Jun 5, 2008

the comeback

no, i'm not talking about a running comeback. as a matter of fact, i have been thinking of making my sabbatical official and taking a full year off from running (not including my occasional cross-training forays into the trails) - but that's another whole post and not the one i wanted to write today. the post i want to write today involves a lot of girl talk. gentlemen readers, consider yourselves warned.

i'm talking about a little T & A. as in mine. they have comeback. in the two years that i spent diligently training for three marathons in the hopes of a BQ, my T and my A gradually wasted away into nothingness. and by nothingness, i mean weensy. tiny. get a microscope. we're talking pygmy boobs people. and my ass? flat as a pancake. gone. incapable of even remotely respectably filling out a pair of jeans.

now, i have never, ever in my life been well endowed. i have never really had to wear a bra and actually find them to be a complete useless nuisance. i feel silly in them, like a little girl playing dress up. on one particular and very rare bra-buying occasion several years ago, i went into victoria's secret and announced i needed a bra; when asked what size, i shrugged and said i need your smallest size - she looked my tiny girls right in the eye and said "you certainly do". one might think a comment like that would crush me, but i never cared - i loved my tiny boobs. until they turned into pygmy boobs; then they were something that even their mother couldn't love.

and while i never had any junk in my trunk either, there was something there. enough to hold up some pants, look good in a skirt and fill out a bikini bottom. and it was nice. until two years and three marathons later when my ass went flat and my boobs were sad little flaps of skin and i looked like a 12 year old boy, and while i'm on the subject of more than you ever wanted to know about me, i may as well add in the fact that i hadn't had my period in two years. i practically was a 12 year old boy. there was nothing girly about me. i was skin and bones.

i had always hated thinking about or talking about my weight. i guess i was blessed and lucky in that it was never really an issue for me - i've always been relatively thin and perfectly happy with my weight, so i never did think about it. when i first started running i was still carrying around a little post pregnancy weight and when the training really stepped up, it was fun to see how quickly those last few pounds dropped off. but when the pounds didn't really stop dropping, and it became a struggle to keep weight on during training, and i was embarrassed by my protruding hip bones and the fact that my chest took on a caved-in look and i wound up on the sidewalk at my second marathon; it wasn't so fun anymore. i had reached a new level of skinny. i wasn't the skinny i had been my whole life, this was a new skinny and it wasn't a good or particularly attractive one. it wasn't a skinny that could sustain my own damn self, i was literally running on fumes. enter jen and her magical nutritional mojo. i learned how to eat properly while training for another marathon and watched the numbers on the scale go up ever so slightly and ever so slowly. i got my body back into balance and the crowning achievement of knowing everything was back in balance was when my period came back. i know that some women would love to never have their period; but when i lost mine, i lost touch with my body. i had always been uber in tune with my highly regular cycle and when i started running that awareness was gone. i was overjoyed the day it returned. it meant i had a touchstone again.

i've been pleasantly surprised these past few non-running months to see my T & my A slowly comeback and fill things (okay, small things) out properly. even though i am riding 150 miles a week and burning god-only-knows-how-many calories; i am able to maintain a healthy, normal weight. people i haven't seen in a while tell me i look great - they say i look fit and healthy. which is code for: you were too thin, we were worried about you. (actually, its not really code. they said that). i look good in my jeans again. my cycle has stayed and is as regular as ever. and i have boobs again. they may be tiny. but they are darling, glorious little boobs. and they are back.

i feel normal again. i feel like a girl. and i look like one. i have never felt stronger than i do now. (granted, i totally wish for more strength when me and my bike are hauling ass on the flats or desperately trying to stick to someone's fast wheel); but i love finding the thing i think my body was built for - i feel like a girl blessed with a body that was built to climb hills with her bike. a healthy girl with tiny little T's and a little A.

ahhh. i love a good comeback story.


house on hill road said...

you do look fit and healthy. really, really healthy. and yes, i did worry about you.

on an aside, do you think pygmy boobs could rival mile long boobs or strap on love? just wondering.

back tomorrow. see you at the pool.

Nat said...

It's easy to lose touch of the "real us" when we get wrapped in goals sometimes.

Glad you're looking and feeling great!

Anonymous said...

You do look damn good in a bathing suit sista'!

The other day I was noticing the Birmingham pics on your fridge. You look much healthier and fit now.

Frayed Laces said...

Oh I hear ya. I lost my "friend" while training for my first marathon, and although I liked it at first, it did make me lose touch with my inner woman (or something). But more importantly, not having it (I learned the hard way) can increase your risk for stress fractures. Yikes!

Let's hear it for T&A!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for healthy bodies! It sounds like Jen really knows her stuff and that you've been really conscientious about applying her advice. I really admire you for that!!

Megan Hall said...

This is an awesome tribute to healthy bodies - and healthy body image. Rock on.

monicac2 said...

"My T and my A" - LOL!!

I have definitely gone through the "Umm, no. TOO skinny" thing. And it was MISERABLE - especially since in my case, I was not exercising enough to cause the weight loss that I experienced. It was great to gain a few pounds back, and yes, my mother, mother-in-law and others remarked, "You filled out again. You look better. Your face looks normal."

Nonetheless, I tend to vary wildly between feeling too skinny and needing to develop "my Beyonce" and feeling flabby/saggy/fat - at least 20 times per day. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I am so happy for you and your boobs and little A. That may sound creepy, but I assure you it's not. :)

Runner Leana said...

Yay, congrats on getting your T&A back! I'm worried that I'm going to develop a pancake butt too....heaven forbid that happens!