Friday, March 29, 2013

Keeping on my run fitness

Since I didn't have a rugby game assigned this weekend, I didn't do any running during the week (no fire under my ass/fear of God incentive). Except someone has fallen ill and I asked for the game to be reassigned to me. So tomorrow I need to be fit. Oops.

This teaches me to put off running only for weeks during which I have game assignments. Turns out I should be working on my run fitness weekly because you never know if something will come up.

The good thing is that I got a bike ride in on Monday and yesterday, did TRX on Tuesday (from which I'm still feeling the soreness), and I may do another ride today. So I haven't been sitting on my ass entirely all week. Just a little bit.

I was going to do some hill work today but that may have to be postponed until Sunday so I don't have dead legs during tomorrow's game. I think the alternative will be a regular somewhat hilly ride instead of the 3-mile hill repeats I had originally planned.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sexism in rugby

I've been playing rugby for nearly 10 years now and I've always known that women weren't respected by the men as equals, but it never directly affected me until I began refereeing. And now that I blatantly see that the men are getting more assignments than me simply because I'm female, I'm getting really pissed off.

I love refereeing. I'm not that good at it and it stresses me out sometimes, but it's really fun. Part of me believes that the scheduler won't give me more assignments because I'm new and I suck. But the only way to get better is to do more games, which I can't do if I'm not assigned to them. It's kind of like the chicken or the egg scenario. Can't do one without the other. It really sucks.

Mostly, I'm mad because having game assignments has pushed me to go running more than I normally would. It put the fear of God into me with regards to my run fitness and not having any games for a couple of weeks makes me more likely to sit around and get fat. And I need that motivation to get moving otherwise my weight-loss will stall, and I don't want that.

I know that I need to lose weight for myself and not rely on being scared into it for refereeing. I think I'm also being discriminated against because of my weight and perceived lack of fitness so the thinner I get the better my chances of getting assignments. So that's some more incentive to work out.

In that respect, it's getting much warmer outside and, more importantly, drier (meaning no snowfall hopefully) so I'll get on my bike a lot more. Biking is usually how I lose the most weight so not having the need to run all the time gives me the time to get more rides in, which is good. And much more enjoyable since I like to bike much more than I like to run. Like, WAY more.

Considering that, I don't always want to go for a bike ride, but I should be exercising 5-6 times a week. So for those times when my bike seems unfun which doesn't happen often, I can go on a run instead. I stopped doing Couch to 10k after week 5 because it was getting boring and really awful mentally, but I've started running hills and intervals, which give me more bang for my buck. I get exhausted quickly but it only lasts for 30 minutes or so and supposedly those types of runs are the best way to increase speed, which is what I really need to work on, more so than endurance, for reffing.

Back to refereeing complaints, I've noticed that I get nearly all the girls' game assignments so hopefully when the high school girls season rolls around in the fall I'll get more stuff. And this scheduler is much better than the last one in that he has been giving me some games when the last guy didn't give me any. So I guess there's improvement.

And I have been getting a game a week, even though most of my mine have been snowed out (others' haven't because it's dependent on the fields and not the weather) so I haven't actually done all that many games. Most other people get 2-3 games a week, which I think might be too much for me and I'd get burned out. So I'm somewhat happy to be getting one a week but I also wish I was able to do them and they would stop getting canceled. Ay ay ay!

There's only one other girl/woman in the referee society and she's really good so she gets lots of assignments. I asked her how I can get more matches and she said just to be patient. There's nothing else I can do (I've already asked the scheduler for more matches) so I should just wait it out and do well with what I'm given. She said that she gets lots of games despite the scheduler being sexist because other people notice her talent and recognize her skill level. I've gotten really good reviews from both of my evaluators on the two games I've done (yeah, the season is almost over and I've only done TWO games...bullshit!). So I'm hoping that this gets noticed by someone else and they put pressure on the scheduler to give me more matches. That's my pipe dream.

My other main concern is that there's a developmental committee that identifies up-and-coming refs and gives them additional guidance. It's like a fast-track for awesomeness and I'd like to get on it. But if I can't get matches and I can't get respect from one of the main guys in the society then how the hell am I supposed to get noticed by these other old white dudes?! It's so incredibly frustrating.

I think the moral of this whiny post is to focus on my weight-loss and get to an acceptable/normal weight so the referee society has no reason to discriminate against me...except for my gender, but there's nothing I can do about that. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself so the anger subsides a little bit.

Lastly, here's a photo of me in action from my last game:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making my loss visual

Since I can't see my weight-loss when I look in the mirror and other people have been commenting on my "slim" figure, I figured I should browse through the progress photos I've been taking throughout my journey.

And while it's not incredibly obvious even in the pictures that I've lost that much, if you look closely you can see that my butt and thighs are more toned and that the back fat is slowly receding.

Here is a montage of those photos (NSFW in that I'm only wearing underwear and a bra, but all important bits are covered):

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Single" digits, finally!

This graph says it all:

I hit the "single" digits, so to say, on March 16, 2013, which is nearly six years to the day after I last was in the 100s. And I'm still losing. Woohoo!

