Monday, March 31, 2014

I love this death star

The Sun, that is.

Saturday I joined a group for Hiking Yoga, which entailed a brisk 5k walk along Katy Trail with four yoga stops over the course of 90 minutes. I had bought a Groupon for it because it was cheap and intriguing. I'm not much a yoga person, so I was thrilled with the focus on cardio. The yoga we did do was simple stretches enjoyable for someone as inflexible as I am. I had a lovely time but do not think I would invest in attending regularly.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at Amtgard and absorbing all the rays I could get.

I confess I did not wear any sunblock that day, though I didn't feel any ill effects at the end of the day. I'm usually very good about wearing sunblock, but I have been deprived of sun for far too long this winter.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Christian morality and female body image

I've wanted to write on this topic before but couldn't quite find the words or the research to support it. It's worth a read. Here are a few excerpts:

From Plato to Freud to Jenny Craig, the message has been that bodily urges are suspicious because they are base, and that we should suppress them with our higher faculties—the mind or the spirit. The mind is seen to be quite separate from the body today, and the most suspicious of bodies is female.
The regulation of bodies is usually not just about binding their size, but also their boundaries. Women's bodies especially, which are considered to be prone to oozing and leakage, become the site of severe control. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Warrior Dash Texas 2014

The Warrior Dash in Dallas 2011 was my first mud run, so I was really excited to run it again this year in Smithville. I run flat 5ks all the time, but the hills and humidity kicked my freaking butt. And my friend, a first time racer, broke her ankle near the end.

Me in pink with my friends (left) and brother (right)

The event was alright but nothing special. I realized that I'm pretty bored with obstacle course racing and want to switch solely to trail racing, but I have another 8 OCRs this year that I'm already registered for. I don't enjoy weight training and am not really motivated to do it even for my races. I just want to run.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Learning to love comfort

I've never been very good at fashion, but I definitely got the memo about the importance of wearing flattering clothes and felt "appropriate" shame in looking back at photos of me that weren't flattering.

But seriously, fuck flattering:
Look, you get to dress how you want for whatever reason you choose. You can pick clothes because you like them, because you think they will gain you social approval, because they highlight your shape, because they disguise your shape, because your significant other likes them, because your mom hates them, because you think they are flattering, because you think they are unflattering, or for any other reason. It’s your body and they are your clothes and you are the boss of your underpants and also the boss of your regular pants.
I cannot count how many times I've sighed sadly and put something back on the rack in a store because it wasn't flattering on me, no matter how I loved the color, the fabric, or the comfort of it. But the fact is, you don't have to be pretty:
You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female."
Body and clothes shaming is shitty. You don't know anything about a person and why they dress a certain way. They're allowed to have different taste in clothing than you do. They're allowed to wear things that are comfortable and that they like, regardless of whether you like it. And people can't always afford new clothing, especially if they've perhaps undergone a recent weight change. Don't be so judgmental.

Several years ago I bought a beautiful flowing skirt for belly dance but had trouble finding a top to match. I happened upon some gauzy fabric in the same colors, and my best friend whip-stitched it onto a nude bra for me. I adored the colors and the flow and was so eager to perform in it with my dance class. But I felt so bummed out when I saw how unflattering the pictures were.

Today is the first time I've been able to go back and smile at how much I enjoyed that costume and performance and prepping my hair that day. So I'm done feeling any kind of unpleasantness about those photos or any others. I may not be slender, but I really like the visible definition of my stomach in the green costume below.

I've also gotten a lot better at choosing and altering costumes, as you can see here:

Most recently, I picked out a cute peasant dress from the thrift store to wear to a Holi festival, which is a Hindu celebration where everyone wears white and throws colored powder at each other that may or may not ever wash out.

I was SO comfortable and colorful and had fun dancing for hours. A friend saw my pictures and asked incredulously if I was wearing a muumuu. No, I told him, it's a peasant dress and was really comfortable and I had a BLAST.

I actually do own a muumuu. I was so taken by the color, the fabric, and the price that I just HAD to have it. It's enormous and billowing and beautiful. (Maybe I'll remember to return and add a picture.) It makes a great cover-up for dance costumes, and I also like to wear it around the house and outdoors with nothing underneath because it's the next best thing to being naked. Definitely not flattering, but it's SO comfortable.

Most days, dressing however I want to is really easy because I have conventionally attractive curves. There are a lot of days, though, that I worry about how I'll be perceived when I choose clothing based solely on comfort. I'm trying to worry less.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I think have a running problem

I had registered to run the Cinco de Muddo 5k on May 3 because I'd heard such good things about it last year and had room in my schedule this year. Then I got an email about the 5-mile Cinco de Miler race the same day that has a freaking sweet tech tee as part of its race packet.

So I dashed down the hall to ask my coworker exactly what time her wedding is that afternoon: 4:30. Perfect.

The 5-miler is at 8:30 a.m., so I transferred my 9:30 mudder registration to noon to allow me time to eat and drive the hour between races and still have plenty of time to clean up for the wedding and get a nap if I'm lucky.

And then I'm running the 10-12 mile Tough Mudder noon the next day at a site three hours away.