So, I Went Back To My First Bar Method Class Today (Since November) …(“A New Beginning?”)

February 17, 2018

(Yeah, I know, yesterday we just talked about how fat I was, so I better.)

I haven’t gone to any classes since November that rely on putting your weight on your ankles over and over, or doing a lot of foot movements. I was having enough trouble in physical therapy just balancing on my right leg for like 30 seconds. So, I wasn’t well enough to go to a bar class.

But, physical therapy is going better all the time. And the physical therapist’s office is right by bar method. So, I gave it a go today!

And they ask before every class if anyone has an injury and I said it was my first class after coming back from a bit, and I’ve had a couple of injuries/surgeries whatever in the last few months.

And the instructor was patient and cool and she was like, “Just imagine you’re starting from scratch. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to where you were or anything like that. It’s a new beginning.”

And that just kind of stuck with me.

‘Cause I am really all over the place right now. I am oscillating wildly between:

“I’m gonna be back to ‘normal’ in every way in no time! I’ve seen tons of strides emotionally and physically since finishing trauma therapy in November until now. Psssh, this time next year, I’m gonna be fit and killing it and I’m gonna be an ironman before you know it. Heck, I’m gonna totally get that EGOT and maybe even become and Olympian! The world is my oyster!”
vs.
*falls on fainting couch* “It’s all over! The world is bleak! I’ll never be where I was before. It took 1,000 years to get back to normal after open-heart surgery and the whole quit-college-be-in-the-hospital-all-the-time debacle. And just when things were looking goooooooorgeous, I took another giant tumble down a deep canyon of despair and if every time I make a little forward movement, I just take 80 giant steps back, what is the POINT? Oh my gosh. You always act like you’re gonna do this stuff and then you don’t – whether it’s because you have super hard obstacles, or because you sabotage yourself, or because you’re not capable, or something else, who knows? But the point is, you’ve never worn a bikini (like you said you would when you ‘just lost 10 more pounds’ – that you never did, btw ’cause instead 2016 happened and you ballooned up like Macy’s was inflating you). You never learned to swim, did an ironman, won any member of the EGOTs, [and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on we could list things I haven’t done]. So, you know, who cares? Maybe you’re not the special snowflake you imagined and you should just hang up your running shoes, your adorable small dresses, and everything you thought you loved because yeeeears of life slip by you, so what is the point? Are you even gonna run another marathon again? Who cares? What is your obsession with marathons anyway, Aurora? Is that a dumb hobby? What are you even doing? What are you even doooooing with your life?”

And I’m probably gonna keep oscillating between those for a while. I dunno.

But what I do know – as I have known for many years (and especially I feel like I keep learning over and over this year – is that there is something nice to be said for “a new beginning.” You take where you are and move forward instead of being so upset that you’re “supposed to be up there.”

So, I dunno. It was pretty good advice (that wasn’t even like this whole deep thing – it was just a quick thing said to me before class, but still, it was good).

[If you’re curious, class was fine. Nothing to write home about… It was frustrating that after class I didn’t then run over to the close ballet studio or Pop Physique for another class (which is what I used to do after Bar Method… and yes, I know I just wrote this whole post on how the advice to have a new beginning is good, but thinking about what “used” to be doesn’t seem totally like a new beginning, now does it? Well, I don’t care. It was still frustrating. BUT. Class was good. And I hope to be able to incorporate it more (and then go back to multiples in a day at different close studios). So, I dunno. We’ll see!

Just A Reminder (To Me) That I Had Today That I Feel So FAT

February 15, 2018

[Trigger warning for fatness, I guess?]

So, I went to the gynecologist today, because I haven’t been in a couple of years, and that’s unhealthy. So, I decided it was finally time to go.

The whole reason I hadn’t gone in a couple of years was because I was embarrassed about being so fat and sad after everything that happened. And I was afraid to tell her because there was that whole discussion a while ago of having been raped being a “preexisting condition” with the trauma it causes and everything. And I just didn’t know if I wanted that in personal medical records, and I was afraid of being treated differently by her. So, I just stayed away.

But you can’t just skip the gynecologist forever! You’re supposed to be getting pap smears every year, man.

So, I went.

