I have something to confess.
I skipped running* twice this week.
I'd like to say it was due to the fact that I was whisked away to a Super Secret Location to complete a emergency rewrite on Hannah Montana Goes to Rehab (you do know that's what I do for a living, right? But things have been slow, so hire me already!) but I'd be lying. And I'm already a liar.
Since starting my diet three weeks ago I've fluctuated between 900-1600 calories a day, well within (even below) the recommended weight-loss range. I've been adhering to my workouts; I gave up sugar; and yet I am still fluctuating between 162-166 pounds. The exact same numbers from when I began this little experiment, when I was running less and counting cake as its own food group.
I should be thrilled. My body loves me! It's trying to keep me alive. Being able to run while conserving precious life-sustaining fat is a Post-Apocalyptic Survival Technique only available through superior DNA.
Which is fine. But...I gave up CAKE.
When a woman on the Internet complains about her weight**, there are a few predictable responses. I'll sum them up here:
I like a woman with some meat on her bones!
No man likes a stick!
Don't lose your curves!
You're not fat!
You're being brainwashed by the Hollywood, the capitalistic and white male hegemony!
I am toothpaste, hear me roar! (Or whatever empowerminty slogan we're using these days.)
Now there could be a few plausible explanations. I have special genes. This is the most common I-can't-lose-weight excuse, and I ain't buying it. I am not special. Some of you think I have special willpower, but I assure you, separating my ass from the couch is just as difficult for me as it is for you - even with the added pressure of having my weight splattered across the screen like roadkill.
I'm hypothyroid, and my meds might need adjusting. I haven't had my thyroid checked for nearly two years, so I need to get my butt into the doctor for a blood test. In a Post-Apocalyptic World I'd have to stab myself in the arm and do the test myself with a coconut shell, a piece of gum and a rubber band. But I've got this fancy pre-apocalyptic perk called insurance. Time to use it.
My body composition is changing (that should probably be in the above responses). But it's really hard to gain muscle, especially as a woman. Although any gym discussion invariably leads to women who gain muscles easily and men who can't gain muscle at all. It comes down to Women, Eat Less and Men, Eat More. I'm tracking my intake so I know what goes into my mouth (insert dirty joke here) which means eat less. Which means scaling calories back to 900-1200 a day, continuing my workouts, and tracking from there.
Yes, that's practically no food. But I've done it. I remind myself that I was down to 140 pounds six years ago. But then I remind myself that I was 200 pounds two years before that.
People sometimes ask me what it's like to be a woman in Los Angeles, a place where a supermodel lurks behind every corner. They won the DNA Olympics,I tell people. You wouldn't challenge Jackie Joyner-Kersee to a footrace.
But the writer in me says it makes a better story if I end up looking like this:
But, y'know, with bigger boobs. I'm going to have to include bra-making in my post-apocalyptic skills, as I still sported a DDD chest when I was <20% bodyfat. See: my body loves me.
I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. Part of me feels like I've made no progress, but as I thought about it while on my 'short run' - a mere twenty minutes, I thought holy crap, my short run is twenty minutes!
So my progress is glacial. At least it's progress. They say the turtle won that race.
I'd better hope they're right.
*I initially wrote this as 'I skipped my runs' and then upon re-reading, realized that skipping the runs sounds like a good thing.
**The flip side of this is when you refer to yourself as attractive/pretty/beautiful/cute/thin/in shape, you're reminded that you are wrong and in fact you are ugly/hideous/fat/have a face that scares babies. Let me tell you: you cannot win.