February 6, 2011 by Darlene McC
“Healthy” can be such a dangerous work. It can be so charged for some people: the weight of your own weight, the perceptions of other people’s judgement, unrequested advice from friends & family. What’s ‘healthy’ versus ‘unhealthy’ changes from person to person and situation to situation. Vegans think meat is ‘unhealthy’; carnivores think you’re crazy if you cut out all that animal protein ~ and gym rats think you’re nuts if you don’t have a protein power bar the moment you finish lifting.
For almost a year I’ve been reinventing my own body image. This is my best friend, Sarah Croce: Autostraddle Calendar Girl Miss April.
Yup, she’s hot. And in great shape – and after 7 years of feeling like a cow whenever I’m next to her I realized something last year: she works out a lot. A REAL lot. She loves the gym and is careful what she eats and has great respect for food and it’s affect on her body.
Last year Sarah and I started working on Skip Trace, our web series where we both play bounty hunters. Last year around this time I realized that if I seriously think I’m going to play a tough-ass bounty hunter I can’t do it carrying an extra 20 lbs of squishy. So I started going to the gym with Sarah.
And I started eating better.
And I started counting calories.
Yes, that’s it – I started breaking down everything I eat into the caloric parts and keeping track. I’m not paying Weight Watchers or some fad diet to ‘teach’ me about my own body (and re-sell me a million expansion bits every time they decide to “reinvent” the diet); it’s math.
So for a year I’ve been hitting the gym ~ not religiously. I’m not a magazine transformation; just slow change. I walk straighter. I’m eating better. I set simple goals about how often I hit the gym and how many calories I’m going to eat… but I’m not there yet.
I’m planning to write more about how I push myself through this transformation. I don’t expect any miracles – but when I was 16 I promised myself I wouldn’t be overweight when I turned 30. I don’t break promises (especially to myself).