Now, as you probably know, my weight BALLOONED to like a giant giant giant person. (I mean, okay, that’s maybe slightly hyperbolic. But I certainly felt GIANT.) I stopped wearing any clothes that fit because I generally refused to buy new clothes. I bought one size 14 dress in case I needed it for an interview (or my first day at BMI). (I was on the cusp, I almost bought the 12 that baaaaarely zipped, but I thought I should be able to breathe.)

So, I was mortified to have purchased a size 14.
[Disclaimer: This is not meant to disparage anyone who is a 14. But it’s not what I want to be, so I was mortified.]

I remember when I tried on a suuuuuper cute dress a couple of years ago, and I refused to buy it because it was a 6. I was like, “there will be nothing in my closet over a 4. If I can’t fit into a 4 in this brand, I won’t buy it.” And here I was with a size FOUR.TEEN. in my closet.

So, other than that one dress, I just wore oversized sweatshirts and yoga pants everywhere because I just wanted to hide as much as possible.

So, then around December, I’ve been doing my best to get this all under control through whatever means necessary.
(I have GOT to be my old self again and I will not feel like I am until I am comfortably wearing my old favorite dresses.)

So, about 35 pounds or so are gone. I’m fitting into jeans that are a size 8 (that I thankfully kept at the back of my closet for all this time, ’cause I do NOT wanna be buying bigger clothes. I will not accept new reality. I will change it.)

So, I wouldn’t say I’m specifically “officially” a size 8, ’cause these specific jeans run pretty big. But I’m an 8-ish – I’m maybe like a big 8/small 10.

And that’s like not sooooo bad. It’s not great! But it’s not horrific. So, I finally started wearing some more clothes that fit – no longer hiding under giant sweatshirts everyday. I started going out in public a little more…

And then, as I said, I went to the gynecologist today. As I also said, I hadn’t told her any of the stuff that’s happened over the last 2 years. So, she hasn’t seen this giant balloooooooon up to now being down 35 pounds in the last 3-ish month.

All she sees is that I’ve toooootally gained a fair amount of weight since the last time she’s seen me.

So, she asks – in the nicest chipper-est way someone can ask you, “So, what are we gonna do about your weight?” – pointing out that I’ve gained a fair amount since the last time I’ve been in there.

And then before I say anything, she continues her thought, “I hear Weight Watchers really works for a lot of people.”

*a million blinking guy gifs emojis*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Not Weight Watchers! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

I know she’s just doing her job. And I know she has no idea that my weight gain was due to a large trauma, or that it’s such a sensitive issues, or that I’m on my way down and not up. (How could she possibly know that from looking at a chart?)

But she’s talking to me like I’m a FAT person! Like I need some kind of fat support group (like Weight Watchers).

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No.

I know how to lose weight. I lost a bunch of weight and kept it off until a traumatic event (that kept snowballing and getting worse and worse).

I see myself as a skinny (ish) person who happens to be fat right now, whose number one priority right now is losing right. I see myself as someone who’s totally gonna be back to normal hopefully around my birthday, but absolutely by the end of the year. (I mean, I gained a lot of weight, and it takes time to get back to normal.) But that’s my official drop dead due date…

But to see someone else’s perspective of me, not as someone with a setback coming back, but as a fat person who needs help – my heart shattered into 40,000 pieces. I have been crying for basically the rest of the day. I’m even crying right now as I write this.

I’m so sad, and I’m SO embarrassed. I don’t know how the hell I allowed this to happen. To some extent, I was registering that it was happening. I used to mention in therapy all the time how one of the hardest things to deal with was that I was getting fatter. But I didn’t do anything about it. I mean, I sort of did. I held on to workout classes for a while – for months, I kept going, not as often, but still sometimes. And I almost always cried during them. I was crying everywhere I was going. And workout classes were part of everywhere. And I was tired of that.

And then I was pretty good about going and crying less in January/early February of last year. And then I hurt my ankle, and I just could not take another setback. And I did not have the capacity to help myself at that point. I was barely functioning, so I didn’t take proper steps (didn’t help that the foot doctor I went to shrugged his shoulders and was like “eh, you’re fine.”). So, between the emotional injury and the physical injury I just – I’m a mess. And I was reminded about that today.

