I'm exhausted before I even step onto the treadmill. I can't believe I skipped breakfast. No matter how frustrated I get with my efforts to change my body, skipping meals should be out of the question. It's something I did at 18. Now that I'm 28, I should know better. I should have had a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat. Maybe an apple. A salad. Oh, I am hungry. I turn on my ipod and punch up the speed. I feel like I can hardly breathe. Why is this so difficult? I'm gasping but tell myself that I always hate the first two miles. It'll get better.
I sneak a peek in the mirror.
There have only been two times in my life that working out was effortless. The first was when I had no control over anything else in my life, so I worked out obsessivly. I'd have panic attacks if I couldn't run. It wasn't a happy time. The second was during a personal crisis. I couldn't eat or sleep, and running seemed to be the only thing that burned away the gnawing anxiety and shattering hopelessness that I felt. I was the thinnest I've ever been in my life, but I was miserable.
"I wonder if there's a connection?" I muse. When I met Jared, I remember being surprised at how beautiful it made me feel to be around him. I was extremely happy, and spent so much time with him that I stopped being paranoid about working out. It was so far from my mind that I used to motivate myself to go to the gym by reminding myself that a honeymoon was coming up. Man, I'm sure glad that the first time he saw me like that, I was in pretty good shape. Hopefully, he can still see that in me, even though three kids have wreaked havoc on this body of mi- - -
Someone is tapping on my shoulder.
I turn off the ipod and turn to the blonde dressed all in pink who has been walking on the treadmill next to me. "You look great, you know" she says. "I saw you looking in the mirror, and you really shouldn't worry about it." I'm so shocked, all I can manage to gasp is "Thanks." She nods and says, "We all work hard, but sometimes we just need to hear it."
I turn back to the treadmill with two reactions. The first is a mortified, "How did she know? Are all my thoughts just painted across my face for all to see?!" but as my blush fades, a smile tugs at the corners of my mouth and I find myself running more easily. I think to myself, "Pink lady, you just totally made my blog."