Archive for October, 2010
Last Saturday, I was all jazzed about going to try on my wedding gown for the first time since I picked it out this summer. I had fallen in love with the thing, despite the fact that I wasn’t exactly the sample size and had to guess at what my finished dress would look like. But the saleswoman assured me that they could make a muslin, or trial version, of the dress based on my measurements, then fit that precisely to me, and make the actual dress from my actual proportions.
To a girl who spent much of her overweight youth and teen years sucking in her gut in dressing rooms when things just… didn’t… fit, it seemed like the best idea ever. I wouldn’t be trying to squeeze myself into some designer’s version of what I should look like. In fact, I’d be my very own fit model. I barely paid attention as the saleswoman strung her tape measure around my bust, waist, and hips. As my mom, sister, and future mother-in-law passed around tissues and started talking bridesmaids dresses, I reveled in the fact that the biggest fashion moment of my life was going so swimmingly.
I expected a similar high when I stepped into the dress last weekend. This time I was alone. I put on my satin heels, adjusted my strapless bra, and waited for the seamstress to zip me up. I couldn’t wait to see a complete, if unadorned, version of the dress I’d wear on my big day.
She pulled the zipper up to my tailbone and stopped. Asked me to put my hands on my hips. Pulled a little more. Stopped.
I was a fat girl for many years. I know that stop. “It doesn’t fit, does it?” I asked, trying to keep my voice light.
She tried a few more seamstress tricks. Asked me to shimmy a little. Grabbed the edges of the unzipped bodice with strong hands and valiantly willed them to meet. Wasn’t happening. She assured me that it wasn’t a big deal, that situations like these were the reason they encouraged brides to have the trial dress made. I only half heard her. The voice grabbing more of my attention came from inside me. Am I really that much bigger than I was just a few months ago? How is it possible that I don’t fit into the dress that was MADE FOR ME?
She re-measured. An inch difference. She said it could’ve been anything: an error in the original measurement, water retention, a big meal the night before. She was very kind. We made an appointment for me to return in two weeks and try on the muslin one more time before it would be sent out and used to create my gown. She left so I could change.
I spent a moment looking at myself in the mirror. I didn’t see my arms, which are so much stronger than they were a year ago thanks to some hard work in the gym. I didn’t see my legs, which have carried me swiftly for hour after hour in endurance events. I didn’t see my face, which breaks so easily into a smile whenever I think about all of the good stuff in my ridiculously blessed life.
All I saw were my hips, the plain, white fabric stretched over them pulling at the seams. No longer was I 32 and confident. I was 17, and nobody wanted to ask me to prom.
Angry crying in the car was followed by kind of pathetic crying at The Fiance’s house, where I sheepishly admitted that it was silly to be so upset over something so stupid. He said all the right things—he ALWAYS says all the right things—and I’m in a better place about the whole experience now. After all, if the worst thing in your life is that the first attempt at your gorgeous gown doesn’t quite fit, you’ve got it pretty damn good.
Whenever women in my classes complain about being unhappy with their bodies, I try to tease them out of it. I do think that when you dwell on something so much, it becomes all you see. But please don’t think for a minute that I can’t or don’t empathize, or that I’m past all of that.
It’s just now, even if there are moments of dressing-room panic, I try to let them pass. It may take days. I’m definitely not past the incident, and it was nearly a week ago.
But I refuse to let that kind of thinking take me down.
I know I’ll soon be sick of the Pink song that kicks off this mix, but I’m loving it right now. Here’s this week’s Spinning playlist, with some quick flats to keep things moving and some Halloween (Haul-o-ween?) songs to keep things ghouling.
