My body, my friend

 

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It has been 28 days since I’ve done squats. I remember those paused front squats with joy in my heart. 28 days ago, at the end of the Olympic lifting class, 5 x 3 front squats with a 3 second pause at the bottom. Ah good times.

I regretted those front squats at the 13km mark of the half marathon the next day, but oh in hindsight how I’m glad I did them. Fond memories.

Each day since I have been injured I look down at my thighs in fear and worry they are getting smaller. I sit down so I can see them at their biggest. Surely they wouldn’t shrink in a day, a week, but 28 days?

I got the courage to weigh myself the other day and I’d lost 2kg. Oh the sorrow – where did that 2kg come from? My quads, my glutes????

Flash back seven years ago, pre CrossFit and pre ultramarathoning to a time when I hated my body. I had a nervous breakdown at 26 and lost 10kg from stress. I remember initially feeling upset when I tried on one of my favourite dresses and it didn’t fit because it was too big. I felt like the weight loss was the wound that the public could see – the outward sign of how I felt internally. I wasn’t trying to be thin, I was just too depressed to eat.

Then the compliments started to come in. I don’t remember a single person saying to me “what the fuck is going on with you?” Or anything to that effect. Instead I got compliments about how great I looked. I recall one close friend saying to me “You don’t want to lose any more weight but you don’t want to gain any either – you look perfect.”

My fridge contained a carton of Carona’s and a bag of carrots. My pantry contained 1L of Jack Daniels and a tub of protein powder. Oh but I had found the secret for beauty according to those around me.

Depression turned into hypermania and that was when I made a conscious choice to stay thin. That was when the self hatred began. As my weight slowly increased because of all the booze I was drinking, I loathed myself even more.

Then I got diagnosed with bipolar and put on heavy meds that made me gain around 15kg in a very short time frame. I was bloated and puffy and even when I stabilised and came off the meds, I couldn’t lose the weight.

I’d like to say there was a light bulb moment when I looked at my body and said “you’re okay sister,” but there wasn’t. I struggled for years…and then I found CrossFit.

I’d been running for a few years before I started CrossFit and whilst I think that initiated some of the changes in my thought process – it was lifting heavy shit that really made me appreciate what thick thighs could do.

I love following all the women CrossFitters on Instagram because none of them are defined by what their bodies look like but rather what their bodies can do. I watched “A day in the Life of Lauren Fisher” the other day and she says something to the effect of “I don’t worry if I gain weight, but I get upset if I lose weight.”

That’s how I feel right now as I look at my thighs and worry they are getting smaller. I worked bloody hard for those quads of steel, those strong glutes. Don’t leave me friends!

Having injured myself to the point that I had to be on crutches for two weeks, I’ve started to appreciate my body for all the things I have taken for granted – not just running and squatting. Like grocery shopping! How amazing that this body has been driving itself to the supermarket, walking the ailes and carrying a basket all these years and I haven’t thought to say thank you.

Well the time has come for me to say thank you. Thank you Body for all the wonderful things you do for me, all the things I have taken for granted all these years. I look forward to running and squatting with you again soon, but for now, I am grateful that I can buy my own groceries again, that I can check the letterbox and get myself to work (the older trams and how terrible they are for anyone with mobility issues deserves an entire blog of it’s own).

And Body , I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all those years I didn’t appreciate you. For all the hate and loathing I cast your way that was in no way justified. You are beautiful just the way you are and I love you.

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About tashytuffnut

ultramarathon runner, desert runner, trail runner, musician, vegetarian, tattoos, lawyer.

2 responses to “My body, my friend”

  1. writereadplay says :

    Great writing, thanks for sharing. I too spent way too long hating my body – my muscular thighs and calves especially – but in my early thirties as I was close to giving birth for the first time I stood there one summer evening and said ‘thank you’. It was a profound and powerful moment. Our bodies carry so much.

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