exercise to weight loss.

    Keep the beat, and congrats for your little yogini, it IS wonderful that she likes it as much as you do. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for writing this. It means a lot to me.

      I got rid of my home scale as my New Year’s Resolution in Jan 2010. And I did fine. But there is a scale just sitting there at the gym, in the private bathroom, where no one is watching me. And it’s been a super struggle to not get on it. I think I like the idea of the boot camp because it’s not at a gym. It’s outdoors at different venues. They do weigh you at the beginning, middle and end of each six-week session, though. I don’t feel like the scale runs my life, although I know that is some people’s expectations. But I want it gone, and it’s not. I won’t go to the bootcamp until I talk to the trainer and make sure that not weighing is going to be okay. I’m also going to try to find out if it’s all “feel the burn.” I like this program because while the website does have some weight loss talk, it also talks about the women involved becoming athletes. We shall see.

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