Archive | January, 2017

My First Week at the Gym

20 Jan

 

This is not an inspirational story.

I’m not going to tell you how to get the will to start working out.

But this is my story, so sit tight!

 

I have lived the majority of my life as a plus-size human being. When I was still a small child (5 and 6), I was broad, but I wasn’t overweight. I didn’t have a belly or rolls or chubby arms. But then, as life goes, my thyroid stopped working. Doctors don’t know why I was so young, but the weight started piling on. While I grew taller with ease, I was well overweight in 5th grade. I weighed 150 lbs and I was 5’5″. My mom struggled to find me pants.

At my lowest adult weight, I weighed 175 lbs at 5’7″ when I was a sophomore in high school. I was working my ass off during my extracurricular activities and didn’t have the time to eat, so naturally, the weight fell off.

Now, I’m at my highest. Post-sophomore year I remained at about 235 until the death of my father. Given the holidays at the time and the stress, I gained 15 lbs. Then another 10 lbs, and was sitting pretty at 250. That didn’t really change until early last year, when I could no longer afford my medication for my thyroid, the doctor’s visits to adjust my levels, and the lab tests to test my blood levels.

10 lbs…

20 lbs…

30 lbs…

I now sit at 280 lbs and had no way in sight on how to change that.

But then I got sick for the first time in like 5 years and made myself go to the doctor for antibiotics (ear infection). He didn’t prescribe me any, but he did kindly refill my prescription. I bit the bullet and paid for a 3 month supply I couldn’t really afford. My mood and energy levels improved greatly! Life was no longer as dismal an existance.

I felt myself listening to music in my car that was just pumping me up. I wanted to do THINGS. And ALL OF THEM.

Then, a few weeks later, I went to see a movie by myself courtesy of T-Mobile Tuesdays and got a free burrito courtesy of a friend. I sat down and I watched Moana, which now sits squarely in my top 3 favorite Disney movies. I felt so inspired and motivated to be a better me. I got in my car surged with new-found motivation and turned on some Eminem. By the time I got home, I was so pumped that I decided it was time to join a gym, cut my hair, stop drinking soda, and wake up early enough to do my makeup and hair before work.

There is nothing I’ve felt previously that I can compare this feeling to. There is no “you just have to want it badly enough”. There is no “say you’re going to do it, then DO IT”. I just reached a moment in my life that felt right. That felt like it was time. I don’t have to find the willpower to go to the gym. It’s just what I do. I barely have to resist drinking soda; I just drink water.

From personal experience, there is no amount of will I could have mustered to get myself into a gym. Or to run.

Yeah. I’m using the treadmill. And with some little encouragement from Macklemore and Eminem, I power through the tough moments. It’s been a week and I don’t really feel different and I’m sure I don’t look different, but I can run for a full minute! I didn’t think I could. I ran for 10 minutes yesterday! Who knew?

Now I just need to find an inhaler. One part of always being the fat kid means that when your chest hurts when you run, the doctors just think it’s because you’re overweight…not because you have exerise-induced asthama.

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Practicing My Prose: Story 1, The Kiss

8 Jan

In an effort to practice my prose, particularly first person narrative, I am going to be telling some stories. Here is the first story, chosen from a list of questions posed to me, simply because it was the easiest to write about. Here is the story of my first kiss (a true story, I might add)…

 

The Kiss

 

I’m a smart girl. I’ve always been a smart girl. I know good and well what and where this could lead to, and that is exactly why I’m doing it. If anyone asks me tomorrow or next week, I’ll play none the wiser. Maybe I’ll even believe myself then, but for now, please. I pull out the small, but quite heavy, Nokia from my pocket. The Nokia that isn’t even mine. Half a pre-paid minute worth of text is all it takes.

“u left ur tape in my car…im driving around…do u want me to bring it to u?”

Yes. I’m driving around in a car I’m not even licensed to drive.

Nothing good happens after 2 am, they say. The same must be true after 10 pm in high school.

Midnight. It’s midnight and I’m texting a boy because I want to return his tape. No, not that. I’m texting a boy because I want to spend time with a boy. I’m driving around in a car I’m not even licensed to drive at midnight texting a boy because I want to return his tape. But these things haven’t turned into anything other than time before, so I shouldn’t hope for anything this evening. But it’s midnight. And I am. And I shouldn’t. But I am.

The Nokia chirps. “ok just come in when u get here”

Just come in? Just come in? What does that mean – just come in? What am I even walking into? I pop a cherry jolly rancher in my mouth. Dan, 19, from Charlotte, NC told Cosmo that the best kiss he ever had was when the girl who kissed him had just eaten peaches. Peaches isn’t something you eat at midnight. No. Cherry jolly rancher will have to do. I pull into his driveway and turn off my car. As I open my car door, I breathe a sigh of relief as I notice him coming out of the front door. Black t-shirt. White gym shorts. This is already nervewracking enough without having to go into someones parent’s house, a house I’ve never been in. I grab the tape and I get out of my car and walk over to his doorstep.

“Hey. What’s up?”

“Not much. You?”

“Oh…just driving around being bored. Here’s your tape.”

“Thanks. Want to come in?”

Well, I hadn’t planned on coming inside, but don’t mind if I do. Maybe I hadn’t planned, but I sure had hoped.

“Sure.”

The house is dark and unnvervingly quiet. More than likely because it’s midnight. It’s midnight and I’m in a boys house. A boy that I like. Because I needed to bring him his tape.

Without any other place to sit, we sit on his bed. And we talk. I’m sure we talk, but the words aren’t sticking and I’m not even sure what we are talking about. But I know we are talking. I initiate contact first: a simple poke to his side, but it’s plenty enough to get the reaction I needed. He flinches. I do it again. His body bows in ticklishness.Then, with more voracity than I, he grabs my sides and begins tickling me. I shriek and laugh and roll and when he stops I’m on my back, each others various body parts intertwined in a way that results from a tickle fight. I love being tickled.

My laughter dissolves into a smile as I look up at him. We stare at each other for an eternity. Jolly rancher help me. He brings his face close to mine and slowly kisses my upper lip.

Is that how it is supposed to happen?

He makes his way down one side of my mouth and across the bottom. This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel right at all. Is this really what people get so excited over? I open my eyes as he moves around my mouth and I stare up at the ceiling.

 

Wait. My eyes are open. I close them abruptly and squeeze them tight.

I feel his hand underneath my tank top, working its way toward my butter-yellow bra and my 17-year-old chest. This moment went from mediocre to uncomfortable really fast. What do I say? Should I let him keep going? As he reaches the top of my lip and the bottom of my bra, I pivot away and teasingly say “Get out of there!”

He pulls back quickly and apologizes. Oh no! I didn’t say it teasingly enough! Get out of there? Who says that?

I’m mortified. And that kiss was terrible. Or at least completely different than I thought kisses should be. Maybe Dan from North Carolina was right. That sure wasn’t anything like peaches.

I get into my car and reflect. I must’ve said something to get here, but what? I pull out the not-mine-Nokia and think of what to say as I drive the few blocks home.

I’m going to get teased so much when I tell my friends what I said. I just won’t tell them. It shouldn’t be hard to keep that detail hidden.

Oh, but it was…

fin

 

Did you feel any emotions when reading my story and if so, what emotions? Were you able to visualize the situation? Did you feel connected to the narrator (me)? Did I capture the awkwardness of youth? How do you feel that I didn’t include any names? Did you feel anything was too vague or had too much detail?

My goal here is to improve my writing, so feedback is extremely appreciated!