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Discussion: Hugs

in: hamlet; hamlet > 2024-01-19

Jan 19, 2024 10:18 PM # 
So relatable. January is when I'm always heaviest, school means not being able to work out the way I want to, and I can think of at least 2 years when things not fitting was seriously on my mind as well. None of that felt good to me, either.

If it helps with perspective, remember that 1) our sport has a huge mental component, so never count yourself out and 2) it's ok to be a "developing country" just doing your best. Yes, we all want to excel wearing that NT kit. I remember feeling pathetically unworthy at the military champs because some countries showed up with their WOC teams (universal service is a nice thing when it comes to military champs) and everyone else was in their 20s, fast, and just better orienteers. I'd never even been to WOC as a spectator. But I'm really glad I went because of the connections I made with others, and I felt accepted even though I was in the bottom third of competitors.

I think it's awesome that you are doing this. Ski-O requires a really high level of technical skill. Anna briefly considered it and even with a few formal lessons, last year's US Champs was enough for her to conclude she'd just be endangering everyone else. (Going to school in Arizona didn't help, either). For my two cents, go out there and do your best. Hang out with the other athletes and make connections. Maybe we're not on the podium, but without even having a US Team to represent us as interested and trying, OUSA doesn't have a voice with the IOF. You matter, and we'll be cheering for you.

You're doing lots of things that are hard now - adulting in a familiar, but not exactly native environment, taking hard classes that probably have a vocabulary set you have to learn not only technically, but also across multiple languages, training through winter with not a lot of resources near you, and doing your best at all of this. I am so impressed with your focus and how you keep pushing to be your very best in everything you do. I'll be cheering for a change to return to your routine of what makes you feel healthy, happy and well. You've got this! Big hugs. ;-)
Jan 19, 2024 10:34 PM # 
Oh man Tori, this is the best response. I have nothing to add, because you said it all.

We're cheering for you, Alex, regardless of how you feel and how you do. And I can relate to the out-of-shape/overweight feeling too. I am a stress eater, a lover of chocolate, and lots of stress lately here. But we can all just look forward to better days, and anything we do now will help us later. More hugs!
Jan 20, 2024 12:23 AM # 
I love you. When life feels out of control (i.e. finals, school, social stress etc), it seems that a very human thing to do is take it out on our eating habits (i.e. restriction or loss of control). And then, in turn, when our bodies feel out of control, it’s very easy to take that out on life. Especially as athletes. When I was healing my relationship with food over the past year, I put on some weight and while I’m still in a very privileged body, EVERY time my fitness dipped or plateaued or I had a bad run, I thought “oh, I only get faster when I get thinner.” or “I only get faster when I get lighter.” But that’s not the case. I’ve gotten faster over the past 2-3 months and I have been basically the same weight the whole time. It’s just the stereotypes beaten into my head about runners and their bodies that have reinforced that. And I’m a happier, faster, stronger and more enduring runner when I’m fueled and kind to myself.

TLDR: Binge eating and loss of control is incredibly stressful and incredibly common and I truly hope you find peace, but try to be kind to your body in the meantime, and treat it with as much respect AND as much patience as you would treat anybody else’s. If a hypothetical athlete you coached put on some weight, would you blame their lows and highs on that? No. And as your own coach, you have to have the same flexibility w yourself!
Jan 20, 2024 11:37 AM # 
Thanks guys. I'm hoping now that I have a month to do anything but school I'll be able to get back to training and feel good again- I guess not necessarily lose weight, but feel strong. Just hoping I'll survive WJSOC for now
Jan 21, 2024 8:43 PM # 
I agree with everything said above!!!

The thing I will add is that I have had comments made to me about my weight from people very close to me and it hurt! It took me a LONG time to get my head back from thinking I need to be my university/high school weight to be fast. I’ve actually been tracking my weight and dimensions for the last three years yeah I’ve lost some but the biggest difference I’ve felt is stronger. And my weight fluctuation over the course of a month is scary when I actually paid attention! But my feeling of being strong is what I’m holding on to! So strong and happy is the mindset I’m working with and not thinking about the weight!

On the food related topic I’ve also looked at the type of snacks I have around me, because sorry I snack and that’s not changing. If I want a chocolate bar and try to eat a something else “healthy” I’ll 99% of the time ALSO have the chocolate. So I’ve kept small peanut butter cups in the house so if I really want the chocolate I’ll just eat that. So it’s about the calories in no matter what they are. If im going to eat the chocolate anyway why have the extra healthy calories. I’ve also found im probably intolerant to gluten so too much makes me feel tried and weak. So maybe a type of food isn’t helping you either?

But biggest take away is that you’re awesome and I admire all the events you take on and put yourself forward for. That is an awesome trait to have!! And you have to be on the start line to be in the race, so enjoy your start spot and just take it all in!!!!!
Jan 22, 2024 6:30 PM # 
Yeah, maybe dairy isn't exactly helping me, but even having had a minor allergy to it a few years ago didn't stop me from eating it, soo...

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