That’s right. The 1st of July will go down in my diary, highlighted, marked and triple marked because it was a proud day, nay a momentous day. It was the day I actually dug out my running gear and went for a run, or rather I went and did the ‘Truffle Shuffle’.
The Sad Step
The other day I finally caved in and bought some cheap scales from Amazon. I was dismayed when they confirmed what I had long suspected. Gary Growth might no longer be on my foot but it has still left his mark, roughly a stone and a half mark. Yes, that’s how much I reckon I am overweight. I would like to say that I am happier being a bit bigger. I would like to say that I feel confident and am able to embrace my larger frame, but I’m not.
I Don’t Feel Body Positive
The body positivity moment is very “now” currently and it’s all about being able to accept yourself for how you look. Yet, I am not able to accept my body in its current state. Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly proud of it. It has taken me through two difficult births. I now have a lopsided scar that is testament to the two emergency C-sections that brought me my beautiful babies. I also have stretch marks, not just across my stomach but also across my thighs. I grew two very big babies and those thighs also needed to grow so that I could carry them.
I might be proud of my body but I am also frustrated by it and I no longer feel comfortable in my skin. I don’t know how to dress it and I don’t know how to stand. I now have an ample bosom that is squeezed into bras that are far too small for me. I refuse to buy new bras as that means I am accepting them, I don’t want to accept them, I don’t like them. They make me feel mumsy and clothes look untidy on me. Then there are my hips that seem to be growing at a rapid rate. I’ve always had childbearing hips – rather ironic really as my body failed me on both counts when it came to actually pushing out a baby – but now they are so wide that wearing jeans is painful.
Looking Like Grandma
When I was moaning about the size of my hips, my mum casually informed me that it was because I took after my Grandma. This horrified me, not because my Grandma wasn’t a nice person. Although, there was the time my Grandad accidentally (on purpose) locked her into the conservatory and then claimed he couldn’t hear her when she spent the rest of the afternoon banging on the conservatory door trying to grab his attention. Perhaps she had said something out of turn because my Grandad must have realised that something was amiss as she never left the house! My dominant memory of my Grandma is that she was always sat at the end of the kitchen. The men would retire to the living room, the women would stay in the kitchen.
The reason I was horrified to learn that I have Grandma’s hips was that my Grandma wasn’t that old when she died. She was just 72 years old when she passed away from a stroke. I don’t want to die that young. I want to be there for my grandchildren. I want to have my time spoiling them, filling them with e-numbers and sugar before I hand them back. I want to grow old and I already have plans for my retirement. It might involve moving in with Ryan Gosling, seeing the world and finally learning to overcome my fear of the sea. I want to be one of those hardy ladies you see on a freezing cold day swimming in the sea without a mutter of complaint. I want to embrace life well into my old age. Yet, right now, my short-term goal is that my clothes fit again.
I’m Going Running
That’s why Saturday evening I dug out my dusty running clothes. Discarded about half the pile for being too tight, and then had an early night. The next morning I woke early to hear the rain hammering on the window. I cursed the short-lived summer and stomped out of bed to do some work instead. There is no way I can run in the rain. Wearing glasses makes it near impossible, and I can’t run without glasses due to my shocking eyesight.
At about 11am there was a break in the rain and I seized the moment. I threw (or should that be squeezed into) my running clothes. I tried to wear my light running jacket but now even that fits far too tightly, so I tied it around my waist and off I went. I would like to say that it was glorious but it wasn’t. However, I had the lanes to myself and it was good to be out in the open. I made my truffle shuffle slowly and I tried to find a path that I had seen on the maps. After several crossings over farmers’ fields, I had to give up on finding the path. I didn’t run fast, I nearly sprained my ankle running downhill and a baby bunny overtook me going up a steep hill. I didn’t care though because I was doing something for me. Even when it started pouring down with rain I was happy. I might not have gone very far or fast but that short run did me the world of good.
Now I’m itching to get my running shoes back on. If you are someone who wants to run or you are a lapsed runner, check out Bryony Gordon’s Eat, Drink, Run book. It will inspire you to start pounding those pavements again.