Not only did I take a Pilates class and not die (though kind of, I wanted to), I am going to take a yoga class, and I fully expect to not die there, either (though I might want to). My gym has lots of classes at lots of hours, and I’ve spent a lot of time busily downloading class schedules and drawing up plans and figuring out my own schedule into which I will work my new impulse towards bettering my physical fitness. I liked Pilates very much (even though I wanted to die); when I noticed that they also have double handfuls of yoga classes of every flavor every single day, I thought: Well, why wouldn’t I like yoga? It will be a yoga/Pilates death match! I thought. May the better exercise class win! Or–maybe I will go crazy, and take both.
Maybe I have gone crazy. There are worse ways to be crazy. I could be buying a lot of drugs, or spending a lot of time at the bottom of a whiskey glass, or spending all my money on loose women with questionable morals, and shoes. Maybe I should stop spending so much money on shoes. Exercise, that is a good thing to spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for and actually doing, sometimes to the detriment of a decent night’s sleep and sometimes at ungodly hours of the morning that should not exist. Though to be fair, I would sleep 12 hours a day, by preference, and rise around noon and not get dressed until around, say, 2:00, and only then because I want to go get a latte. So I am exaggerating. A bit. Which is so unlike me. But it still very weird to be giving up sleep in favor of doing something I used to be terrified of doing.
And I love it. I love doing these things that used to scare the shit
out of me, that used to make me panic at the very idea, that seemed
hard and impossible and even a little ridiculous for me to try. This, I
think, this sense of adventure I have discovered behind the couch
cushion, a little bit dusty and covered in cat hair, is my very very
favorite thing about losing the weight. For instance, this new job,
with the 500 new and mostly friendly people by whom I am
surrounded, would have been a nightmare 11 months ago. But now I am not
afraid to meet people–I might even, occasionally, be the first one to
say hello while waiting for the elevator, or out back where people
smoke and make cell phone calls. I chat. I never used to chat.
For instance: the running. I would have felt like I was up on stage, ridiculous
and sloshing all over the place. I ran three times a week; this week,
if I’m not careful, it’ll be up to four times and wouldn’t that be
crazy and aerobic of me? It would be madness. It feels wonderful.
Walking into a group exercise class and feeling like I won’t
immediately fail feels wonderful instead of agonizing. Wearing colors
other than black! And, er–well, I felt a lot more adventurous than it
turns out I am. Which means I was pretty tragic for a while there,
And this is one of the things I hate so much about having lost the
weight–realizing what a coward I used to be. Why the fuck did I ever
let being fat stop me? Why did I give up? I am angry that I spent so
much time hiding from people, wearing all black as an apology instead
of a fashion statement, and not
bellydancing, or skydiving, or climbing volcanoes and riding mopeds. I
am glad, and grateful, that I escaped that place where even normal
activities–going to a party, or clothes shopping, or looking for a new
job–seemed impossibly hard and not worth bothering with. I fully
realize that beating myself up now, for falling prey to that stupid,
ridiculous, and incredibly persuasive mindset, is not in any way
productive. And it makes me incredibly sad that I did. It also makes me
sad that I can say, “Don’t do it! Don’t stop yourself from doing the
things you want to do because you think your body is all wrong!” and I
am a hypocrite. But seriously–don’t, okay? Don’t wait.