While I was down with a respiratory virus in January and February, I could hardly climb the stairs without coughing, much less keep to my schedule of 2 and 3-mile runs. And all I wanted to eat was chicken noodle soup and pineapple sherbet.

With these two breaks in my habits, I gained seven pounds over two months. My clothes are still tight. But you know what?

A few years ago this weight gain would have traumatized me. As the number on the scale rose, my belief that I deserved to be walking the planet would have evaporated. I would have become reclusive and turned to food for consolation. Now? I find myself shrugging, a little annoyed by the tight clothes, but trusting my behaviors and not in a panic.

What changed? I think it's because I see my body now for what it loves to do, not for what I imagine it looks like to others. My body loves to run and swim. And run it shall -- Annabelle (Best Dog Ever) and I did a great 4-mile run together this week.

While I ran, I thought about this:

4 Responses to a Friend's Weight Gain

Not so comforting: "That's okay."
This sounds like the person assumes I'm feeling terrible about the weight gain. Which means on some level they think I should feel bad about it. Yeah, see, I don't have time to waste feeling bad about my body in whatever state, certainly not just to make you feel helpful. Don't expect me to thank you for this.

Beside the point: "Don't worry, you'll lose it again."
Maybe I will; maybe I won't. What I will do is exercise and return to better eating habits. My body will respond with better health, though I don't know what jeans size that means.

Most welcome: "So how has it affected your training for the next 5k?"
Thanks for asking! This question treats the gain as a reality but not a life-defining one. I've noticed a little extra strain on my knees, so I'm being super careful of my foot placement and taking things a little slower to make sure I'm well warmed up. Other than that, training's back on course. I was much more worried about the respiratory problem than the weight gain -- I could hardly breathe. But I seem to have bounced back OK.

Intimate: "So how do you feel about that?"
You'd better want the truth if you ask that one! I feel a little annoyed, as I said, but I'm not taking the weight gain personally. It hasn't started me bingeing, sent me into hiding, or stopped me from running -- not to mention running in public, with a big smile on my face -- so more than anything, I'm feeling triumphant. Triumphant!

(Cross-posted from A Sunny Hello.)


Foodie said...

My thoughts - I love your body! I am SO THANKFUL for Ann Pai - for you. And I'll always want to see you and hug you and hang out with you and I'll never ever care what you weigh!!!!