Training update, now with more dysmorphia!

By Mir
May 9, 2006

Lest you think I haven’t been training–just because I haven’t talked about it much–let me just tell you: I have been training. And lo, I have the callouses to prove it. My feet may never recover.

I’m feeling a nice surge of renewed commitment, because this week I crested the $4,500 mark. That’s pretty cool. Y’all are pretty! And generous! Except you… yes, you, in the back. You haven’t donated yet. What, you don’t love the boobies? The boobies are love. Support the boobies. (Need a reward for your donation? Go buy one of my 3-Day shirts and you’re making a donation and a fashion statement at the same time.)

In the meantime, I am struggling with my new body.

I’m no beauty queen, you know. But I’m that girl you hate. I’m thin. I’ve always been thin. I got rid of clothes that I wore in high school because they’re embarrassing, not because they no longer fit. Sometimes I forget to eat. When I’m stressed out I often sort of stop eating. More often, I eat and eat and eat and don’t gain any weight.

Take a minute to marinate in the hatred. Get it out of the way. (Also, take comfort in the knowledge that my skin is terrible, and I have more acne now than you had in high school. It all evens out.)

Because of my size, there isn’t a woman on the planet who wants to listen to me bitch about feeling fat. I understand that.

Here I am, not paying much attention to what I eat (I try to eat a balanced diet, but I’ve never really dieted or worried about portion control), having been not very active for the last however many years, and my shape has remained more or less the same. Now, along comes the 3-Day, and the training, and I’m walking an average of about 25 miles a week, plus working out here at home, and I AM SACRIFICING SOFT, PRETTY FEET for the stamina to keep on going without crying or dying, and…

… this next sentence should be “I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.” Right? I think it should be. But it’s not.

The next sentence is, in fact, “I am heavier than I’ve ever been other than being pre- or post-partum.”


“But Mir,” you say, once you’ve finished doubling over with mirth, “muscle weighs more than fat, silly!” Yes, I know. Muscle is heavier. Know what else is heavier? MY ASS. My ass which is now more muscular but not any firmer or trimmer than before I started this new career of walking a million miles to nowhere.

And this is not about numbers on a scale. I hardly ever weigh myself. This is about FEELING THICK. And it’s about my pants being too tight. And it’s about FEELING THINGS JIGGLE when I’m working out.

I do not like it, Sam I Am.

The result is that I’ve become the sort of body dysmorphic whom–in my previous, svelte existence–I fantasized about clubbing to death with a cheesecake. I think I’m fat. I’m unhappy with my shape. I know that it’s not logical, but I don’t know how to stop.

In reality, I AM heavier, I AM thicker, because I’m building muscle, yes, but I suspect it to be burrowed deep within a cozy layer of cellulite. I’m not 18 anymore and once we ladies reach a certain age, well, most of us become sort of lumpy.

I’ve also made a startling discovery: Exercising makes me hungry. Exercising makes me RAVENOUS. And as a person who’s never needed to worry about dieting, when I am hungry, I GO AHEAD AND EAT. The evidence is starting to suggest that I need to curb that habit. It’s possible that I’m burning off an additional 400 calories a day, but now consuming additional snacks in excess of that amount. (And by “possible” I mean “for damn sure.”)

So I have multiple issues to face, here.

One, I need to have liposuction. Kidding. I need to buy new pants, because I doubt I can get lipo on clearance at TJ Maxx.

Two, I need to start watching what I eat. And I have to tell you that I believe deep in my heart that in the absence of a sex life, a person is entitled to good snacks. So this is problematic.

Three, I need to stop looking in the mirror. Ever.

Four, I should consider selling advertising space on my ginormous ass as a fundraiser. Lots of people who do the 3-Day raise money by wearing company logos and such. I have to find the phone number for the Breakstone Cottage Cheese people… it’s perfect.

Five, I need to have a lobotomy before I attempt to teach my children anything about healthy body image. Gah.


  1. Ms Sisyphus

    Life just isn’t worth living when neither good sex nor good snax are an option.

  2. Susan

    You’re so pretty. But now, for some reason, I really REALLY want some cheesecake . . . why is that, do you think?

  3. Dawn

    Ah, yes, the old “building muscle faster than the fat is burning off” trap. Isn’t it AWESOME? (My thighs are doing that right now.)

    You definitely need to eat, but, yeah, need to watch what those snacks are. You’ll find a balance, though. I have faith. Meanwhile, I still think your ass is totally hot. Promise.

  4. Cele

    I was depressed to find out zits never go away. DEPRESSED!!!! What a bad joke. And then I found out I was going to be the sybling that would grow the zip code size butt in middle age. Unfair.

    Why isn’t there a low cal/low fat/no carb tasty and satisfying snack out there? Why? We can put men on the moon, send rover to Mars, you would think this they could do. Maybe when the get the tellaporter thingie figured out they can tellaport me to Australia, and my fat cells to Mars.

  5. Tam

    I have been running for seven months now, and I’m doing twenty-five miles a week. I have lost no weight. My thighs have become much bigger, and my butt has gone flat.

    Nobody warned me that taking up running might result in me not fitting into my jeans. AAARRGGH.

  6. hollygee

    “And I have to tell you that I believe deep in my heart that in the absence of a sex life, a person is entitled to good snacks.”

