Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bullet Points

Been sick, been stressed, been silent over here.  A little collection of thoughts:
  • It persistently baffles me that I feel better about my body when it has few-to-no clothes on it.  I remember this being true when last I was this size, too, so maybe it has something to do with the specific clothes I wear or the specific size I am, but it's still kind of confusing.  
  • We have had the teeny, implicit recognition from my oldest dearest who'd been abroad most of the year that my body has changed in her absence.  It went like this: we were happy-houring and I mentioned a(n obnoxious) Facebook post in which a girl we'd gone to high school with was like, "Internet, I have lost weight!  I can wear shorts!  And horizontal stripes!"  Now, I do not personally wear shorts (or pants of any length), but horizontal stripes are my favorite, so I think this is bullshit for that reason alone (obviously other reasons too).  (In fairness to her, I will say that she looks awesome, although I think she still thinks she's too fat and I also think she might have looked just about as awesome before this shift if she'd stood up straight and dressed herself better.)  But the backstory was that this woman had taken up martial arts, and, I said, as these things sometimes do, it had changed her body somewhat.  "Right," said my friend, with a minute gesture in my direction.  "Like weightlifting."  
  • I am feeling super complacent about my size right now.  "Complacent" is sort of pejorative, but I mean it to signal something like "slightly checked out, in a good way."  My size has receded a little bit in my consciousness, which is always a relief.  One thing I think is relevant to this is that I've been this size for a minute now, and I always, always, without fail feel better about my body when it is not in a state of flux.  I get that initial "whee!" of being slightly smaller sometimes, but that breeds in me a constant-vigilance kind of watchful anxiety, in which I check myself in reflective surfaces all day long and scrutinize.  And that way madness lies.
  • At the gym the other day, the very-attractive-if-you-like-blond-banker-types dude next to me, who was doing step-ups in some weird pattern while I squatted, pulled out an earbud to talk to me as he was finishing up.  "You're strong," he said.  "That's a lot of weight."  It was 115, which is not actually a heavy squat.  (I was squatting 155 before my nomadism broke up my gym groove, and my dream-type goal is to one day squat 315.)  So he meant, pretty clearly, "for a girl."  But he wasn't a dick about it, and I actually didn't mind this encounter.  It was a reminder that what I can actually do is so, so much more than what I'm supposed to be able to do.
  • I'm a member of a heavy-lifting-for-mostly-women Facebook group.  The founder of that group is one of my Almosts: a person whose work and thought has notable points of superiority to the general consensus, but who does not diverge from it so far as to be exemplary/perfectly supportive of what I believe and need.  In that group, a long, long conversation about "fat shaming" (not really my favorite phrase, but the scare quotes are hers) was actually shockingly civil and productive.  Not perfect, but better than one would have expected.  I am trying to extrapolate from it some rules about my own conduct in these conversation, a set of guidelines for engagement.  The first one, I think, is Do Not Try To Prove Anything From Scratch.  Pointing people towards some resources is fine, but making a case that needs a book & not just a couple Facebook comments is wasted effort.
  • Weightlifting is still the best.  Gonna write it a love letter in just a minute.

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