August 17, 2016

Diet Industry Drop-Out

I'm stealing the phrase "diet industry drop-out" from my friend bitch Freya West. During a recent burlesque show, Freya sang a 1929 Sophie Tucker song called, "I Don't Want To Get Thin." If you're alive and on Facebook, you've seen this video, but you should watch it again, #shinetheory.

In the past few months, I've turned forty, realized I've probably lived my entire life with an undiagnosed eating disorder, and read Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman by Lindy West. I don't know if it's the birthday, the election, or the growing body acceptance movement, but I feel like all the wires in my brain have come undone and are reconnecting in different ways. I'm like a lady Hulk who's superpowers are feminism and caftans.

Why am I telling you this? Because at least once a week, someone introduces me as their friend who works out 1,000 times a week and trains for "crazy" triathlons. Guess what? No, I don't. And no I haven't for like a year. This makes me uncomfortable because:  A) I am not great at accepting compliments; B) this description is not true; and C) this description is of a woman who was really sad.

I don't regret losing forty pounds or doing a Half Ironman; they were great tools for me during a difficult time. But... I'm not that person anymore. I quit swimming nine months ago, I quit running six months ago, and aside from random leisure rides, I quit competitively riding my bike over a year ago. I have a personal trainer, I twerk, I do yoga, and I have a $10/month Planet Fitness membership that I use maybe once a week. I don't track calories or weigh myself. Sometimes my fancy jeans fit, mostly they don't. Luckily, I own 3,000 caftans.

Assuredly, part of the problem is that my bio on every corner of the Internet reads, "runner and triathlete." I haven't changed it because I'm a perfectionist, and if I can't do it "right", then I freeze. Current working bios include:
Writer and blogger. Diet industry drop-out. Budding twerker. Master thrifter. Snapchat enthusiast.
Writer and blogger. Diet industry drop-out. Lover of twerk class, Snapchat, and rural Tennessee thrift store wares.
I believe....
I do what I want!
It's more fun to be happy.
ANYWAY. So yeah, I'm not a runner anymore. I may still be a triathlete since triathletes are known for taking one to two years off and then picking it back up again. In the meantime, I'm going to continue laughing at videos of myself twerking and daydreaming of starting a Nashville Thrifters Club. Stay tuned alert!

P.S. Do you struggle with body shame? So do I. My thoughts.

P.P.S. But do you know what helps? Dancing. And twerking.

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