    I so believe this. And since I haven’t had sex since the last ice age, I more resemble the Venus of Willendorf than Venus Williams.

  7. Bob

    you’ll always be that svelte size 4 wisp of a girl B$#^H THAT STILL FITS INTO HER HIGHSCHOOL PROM DRESS (oops,did I say that out loud? 1000 pardons) to me.

    P.S. Breakstone’s number is 1-800-244-2888. KIDDING.

  8. chris

    So exercise makes you fatter. I knew there must be a good reason that I avoid it like the plague.

  9. buffi

    I have to really pay attention that I don’t talk about “my huge ass” or all the weight I have gained in front of my kids, especially SugarPlum. No need to pass on my body image issues.

  10. Lesley

    Nope, still stewing in the rage against the thin. Will get back to you with comment about how pretty you are when I’m fully marinated. ;)

  11. Patricia

    I think I may just love you more now. You see there is now balance in the universe. For someone who never worried (or bothered) with their perfect size 4 body to actually run into issues when doing something “good” for them — there is balance again. I’m NOT one of your kind — I fight my ass on a near daily basis and if I so much as allow the wrong item of food near me, I don’t fit in my pants tomorrow. But that’s me, not you.
    On the advice you didn’t ask for, what is going on, is that you have a layer of fat (no apparent without the muscle — so you were probably a size 2 or 0 if it hadn’t been there) with growing muscle. It will probably work itself out, as you burn fat and build more muscle. However, it is going to be important to watch that you eat more complex carbs (watch the butterfingers) instead of simple sugars and white flour. This makes the fuel from food harder to break down — and will allow the body to burn some of its own fat too.
    That or find a sugar daddy to pay for lipo and any other work you’d like done.

  12. Aimee

    Grrrr…(oops, did I say that out loud?) Anyway, you’ll be fine. I’m sure your ass is totally hot. WhatEVer. ;)

  13. Stephanie Chance

    I am not alone! I, too, have always been small and never had to watch what I eat. But now I am nearing 30, and everything is getting bigger. My belly hangs over my jeans (if I can squeeze my big butt into them), and my thighs rub together when I walk. I am wondering should I just let nature take its course and keep doing what I’ve always done (not exercise, eat junk food), or make a radical lifestyle change? I know I should make healthier choices, but I am just too lazy. On the body image issue, though, I don’t think I look that bad, rubenesque, if you please. I am always looking in the mirror with my daughter and commenting on how beautiful we are.
    Mir, don’t you just hate it when people say, “I hate you because you’re so skinny!” I mean, it’s not like we had anything to do with it.

  14. InterstellarLass

    OK, I hate you. (simmer) Yeah, I think the ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ thing is all bogus BS. But you totally cannot scope in on the ginormous ass advertising. I have the market cornered. Actually, it’s rather round…

  15. Lilymane

    I can’t relate to the skinny part but I can relate to the exercise not making a damn bit of difference part. I’ve run both a triathlon and a half marathon for the first time in my life this year and I weigh more than I did when I had my first child. Wannnh. But Mir, PLEASE don’t sell advertising space on your butt!
    1)I’m sure no matter how large you feel – that your butt is great and small and perfect and also?
    2)I ran behind a (slender, pretty) gal in the half marathon who was wearing shorts that I think were supposed to say “MIAMI” but the “A” had been sucked into her skinny butt crack and it was soooo unpleasant looking. Beware! Who knows what kind of advertising message you could be sending if that happened to you.

  16. Terminex

    Raven —

    Shoo, fly.

  17. Deborah

    Some stranger walked up to me and said, “you’re big-but you’re cute.” Wow, I hadn’t been called cute, in years.
    When I first started exercising, I too got heavier-and very discouraged. I went back with a slightly different plan of attack & attitude-the results, a bit slow-but considering my schedule, acceptable. Stay with it–it will be worth it. –Someone told me-squats help with cottage cheese arses–

  18. gretchen

    Try this site, I found it recently and there is a lot of good advice about how to get the right kind of muscle, and burn the unwanted fat. I like it because it doesn’t make it seem like advanced science, I actually get it…anyway Good Luck!

  19. Amy-GO

    I’m sorry, but…I’m taking this as evidence that there is a God. *Ducking*

  20. Shiz

    Hey Mir,

    I’ve joined Weight Watchers online for $22 CAN/mo, and it’s working. On the plan, you can have a lot of freedom, but not so much that you gain. It teaches us all to curb those habits. On some days I throw WW out teh window, and the next day I come back and I still end up losing something. And 35 flex points a week equals a few pieces of cheesecake.

  21. the Mater

    ROTFLOL Oh you young ‘uns … pushing 30 and 40 and starting to worry about your caboose.

    Rubenesque is good. Besides, it’s all in the genes. I’m totally fighting several pounds this past year which have managed to swim ashore on my South Beach and deflate all good intentions.

    And Mir, we single women of all ages need to be kinder to ourselves and not feel so guilty. Easier said than done.

    All I need is a personal trainer and a private nutritionist/chef and I’d be ready to shape up! Unfortunately, my paycheck won’t allow such frivolity :>(

  22. Liz

    Do not worry — I did a 3-Day last year and was eating like a horse during training. I even ate while I walked because I was starving. My walk was in September and by Christmas party season I had dropped two sizes and was looking pretty good. Now I walk about 2-3 miles 3 or 4 times a week and that has kept it off.

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