I know we’re often the last to really notice changes in our own bodies because we live in them all day, every day. I know my body is changing because I feel better. And because my clothes are fitting differently – if not flat-out falling off if I’m not careful about what I grab from the closet. And I’m physically unable to cram as much food into my stomach in one go as I used to. If I really look at myself in the mirror, I can tell that my man-boobs are much less… boobier. And my belly is quite a bit smaller than it used to be. But most of the time I still feel like I’m the fat middle-aged guy. I know I’ve changed, it just doesn’t feel like I’ve changed that much.
I’ve decided to call this phenomenon Fat Brain. I’ve seen people throwing the phrase “body dysmorphia” around, so I looked it up just to be sure I wasn’t using it incorrectly – if I decided to use it at all here. From what I’ve read over at the Mayo Clinic, body dysmorphia is much more of a disorder than what I’m experiencing. Of course I think about my body and the changes I’ve been making and want to continue making, but that’s pretty understandable given the huge lifestyle overhaul I’ve been going through over the last fourteen months or so. But I’m not so obsessed with it that it impacts my ability to function in my daily activities. So Fat Brain it is, then.
Though I certainly do have my insecure moments. Like the first rehearsal with the rock band I mentioned joining a couple of posts ago. I walked in with my gear and here were all these young, skinny kids hanging out. I was sure I was twice as heavy and a good 15 years older than all of them. “Great,” I remember thinking. “I’m the old fat guy.” At the end of rehearsal, they wanted to take some band photos. I was not excited about that, but I went along for the ride any way. In some of the photos we took, we were holding LPs up in front of our faces just to be silly. When I saw one of those photos a day or two later, I actually had to stop and really look at it to figure out which one I was. No, I’m not as slim as any of the other guys – and I likely never will be given my build, which is fine – but I’m also not nearly as much larger than them as I imagined myself to be. (Also, I’ve since learned that the age gap between myself and most of the rest of the band is not nearly as wide as I had assumed. Not that any of that really matters as long as we’re having fun and the music is good.) We seem to be clicking pretty well and are lining up a show at The Flycatcher on September 11th. We’d love to see you there if you’re around. Oh, look. A shameless plug.
So, yeah. Changes. I’ve had a lot of them. Making new friends. Going out to see live shows again. Registering for longer and longer races. Yes, the running bug maintains a firm grasp on me. And that’s okay. There are far worse addictions to have. And I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come. Even though I was working on becoming more active at this time last year, running was still the last thing I would have considered doing. Yesterday morning I “accidentally” ran five and a half miles. (The running part was on purpose. I had just planned on three, maybe four miles when I set out.) Before work. And didn’t think anything of it. And I’m running in a very hilly eight mile race on Monday. And not dreading it. I’m actually looking forward to it.
Now if I can just get the Fat Brain to shut the hell up and let me enjoy my success more.