And now all day I’m like, “What am I doing?! Should I even be seen in public again yet? What. Am. I. Doing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

I’m supposed to finally meet this person I’ve befriended on twitter next week. NEXT WEEK. What if I’m too fat to meet new human beings?

Anyway, this has been the ghost of Aurora writing you. Aurora died when her soul evacuated her body after it was even suggested that she join Weight Watchers (WEIGHT WATCHERS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!? This is 2018, Los Angeles California, not like 1993 small town, USA. I just can’t even. It made me feel so OLD. (It feels like Weight Watchers is for older people, right? Not young women in the prime of their lives, right?!) And FAT. It made me feel fat. I am a young beautiful girl! (I don’t really feel this way at this exact moment, but maybe if I yell it enough, we’ll all believe it?!) I’m not supposed to have to go to weight watchers! Oh my goodness, I just died re-thinking about it. So, this is now the ghost of Aurora’s ghost).

[And yes(!), if you’re wondering, I did fill in my gynecologist on everything. She’s not in the dark anymore. She was empathetic. She sees the full pictures and understands I’m on the way down, not up. And I’m sure as long as I’m back to normal next year (WHICH I SWEAR TO GOODNESS GRACIOUS I WILL BE), obviously, I’m sure she won’t bother me about it. (And I gave some red fire eyes with my immediate “I will most definitely never go to Weight Watchers,” so I’m also reasonably sure that even if my weight ever comes up again, we’re not going down that path.
[Also, small disclaimer: If you love Weight Watchers and it works for you, great. I don’t mean to disparage anyone else’s experience. I just personally would never ever ever ever ever want to do the whole weigh-ins with strangers, and just feeeeeeel so fat at the words “Weight Watchers.” But that’s just my opinion. So, if you love it, love it away, of course.]

Anyway, this is Aurora’s super fat (and oh so, oh so, oh so devastated-ly sad about it) ghost’s ghost signing off!

There *Will* Come A Time When Everything’s Okay Again…

February 12, 2018

I think.

I know I was super frustrated in the last post (and I still am!).

But someone asked me a valid question – which was basically how will I know when the consequences have stopped (in my mind/opinion)?

…And, as I so often do about sexual assault and all this stuff, I likened it to open-heart surgery and that whole thing. Because I think there are a lot of similarities between the two – namely that that whole year in and out of the hospital and open-heart surgery really changed my life (a lot). And I didn’t have the blog back then, so you didn’t see it quite so super up and personal and in real time, but I did a lot of this same wallowing/question-asking/whatever.

And for at least a year, but maybe even somewhere eup ’til like 3 years after, I used to get so mad about it all. “Ugh. I wouldn’t have to be sleeping in this stupid cockroach infested place if I weren’t still paying medical bills and/or suffering in any financial way because of everything that happened.”

[Yes, for anyone wondering I had health insurance, and my bills were very minimal in relation to the over $400,000 everything cost, but they were still a lot for a college student who also had to quit her part time jobs because of all her time in the hospital. Anyway, getting mired in this details isn’t really the point of this story haha.]

The point is, I felt every way it affected me, and it was many of the same ways (gaining a bunch of weight (in that case I was in bed ’cause it was mandated, not ’cause I was too sad, but still…), financial (in various ways for both open-heart surgery and dealing with sexual assault, friendships fading a bit because I started pulling back from many people while I was sick and dealing with that, school issues(!) were actually prevalent both times, just with different schools..).

And for a while after open-heart surgery, I’d be mad. I’d be mad when my clothes didn’t fit, when I couldn’t run as far, when I couldn’t afford something that I “should’ve” been able to (in my mind), when I couldn’t apply to something because you needed a college degree for it and I was taking time off instead of just finishing, and on and on – whenever I was reminded of how things were “supposed” to be (or at least how they had been/how I thought they’d be), it’d be SO frustrating. “When will things be normal again?!” I’d yell out back then as well…

But I kept trying to fix the things that made me upset and there finally came a time – not one specific magic day, but just a general time where finally open-heart surgery mattered no more. It became just this weird fact about me, but it no longer felt like it affected my day-to-day. The bills were paid off. I got promoted and started making more money. I lost all the weight I’d gained (and then some!). I had a half marathon faster than I’d ever been. Everything not only got fixed, but progressed from the original pre-open-heart surgery point.

