Can’t Get No Satisfaction

15Oct11

Because Yogi tea makes me feel all pensive and wise.

Tomorrow at 9am, I’ll be taking the first steps of my first marathon. Running has always been my go-to outlet. Running when I’m happy makes the day that much sweeter. Running when I’m angry blasting angsty music makes my emotions that much more intense. Running when I’m sad is grounding. Despite the injuries, the bad races, the disappointments, it has always been a part of me.

But sometimes I wonder what I’m chasing after. Or what I’m always running from. I’m happiest on the move – running, in a car, on a bike, daydreaming of the next city, state or country I will call my own. If I’m in one place to long, I get antsy. I’m unsatisfied. I’m always convinced that there is something better just over the horizon.

Physically, I’ve always be chasing after something. It used to be to look like someone straight off America’s Next Top Model. Never mind that many of those girls were unhealthy. Never mind that at 5’3 and a quarter, I’d never look like that no matter how skinny I was.

Now, I cringe to think of those days. Healthy is far more beautiful than dangerously skinny can ever be.

I’m much healthier than I used to be but, still, I am unsatisfied.

Why?

I’ve always illogically held myself to a different standard than everyone else. I have friends who are naturally skinny as can be, friends who are so gloriously well-endowed, they’ve had to invest in the wonderfully named “Turbo bra” to keep their girls in check, friends with booties that would make Beyoncé jealous, friends who haven’t done a sit up in their life and yet somehow are blessed with rock-hard abs. Blonde friends, brunette friends, red head friends. Short, tall and everywhere in between.

And I think they’re all beautiful. I think the healthy spectrum is wide.

So why am I different? Why did I have to be this exact weight, this exact pant size?

I forget to celebrate the little changes that I’ve enjoyed that have come with no longer fighting my body.

In high school, people always automatically recoiled after shaking my hand because they were constantly like ice. That doesn’t happen anymore. My hands feel warm and alive.

In high school, I could barely make it a week without some kind of cold or flu. The past two years, the most I’ve dealt with is a sore throat and a few stomach bugs.

I don’t only shop at American Eagle anymore just because I know that there I’m always size 0, extra-small. My closet is diverse now.

And I forget that whether I was pushing food around my plate and counting the exact number of calories I can eat or hiding behind a blanket of insecurity made up of late-night Poptarts and potato chips, I’ve always been the same person. Barely eating or binge eating, life hasn’t been all that different.

I’ve still been a clumsy, awkward mumbler. People who made fun off me for being too skinny were also the first to point out that I’d gained some weight. I haven’t gained or lost any friends depending on what the scale read.

So yes, I still aspire to be healthier. I don’t want to look like Kate Moss anymore. I want to be powerful, strong. But, I also remember that no matter how many miles I log, how many crunches I crank out, how many perfectly-portioned meals I eat, I’ll only be satisfied if I’m satisfied from the inside. If I can wake up in the morning and be confident and happy whether I’m having a “fat day” or am slipping easily into my favorite pair of skinny jeans. If I can laugh off the awkward moments because, hey, if Michael Cera can cash in on that, so can I.

Life won’t suddenly shift when I look down and see not ribs, not a soft bulge but perfect six-pack abs. No one will throw me a parade. My phone won’t be buzzing with constant invitations. I won’t suddenly have everything I’ve ever wanted.

I can have everything I’ve ever wanted, but only if I create it and then allow myself to enjoy it. If I understand that happiness doesn’t depend on what my outer shell looks like.

Tomorrow, whether I run the slowest I ever have in my life, whether I spend more time stopping and taking pictures of sights I pass by than running or whether I end up having to crawl across the finish line, I will be satisfied knowing that I’m happy where I stand right this second. My time, my place, the size shorts and t-shirt I have on will be irrelevant. Numbers be damned. Tomorrow, it’ll just be about me celebrating this wonderful life.

And I’ll be thinking of you, dear readers, because every day, I feel blessed knowing that people are actually reading my random ramblings and that no matter where you are in your journey, you might be getting a little something from me.

We can get some satisfaction.

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