Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have discovered something about myself: when YMCA dues are auto-deducted from my checking account, I am much more driven to go to the pool regularly. I'm paying either way, right? Today I felt a little queasy and was really close to bagging it, and then I thought: "Stop it, it's an excuse. If you still don't feel well, you can stop swimming and leave." I have this tool (the surgery), which I am damn lucky to have; I have a limited window of time for initial weight loss following it; and the best part of all--when I swim, I feel amazing.

I'm feeling this determination that shocks even me, but I'm not sure why; I've always known how to work and been tenacious. (There is a reason I adore bulldogs!) The fact is, I'm there to do a job and it gets done: I swim for fifty minutes. Sometimes there is a kids' swim team or a family with masks and fins who can barely dog paddle or someone who can do impressive flip turns even though they appear to be in their fifties. Sometimes it's early in the morning and I crash Mr. Salted's car into the cement post next to the gas pump before I even get to the pool (yes, this really happened two weeks ago). I just share the lane and keep going. I look at the clock a lot. Fifty minutes. It's a long time. I don't start getting tired until about forty minutes.

Every time I go, it gets easier to move, to breathe. As I glide through the water, loose skin doesn't matter, fat rolls don't matter, middle age doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that I've never been to Europe, that I'll never be a rock star or a grandmother, that I'm still trying to pay off my student loans at almost 42 years old. No matter how I look in my bathing suit out of the pool, in it I feel weightless and graceful.

To date, I have always been the largest person there. I'm not thrilled about the way I look, but I accept it. I know I look the best I can at this point in time, and I look better than I have in many years, mostly because I'm happier. I care much more about how I feel.

In the locker room today, I felt like I could see the struggles of every woman there. I was the heaviest, but some were older, some looked exhausted or tentative, and one beautiful young lady was weighing herself wearing only a towel and glaring at the number on the scale like it was her worst enemy. I thought: I have been every one of you and felt full again, this time with compassion. We all have our obstacles and our journeys. The only person I have never been is the friendly elderly woman who loves to swim and is smiling simply because she woke up today, but becoming her is another goal I can set for the future.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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