It took a while for some things, but they did all not just get back to normal, they surpassed it.

And now, I’m sure that time in my life affected my life a bunch. But it’s not so super clear cut to me anymore in what ways. It’s part of a tapestry, as opposed to like a single current event that seems to have a lot of ramifications.

And now, with all this time and space away from it, I can see some of the good too. I think it made me more adventurous. It gave my knowledge of a whole world I knew nothing about. (I’d be better at writing Grey’s Anatomy now! I’d never been to a hospital before…) It was the first time since basically middle school that I’d taken any time away from work, and it was interesting to see there’s more than just work in the world. If it weren’t for open-heart surgery, I wouldn’t have done the 52 half marathons project, which I loved – and which also was the impetus for some other 52 projects I loved… (And The Price is Right picked me after I told them about the project and wore my shirt, so who knows if my childhood dream would’ve come true otherwise.)

So, good ultimately happened, and so much happened that who’s to say where consequences of that vs another thing starts or ends.

And I believe that eventually it will get to be the same way with all this.

I am not far enough out to see the good yet. (And maybe there won’t be any good ever about it, I dunno. But I’m definitely not in the land of seeing it yet.)

But I do at least feel like there will be a time where the bad doesn’t feel so connected, so immediate, and so freaking frustrating.

But that time is not yet. And it’s taking too long!

It Just Feels Like My Consequences Are Never-Ending…

February 11, 2018

*Sigh*

I know. I know we’ve heard so much about sexual assault in the last two years. I know you’ve gotta be sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of thinking about it. And a lot of the time I don’t now. I have a much more full life where sexual assault guy doesn’t come up nearly as much and emotionally I’m in a better place, not generally crying at the drop of a hat, and having no issues leaving the house, and blah blah blah.

And I don’t want to be this unhealthy person who dwells and dwells and dwells. I know that to some extent I had to give myself space to process what happened, but I also don’t wanna be Ross on Friends – the dweller of all.

I also know I can’t blame everything that ever happens in the rest of my life on sexual assault, and I don’t intend to.

But right now, for me (and I could be just reading more into it than is actually there, who knows), I’m still seeing straight lines to ways sexual assault dude affected me and where I am now.

I wouldn’t have even done Project 882 had it not been for him. So, I wouldn’t have been around to get injured – aaaaaand, I wouldn’t have been so likely to BE injured. (Now I’m being Chandler from Friends, apparently).

Anyway. I spent most of 2016 crying in bed. Starting 882 race miles in 2017? I wasn’t trained for that.

And that was my stupid decision. So, it’s not like I am blameless. I didn’t have to go out there untrained. I didn’t have to sit in bed crying for all of 2016. But I did the best I knew how to do.

I went to a lot of therapy in 2016. I tried not to just immobile-ly cry so much. I tried to “get better.” And it just took the time it took. And I thought doing the project in 2017 would invigorate me and help – not push me too hard when I wasn’t really “better” yet. I wanted to “jump in” and not let life pass me by or whatever.

But the point is, I’m reasonably sure I wouldn’t be in this situation were it not for sexual assault guy. Yes, I could’ve made some different decisions. But I still wouldn’t be here without him.

And you could argue, “Well, for all you know, you could be in an even worse place without him!” (Sliding doors, or butterflies, or whatever people think of with fate.)

And that’s technically true. But I don’t find it very likely. I was thin and in shape and generally happy and had a lot of truly wonderful things before he came into my life. There’s no reason to think I would’ve had this crazy messy terrible awful life-falling-apart breakdown/downfall had it not been for him.

(I moved to a place I loved and had a job I loved. There is literally no reason to think this crazy imploding would’ve happened without him.)…

So, it’s just suuuuuuuuuuper frustrating – and a question I feel I have screamed over and over and over, over the past at least number of months (but probably longer) – because every time it feels like my life is getting together, I realize there’s some new pile of dirt I haven’t swept up. And it’s like, “When do I get to stop sweeping up the pieces and just start living in the exact way I want?!”

