Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ana: The On Going Battle

So this past weekend I had my first aerial show, but before I talk about it I want to talk about something that’s been very tough for me to deal with recently.  I am hoping to have all aerial videos up with a blog by Tuesday but it may be longer depending on power outages due to the hurricane.

So in my last post I show a photo of myself in a side by side comparison as Elektra a year ago and Elektra this year.  I also wrote a post last winter talking about my personal weight and food issues.  Here: Ana: Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit I can't bring myself to reread this blog post, but it did take me a month to write and a lot of courage to post.  I am not even rereading this post before publishing.  I am going for it and I will probably never look at it again.

It’s a rough ride balancing healthy weight loss, because as a female it takes a longer time to happen.  Granted I am not in the gym daily and with trapeze and aerials I don’t get much cardio.  I do get a lot of strength training.  I also know that I could very easily slip back into old habits and drop the weight in a matter of weeks.

So after NYCC a friend of mine told me I would look better if I lost some more weight in my mid section.  I am very lean every where else, but my mid section is where I tend to hold onto a few extra pounds.  I know I have lost weight and I have also had some weight shifts in the last year.  Starting immediately after NYCC 2011 when I first got sick with EBV.  EBV causes loss of appetite and I dropped 15# from barely eating in a matter of a few weeks with no exercise.  No exercise because over exhorting myself could potentially have caused my spleen to burst and with that bigger problems.

Not surprisingly the noticeable weight loss garnered a lot of compliments from those that haven’t known me very long.  For those that have it raised a lot of questions.  I had several people breathing down my neck making sure I wasn’t intentionally dropping weight.  I won’t lie and say I was upset about the loss because I was thrilled.  It is a happy side effect.  I wasn’t too thrilled about the compliments because they made me feel less confident being where I had been.

I did gain some of that weight loss back and it was very hard for me to deal with.  I had hoped to go straight back into aerials and maintain what I had loss, but it didn’t work out that way.  This is why I know I had a weight shift, because I don’t believe I gained it back where it once was.  Muscle weights more then fat.  So if I am gaining muscle which I have obviously I would gain weight.

In the last few months I have dropped quite a bit of weight, because of my migraines I have chosen to stop drinking as much caffeine.  This means I am not longer loading up on caffeinated sugary lattes that are loaded with all things bad for a person.  I also chose to avoid caffeinated sodas and I have been binging on caffeine free orange soda, Sprite/Sierra Mist, and ginger ‘ale (Seagram’s in my favorite).  I am not sure if this is directly related to the weight loss or not but it has certainly made me feel better.

I am also working myself a lot harder with aerials.  As my teacher so delicately put it in the last few weeks I have a dramatic change from being a wet noodle to staying tight.  Honestly, I didn’t think I was THAT loose on my tricks, but I admit some of the videos are hard for me to watch because I am a perfectionist and I was sloppy.  That change just happened.  I win for most fearless and most improved.

I have been pretty proud of being able to lose the pounds the healthy way.  It’s a lot slower and that is quite frustrating.  So when I my friend suggested ways to shed the extra pounds it was completely crushing.  Make no mistake, I know this person was not being malicious in anyway and is attempting to “help” me.  I know that.  Yet in my head all I can hear is “I worked so hard and it’s not good enough.”  I know no matter what I do, no matter how lean I am, there will always be something about myself I am unhappy with.  If it were not my stomach if that were eliminated as a problem area I could very well focus on my thighs.  There will always be something.  I have done a lot of work accepting that fact.

In doing so, I try to not focus on the magical “number” but how my clothing fits.  Elektra is a great example.  The 2011 picture is one of the better photos from that show.  I don’t have the emotional strength to a show a side by side with one of the really bad ones right now.  Just last week while practicing for our aerial show I had a pants issue.  I have ONE pair of long legging type athletic pants.  We were renting time at night and it’s been colder so I went with the pants instead of my typical tights and shorts.  I tend to not wear the pants because I looked pretty awful in them over the winter.  Oh vanity.  I know its just practice but I feel more confident if I look okay in class.  So as I am running through my routine my pants kept falling down.  Not off, but down a bit.  I had to keep stopping to pull my pants back up and this pair used to pinch me AND they are a small.   So… I guess its down to extra small or kids sizes now?  I flew trapeze today to mark the last day of the outdoor season and to defy this hurricane.  Sandy you will not beat me!  However, it was really tough flying trapeze in the wind (and cold).  I chose to wear a pair of capri Under Amour that had been given to me years ago and I never wear.  I don’t wear them because they were always very tight at the band.  An unattractive and uncomfortable tightness.  I put them on this morning and they fit perfectly.  They did nothing to keep me warm.  I should have worn tights underneath or leg warmers.  I have quite a few legwarmers, this was my chance to wear them and well I didn’t.  Whoops.

My point there was just that I know I am changing( and the right way) just by how my clothes fit. 

I will reiterate my friend wasn’t trying to upset me or push me back into unhealthy habits.  No one I know would ever do that intentionally.  This is an example of a person not understanding what I am trying to accomplish and where I have been.  Unfortunately it dropped an emotional bomb on me.  To the point it was distracting prior to my aerial performance last night.  It’s a classic moment of feeling really good about yourself and then the complete opposite.  It’s also very reminiscent of when I dropped a lot of weight in France eating super healthy for two weeks and my wonderful mother told me I looked good but still need to lose more.  It’s so crushing.  I have been very torn up about it and unable to explain why clearly.  It’s not something I expect anyone to understand.  I also don’t expect it to always be a delicate topic particularly with someone new.  I am still upset about it, but performing this weekend despite feeling like a blimp has helped me move past it a bit.

So that is it for the end of this depressing post.  I really needed to get that out.  Not because I want anyone to feel bad about how they speak to me or to make anyone feel bad for me.  Serious please do NOT comment about this one.  This is more about the on going struggle of dealing with my own little demon named Ana.  Ugh.  She is a pain in my a$$.