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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
DEC
15

On Ballet and Weight Gain

There’s something about being a woman and gaining weight that is entirely unpleasant. I’m a skinny person, so take anything I say here with a grain of salt, but there’s something about gaining weight that simply doesn’t agree with us. Even if it’s needed. Even if it’s inevitable. Even if your boyfriend says you with a few extra pounds doesn’t make a lick of difference. Because even after all of that, what remains is you, unable to fit into your pants. Even after all that, there will be you, having to buy bigger pants.

My current situation has me battling a health situation that involves injections and medication that both cause weight gain. I exercise as much as I did before (more, actually). I eat the same as I did before. Yet every weigh-in is higher than the one before. It’s defeating in a way not many things have been. Weighing more than I ever have is alarming in a way that makes me feel lazy, helpless, and obsessed. Because I have not responded well. I started getting on the scale every day. I drastically reduced my calories. It worked (in that I stopped gaining), but it made me miserable to have sucked all the fun out of my life. Because a few pounds should not even be on my radar. Right? Because they make pants in all sizes. And because I deserve ice cream.

I stopped the daily weigh-ins and resumed eating a normal amount of calories. I gained the weight back, but I feel happier for just letting my body do what it’s going to do; for focusing on all the positive attitudes I have toward my body. It’ll probably seem silly, but the thing that’s helped me the most is a weekly ballet barre class. I’m a terrible dancer, but when I’m there, when I’m watching the instructor gracefully move her arms and turn her body, I feel like what I’m doing is just as graceful. I know it’s not, but I feel like it is. I feel nothing short of beautiful in that class, and looking at myself in the mirrors, I see a body that’s slender and capable and strong. And it will always be those things. Even if it’s a little curvier.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, how much I wish that we would be kinder to ourselves and our bodies and focus on how amazing and capable they are despite any deficiencies we may have (like actual medical issues or shortcomings) or simply perceive (like non-actual ridiculousness that we somehow think is terrible or limiting or unfortunate). Someday we or the people we love won’t be here. Someday we’ll have actual crises that are worth worrying about. Gaining a few pounds, for any reason, isn’t one of them. So go get yourself some bigger pants. You’ve got some holiday parties to get to.

MAR
07

The Upside of Sick

I've never been a very athletic person (my only attempt to be a member of an official team is chronicled in Schooled), but I'm a big proponent of exercise. On my own. Stuff that doesn't require skills of any kind. Being as sick as I've been lately, I took a bit of a hiatus from working out most of last month and have only this week begun to reincorporate it into my life, but not without a sigh of annoyance and a sense of dread. Working out is such a time sucker. Which you really don't think about (or maybe you do) until you stop doing it long enough to have filled that time with something else.

In my case, I've been filling my workout time with writing, and it's been so nice to be able to write on a daily basis. I'm down to my last 10K words for the manuscript I've been working on, but now that I'm healthy enough to exercise, who knows when those 10K words will actually get written. I could always join the throngs of people who simply don't exercise period, and I always seem to get confused comments from people when I work out anyway...comments like, "Why do YOU need to work out?," as if skinny people have nothing to gain from a gym. Not sure why it doesn't occur to these people that working out might by why I'm skinny in the first place, or that there are other motives for staying healthy besides weight (in my case, a family history of heart disease), but the point here is that getting back in the workout saddle is perhaps harder this time than it's ever been before. Because I got awfully attached to my writing time. I'm determined to bring it back. There's got to be something else I can cut out of my life. Cleaning, maybe. Or doing chores. I think I'm onto something.