(And you could maybe say, “you do it when you decide you want to!” And I love the sentiment, but there are literally things I can’t do until my ankle is fixed. Etc. etc. And I just – I wanna be in an amazing, incredible place. But at the veeeeeeery least, I just. wanna. be. back. at. square. one. already.)

(Oh, and one last thing that’s so frustrating about this, is I know how good he is at painting his string of victims as just these “crazy women,” and man what bad luck he has finding all the impossible women or whatever. I like to think I’m a feminist and all and even I fell for it and gave him aaaaaaall this benefit of the doubt and empathy and whatever. And I sort of like the idea that I bounce back immediately and it’s super clear from anyone’s point of view, “oh man, her life was so much worse with him and so much better without.” But there’s a part of me that when it takes a while for the residue to go away/my life to come back to normal, that it helps fit in the narrative of “See? She’s just [whatever – crazy, a mess, etc.].” So, that’s something I’m a liiiiil’ insecure about…)

“How Is A Mere Ankle Sprain Plaguing Your Whole Existence?”

February 10, 2018

Good Question!

‘Cause goodness gracious does that seem crazy! (And so unnecessary! And so annoying!)

Okay, to catch anybody up who doesn’t know the story (just skip past the lines if you don’t need the catch up).

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Around February of last year, my ankle was hurt at a half marathon. I thought maybe it was just normal soreness, or maybe pain I “deserved” or whatever because I’d gained some weight and I was like “I’m too heavy for my poor joints.”

Turns out my ankle was sprained… But I didn’t know it.

I did baby it a bit for a hot second. I cancelled a marathon entry I was supposed to do (a few of them, really). I dropped down distances. I took longer at races. And after a few weeks, I saw a foot doctor because the pain was so intolerable.

And he moved my foot around a little and was like, “it’s not broken. I think you’re fine. Get some comfy insoles.”

So, I just kept on forging ahead with my giant running project (which very quickly became a walking project, but still. Lots o’ miles on my feet.)…

Until finally, November rolled around, and I couldn’t walk any distance without a limp anymore. I saw an orthopedist out here in (beautiful) Los Angeles. He did an MRI and we found out I had [some fancy words, something something special ligament maybe? I don’t know]. The point is, they said it basically boiled down to a really bad sprained ankle. And because it was so bad and compounded by how long I’d been walking on it, I’d need physical therapy. We were beyond just hanging on crutches for a week or two or whatever.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So, I started physical therapy…

My physical therapist is pretty dope. And I definitely am, in general, seeing improvement.

But.

We’re also seeing that there’s a lot of work to be done. Because not only do we have to rehab my right ankle, we have to rehab my whole right leg/hip!

(GAH!)

I’d been over-compensating for so long (many months now), that now my left leg is like a million times stronger than my right.

(Even a doctor unrelated to this stuff, when I had an appointment in December, asked me if I was left-handed because she noticed my muscle was, well, noticeably bigger (I felt weird about using noticeably twice so close together, but she noticed it because it was very noticeable to her!).)

But I am not left-handed. (And even if I were, the discrepancy probably wouldn’t be this big.)

Sometimes if I’m really struggling with a certain exercise, my physical therapist will ask me to try it on my left side just so we can see. And it’ll be a thousand times easier. I had no idea I was completely lop-siding myself.

So, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. It might be another 8 weeks (or more!) until I’m back to just normal – and I don’t mean the old “normal” of “ready to run a half marathon at a moment’s notice.” I mean, maybe being able to go to Bar Method without hurting myself.

So, my ankle is like the problem that never ends and it’s very hard (in my opinion, at least) to try to explain to people that a silly sprained ankle is becoming such a giant deal, and is the bane of my existence. But it is, and there you have it.

I’m So Frustrated! (It Feels Like I Can’t Do Anything(!)…)

February 9, 2018

Aaaaaaaaagggggh!!!!! *screams for 5 minutes*

Okay, first off, my ankle injury has gotten completely out of control, which I’ll just make a different post explaining that tomorrow…

But for now, I’ll talk about my frustration! My calf is swollen, for an as-of-right-now unknown reason (could have something to do with pushing myself in physical therapy really hard this week, could have something to do with flying on all my injuries, who knows)… But I’m having trouble walking. And I had no idea this road would be this hard!

