I've never considered myself a hater of slim women before. I never even partook in the "skinny women are evil" campaign... even in jest. This is something I'm especially proud of, because in being full figured for most of my adult life, I've had random strangers speak so disrespectfully of me... all because I dared walk into their field of vision being the size I am. I never felt good after those encounters, so I am not about to make anyone feel that way. Ever! But something happened to me last week that really opened my eyes. It's not my finest moment, I admit... but there's a revelation in the story, so I'm inclined to share it.
For my daytime walks, I like to walk up to Lafayette Avenue and circle Von King Park a few times before I make the trek back home. The park is beautiful, and has the only working water fountain in Bed-Stuy, it seems.. so its a good place to go and get hydrated while walking, since I never carry water with me (I know.. major no no!). The first time I tried to lap the park, I thought I was going to die. Now, I can do 5-7 laps, something I am very proud of myself about.
I'm a life long insomniac, and my sleep schedule gets wonky at times. Such has been the case recently, so my "daytime walks" have been happening around 4 or 5 pm. And lately, when I've been circling the park I've encountered this woman jogging. She's... amazing! She glides around the blocks effortlessly in her little running shorts, ponytail swinging to and fro, much like the woman pictured above.
When I first laid eyes on her, to paraphrase comedian Louis C.K. (I know I quote him a lot, but really.. sometimes he puts things EXACTLY the way I would!!), I had to stop walking, because I needed my whole body to hate her with! LOL
Why did I hate her? Because she made me feel like a major chump for daring to walk my big ass around this park, panting and sweating like a hooker in church while she jogs past me... thin and beautiful and glistening. She actually effin' glistens... she doesn't sweat!!! I felt horrible about myself, and experienced a "Oh, what's the use?!?" moment, so I stopped circling the park around two laps and walked back home, contemplating walking someplace else from now on, until my sleep schedule gets right, and I could get to the park earlier.
What's funny is that this whole situation was that this was also the day that I took the photo of myself that I shared in my last Get Healthy entry. I went home and told my Mum about this woman, and she said to me, "Don't worry.. this time next year, you'll be jogging along side of her!". She went on to tell me that she can very clearly see that I have lost weight and that my attitude and posture has improved since I've started walking. Which was great to hear, because as I've said.. I don't see it yet. I feel it, definitely, but I still look like the big girl I always was. And she's fine.. she's great in fact. But I wanted to see some evidence that I'm on the right path.
And I had an epiphany. I didn't hate this women because she's perfect and I'm not... I didn't hate her at all, but I envied her because she represented something I thought I couldn't achieve. She was like a carrot dangling over my head that I had no chance in hell of catching... And seeing her pass me by when she jogs felt..... cruel to me. When I reflected on this some more, my attitude changed. Because that carrot?!? It's TOTALLY something I have the capacity to catch. And I will catch it. It might not be next year, as Mizz Lennid predicts, but it will happen. And I took the picture in part as a reminder to myself that I have already made great strides and will continue to do so. Which is a perfect opportunity to say....Thank you, Everyone, for the words of encouragement here, on Twitter, and on The Miss Moon's Musings FaceBook page!! Your excitement about my progress is a big part of what keeps me going!
So when I saw the woman again, instead of hating her (Really, hating myself.. let's be honest!) I sent her a silent "Thank you!", and repeated my thanks each time she lapped me around the park. Because she represents the possible results of the path I have started: A women who is fit, healthy, and effortlessly pacing Von King Park like a mickey ficky BOSS... her ponytail whipping to and fro. Perhaps one day, when I am feeling especially brave I will thank her personally. For now, this post is a start. :)