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Your face looks thinner. Have you lost weight?"

Comments such as the post title have been coming at me in the last week from people in entirely different social circles. So they clearly have all noticed it on their own and not discussed it with each other. It's really weird to hear because 1) they've all said something in the last week and not before, and 2) I haven't noticed any visual evidence of my weight-loss.

Some of my clothes fit better (read, they're no longer like spandex) but for the most part I think my t-shirts and jeans feel the exact same way now as they did a month ago. This is probably because both of those articles of clothing are made of stretchy material while my khakis and jackets are not, but I really don't feel any smaller in my clothes nor do I see myself as thinner when I look in the mirror.

I think part of the "denial" about my weight-loss is due to the fact that I never really saw myself as all that fat. I mean, I know I have fat but for some reason I believe that it's a somewhat thin layer covering a lean, tall, mass of muscle, none of which is true in real life. In fact, I'm obese, 5'4", and have nearly 50% body fat. But I seem to think otherwise, which is why I've let myself get to this weight in the first place. I'm really good at ignoring reality.

Because my perception of my size is so warped, every time I see a picture of myself I am surprised by my weight. Practically every time I see something posted on Facebook or look through pictures I have taken during a trip, I am taken aback by how obese I really am. Each picture is honestly a shock to me and since I'm not looking at them all the time and there aren't many mirrors in my life (at least not from the chest down) it is really easy to see myself as what I'd like to be instead of what I really am.

In that respect, I really only have two perceptions of people's body sizes: fat and thin. Since I've always thought of myself as fat for as long as I can remember (albeit, normal fat -- see two paragraphs below), I associate my current size with the "fat" I remember from high school, when I weighed a whopping 155 pounds. Yeah, I wasn't fat at all and I wish I was that weight now, but in high school for a 5'4" girl, 155 is way bigger than "normal". And since I haven't gotten skinny since that time, in my mind I'm still in the same fat category of my youth, which is big but not all that big. So you see where my current disconnect with reality comes from.

To go even farther back with my issues of fatness, in third grade there were three kids in my class who were constantly teased for being fat. I wasn't one of those three and I never understood why not. I felt lucky for escaping the ridicule and sometimes even joined in on the taunts (not my brightest moment) but I just couldn't comprehend why they were getting flak for their weight while I was considered normal. Where was the line drawn? Because in my mind, anyone thicker than a bean pole was fat. And I sure wasn't a bean pole. Not even close.

It's taken a long time for me to realize that people can have fat on them and not be "fat". And I still catch myself thinking that being a bean pole is the only way to go. It's a distinction that I continue to struggle with and I don't think it's going to be fixed any time soon. I still notice thicker normal-sized people and don't think of them as "normal" per se, even though they're a size 10-12. For some reason I focus on their large hips or non-sculpted arms and see "fat" instead of their natural, perfectly fine body.

Part of this is due to being bombarded by society's unrealistic perception of beauty, part is due to living in a ridiculously thin town where The Roommie (a size 10) feels fat, and part is due to constantly being told to lose weight by my family from an early age. Regardless of the reasons behind my thinking, I just can't get past the thought that anyone who isn't lean, isn't normal-sized.

It's this mindset that makes me worry that I'll never be content with my weight no matter how thin I eventually become. I will always have fat on me because those are the genes I have been dealt and I do actually love having hips. I also don't strive to be athletically thin because I don't have the will-power or desire to commit to that eating and training plan.

So unless I change my way of thinking, I will always be unhappy about my body. And after all the work I will have hypothetically put into losing 85+ pounds, I want to have a body I am at least somewhat satisfied with. It's probably not going to be conventionally beautiful, but I'm hoping it'll be normal.

To go back to what started this post and to end on a positive note, I guess I kind of knew that I was losing weight because the number on my scale has been going down for some time (it's stubbornly stuck between 201.0 and 200.5 lb right frustrating!). But I didn't see the loss on my body and thus I didn't believe it. After-all, I still have a lot of fat on my arms, my thighs, and my stomach, and taking a few pounds off doesn't really move me to the "thin" category, which is where the true distinction lies. Right now, I don't believe the loss makes that much of a difference in my appearance. That is, until my friends and colleagues spoke up.

One comment from The Roommie wasn't even enough to budge my way of thinking. It had to come from several different directions and had to be off-hand, not me soliciting comments but them initiating the discussion. Only after I had heard this several times did I even consider that going down one belt hole was an option for keeping my pants situated on my hips. I then realized that I can actually go down two or even three more and still be comfortable.

When cleaning my room, I started trying on the clothes I had bought "for when I lose weight"...and I started fitting into some of them! I'm currently consistently wearing size 16 pants and shorts, which a huge surprise because I was a solid 18 when I started this, sometimes even needing a 20.

So although I may not notice any weight-loss when I look in the mirror or glance through pictures, other people are noticing and my clothes don't lie. I'm using that outside input as a way to retrain my brain to a more normal way of thinking so hopefully somewhere down the line I will be able to see these changes on my own.

I may have a long way to go, but at least I'm getting somewhere right now.