I thought it was gonna be “sprained ankle, okay, simple, maaaaaaaybe 3 weeks and I’m back on track.” It’s been probably over 2 months since I found out I had a sprain, and I’m still having all the trouble in the world?

Granted, granted, I was pushing forward with Project 882 for part of that and I wasn’t consistently going to physical therapy (with trips to New York and whatever else). So, maybe with more consistency and fewer races things will be better.

But all I know is I’m super frustrated right now!

I miss working out all the time. It made me feel good. It helped me focus. It made my work better and my life better.

I know I’ve technically been injured for about a year now, but when I was going through my super-de-duper depressed period, yeah, it was a bummer, but everything about life was a huge bummer then.

(I know I’ve talked about that period at length so I don’t need to totally go into it, but you know, it was so hard even to have enough energy to just make it to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Life became a chore. So, I was bummed I wasn’t working out, but even though it’s a super high priority in my life, it seems like a lower priority when things that seem automatic are now priorities… I don’t know if that makes sense.)

Anyway. Now that trauma therapy is over, and most of my friends are coming back to my life, and things are returning to normal (or at least normal-ish) – I want things to actually return back to normal(!!!!!).

And “normal” means working out at least an hour a day, almost always more, training for a marathon, and blah blah blah.

I’ve been daydreaming about the summer, since I don’t have BMI, and I’m not locked into a long-term job right now. I was thinking, “maybe this is the summer I’ll finally climb Kilimanjaro!”

Well. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it if I can’t even walk! And even if I can walk just fine by July, I don’t know how I’m gonna be trained enough to take it on.

So, I’m frustrated. I’m really frustrated. It feels like so much of life has been a waiting game, or a recovering from something (whether physical or mental) in the last two years and I’m just ready for all the waiting and recovering and all that to just be done!

So, that’s that. Super duper frustrated. The end (for today).

#JanetJacksonAppreciationDay and #AGoodGame

February 3, 2018

I’m totally late to post this, as I always am, ’cause I’m the worst. But anyway, pretend like it’s the day before the Super Bowl hahaha. (And still feel free to give your #AGoodGame  pledges, even if you decide to make them after the fact.)

Well, well. Justin Timberlake is returning to the halftime show. I don’t know if I’ll ever not be furious about the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake fiasco. It really felt like she was punished and he was not. (I didn’t even know until recently that apparently a nickname went around back then of “Teflon Timberlake” because nothing would stick to him.)

He can’t singlehandedly change society, but he could’ve used his position of power to help, and to loudly call our the hypocrisy of punishing the woman who was undressed in public and not punishing the man who did it. (I don’t really think either of them needed to be punished after that – especially if it was an accident as they said, but whatever happened to them, I think, should’ve happened equally…) But no, after worshipping her when he was growing up (he used to kiss her poster at night on his wall) and dreaming of working with her – as soon as he did, and things went wrong, it was all “Janet who, what now?”

The way we treat women – and especially women of color – in this country is oftentimes not fair. And this was a bright shining famous example of that. And to make matters worse, here, now, in the “year of the woman,” when we, as a society, are supposed to be thinking about how we treat women, we bring back Justin Timberlake?!

So. Two things are happening tomorrow.

1) Janet Jackson appreciation day on twitter. @MatthewACherry came up with it. He wants to get it trending, with our favorite Janet movies/gifs/and things. So, enjoy that and post away.

2) Josh Gondelman and his friend Emma Sandoe came up with this thing they do every year called #AGodGame. It started out for Patriots fans who felt conflicted about some of the Patriots politics and also some of the problems with the NFL. You pledge to give a certain amount of money to charity based on whatever you want – # of FGs, # of TDs, points in the game, number of beers your drink, whatever. And it’s supposed to help offset (at least a little) watching a “problematic” team, or a “problematic” sport.

So, I’m giving $5 for every minute Justin Timberlake is onstage to Black Women’s Blueprint, with an extra $50 if he dares trot out the Prince hologram.

Feel free to join, and have #AGoodGame!