- Raise Your Glass (Clean version) — Pink (3:22)*
- Cousins — Vampire Weekend (2:25)
- Are You Gonna Go My Way? — Lenny Kravitz (3:31)
- Ghostbusters — Ray Parker Jr. (4:00)
- Follow You Down — Gin Blossoms (4:30)
- Thriller — Michael Jackson (5:57)
- Check On It — Beyonce (3:33)
- Forget You — Cee Lo Green (3:42)*
- Showdown — The Black Eyed Peas (4:27)
- Mr. Brightside — The Killers (3:54)
- My Life Would Suck Without You in My Place (Kelly Clarkson vs. Coldplay) — DJ Earworm (4:12)
*These songs are also available in saltier versions. Because I don’t want to get fired, I used the PG version in class.
A few articles recently came to my attention: Both are from The Wall Street Journal, and both are about Bikram yoga. (Bikram Yoga NYC, which is mentioned in both pieces, is one of the places I practice.)
For the uninitiated, Bikram is a style of yoga practiced in a room that’s heated to more than 100 degrees. Depending on the day, it can be intense, awesome, totally bizarre, frustrating, and/or empowering.
The first piece gives a good, funny, first-person sense of what it’s like for newbies. The second piece is all about companies that offer fitness discounts to their employees; some offer reduced-rate Bikram, which means there’s the potential for bosses and minions to be side-by-side on the mats.
I’m lucky enough to have cool co-workers who love to sweat like I do. I’ve taken yoga classes with my boss and some of my colleagues on multiple occasions, and it’s been fantastic and fun every time. If you’ve tried Bikram or other styles of yoga, what did you think? Leave a comment! And if you’d never try Bikram, leave a comment and let us know why! How about working out with your boss? Would you ever do it?
Loyal haulers, how I’ve missed you. Both of you. (No, I’m kidding. There are probably three or four of you, not counting my mom. Hi Momma!)
So much has happened since last we met! A highlight reel:
The Boyfriend is now The Fiance. (Insert girly sounds of joy here.)
I attempted two triathlons this summer, one of which became a duathlon due to poor river conditions. . .
… and one of which caused me to have a sobbing breakdown one mile into the run. Gory details to follow in another post.
I ran a PR (personal record) at this year’s Boston Half Marathon, which left me sore for days but happy to run with old and new friends!
The good news, which is making me just about as happy as the sparkler TF put on my finger, is that the nagging plantar fasciitis that was keeping me from running and teaching step has calmed a bit. (Thanks, physical therapy and yoga!) This means I can finally run again, which means I’m no longer feeling frustrated and insane. Yay! Thank you to everyone who offered kind words or sent healing vibes into the universe.
The bad news, which is making me really quite bummed, is that my physical therapist and doctor have decided that step classes aggravate my chronic injury in a way that running doesn’t. In step, there’s just too much bouncing on the heel, which tightens the calf and inflames the fascia—a thick band of tissue that inserts at the heel. Not wanting to believe my doctor, I secretly snuck in a step class at a friend’s gym two weeks ago. Though I got through the class all right, I could barely walk when I woke up the next morning.
For now, at least, my step days are done. I won’t be returning to teach the Wednesday evening Intro Step/Step I class at Feminine Fitness, and my Thursday morning FemFit class is going to remain a Spinning class. I don’t know who will teach the Intro class from here on out. Please know that step didn’t cause my injury—that happened when I was dumb enough to try to text and walk at the same time a few years ago, breaking my foot as a result.
You’ll still see me around the gym. Karla, one of the cool chicks who reads this blog, is whipping my tush into shape for my big day. I’ll still sub for body sculpting classes when I’m needed. And you know I’d love to see you haul your buns to my Feminine Fitness Spinning class at 6:30 on Thursday mornings, or my New York Sports Club Spinning class at 5:45 on Monday mornings. Come on down, and give it a whirl! At the very least, bookmark www.haulbuns.com and visit it often. I promise to update it on a much more regular basis.
Teaching the Wednesday night intro class has been my extreme pleasure for the past five years. I will miss working out with all of you intro steppers, but I know you’ll keep on showing up, putting in the hard work, and supporting each other like you always have. Ladies, you’re awesome.