Alpha Whiskey

Alpha Whiskey
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
October 11
Born & bred Kentucky girl who loves bourbon, yoga and making messes in the kitchen. I'm a pretty good picture-taker (or a PGPT), I don't eat meat and vintage stuff makes me happy.


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JANUARY 5, 2009 1:59PM

My Super Skinny Year, Part I

Rate: 14 Flag

I’ve been frustrated lately with my exercise routine because of my wonky knee, the Holiday Junk Food season that is now, thankfully OVER, as well as living with a boy who loves to cook Waffle House-style breakfasts on the weekends and these elaborate goddamn dinners which I feel too weak to resist. But I digress.  I thought in light of Resolution Season, I'd share my struggle with diet, exercise and body image. Okay, so here we go.

2007 was my Skinny Year.  Maybe the planets were aligned, maybe I’d hit some sort of pre-thirties metabolic freak-out, but whatever the reason, my normal, everyday workout’s nitro boosters kicked in and I lost a lot of weight.  I was 5’7” and weighed 119 pounds. 

But I didn’t start exercising to get skinny. That was merely a happy and expected result.  I began exercising to escape my head. Depression had been lurking for three years at that point, which was far too long, I decided one January afternoon as I smoked a cigarette outside of my office building.  I’m joining a gym, I thought to myself.

And I did. 

I noticed the short-term benefits immediately.  Whatever hundreds of stupid things that buzzed around my head like a horsefly suddenly vanished.  I felt clear-headed, alive, energized. I told myself I’d found the answer to my stress and depression management. 

After a month or so, I noticed a significant attitude improvement and had more energy at work.  Depression seemed but a faint memory.  That alone fueled my motivation and aside from obligations like appointments or the occasional dinner or work event, I exercised every day.

At this point I craved feeling healthy so I started eating well.  I paid close attention to what I bought at the grocery and what I ordered at restaurants. I ate almonds and dried apricots instead of chips or crackers.  I ate tons of veggies with my meals. I stopped drinking soda and anything with high fructose corn syrup. I drank cold ice water all day long.  I ran at least 3 ½ miles 4 times a week and lifted weights.

I occasionally had a splurge—like a fat cheeseburger and french fries—but I never felt guilty because I knew I’d burn it off.

After three months, I’d logged some serious hours on the treadmill.  Of course, I lost weight but I was primarily motivated by my newfound spirited mood so I kept right on sweating and eating well.  It was an affirming cycle. The more regularly I exercised, the healthier I ate, the better I felt.  

Another month, more weight loss.

My parents said I was too thin, that I had chicken arms.  I thought, they’re nuts.  Ladies at work would say something similar. I’d pop a bourbon ball in my mouth and they’d go, “how on earth do you stay so thin?”  I usually mumbled something about watching what I ate or that I ran.  Discussing it too often or in too much detail embarrassed me.

Pretty soon though I began to see what everyone was talking about.  My clothes had become a tad baggy.

Standing naked in front of my full length mirror one evening, I saw what everyone was making a fuss over.  I saw tone in places that never had been before.  My hips and thighs, what I have always considered my “problem areas,” had slimmed.  That maddening jiggle was replaced by a supple elasticity. I looked long and lean.  I felt pretty. 

Shopping suddenly became a smorgasbord of options. I picked up sizes I never dreamed I’d ever wear.  I was consistently dumb founded by how well clothes fit my body and when I shopped, which was quite often, I bought nearly everything I tried on.   I racked up a nice little pile of debt because of that.  But I didn’t care. For the first time in my life, I was excited about shopping for a bikini. 

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I know this feeling. I'm not quite to my goal yet but I lost 50 pounds in 2008. I hope 2009 is my skinny year. love the post thanks for the story.

So, bottom line, happiness is fattening?
I must be really happy then...i might need wardrobe #5 soon if I don't get some exercise.

You must know how lucky you are that The Boy loves you enough to cook up the Big Breakfast.
care to be my exercise coach?

But yeah...117 is little TOO skinny - I bet you look better now.
Que serait le monde sans les filles?
In case you're wondering, Monsieur Chariot's comment translates to "what would the world be without girls?" Crack me up!

Brian, many would agree that I look better now. And healthier still. But I still miss the fun I had shopping that year! I also am very much loving the awesome boyfriend who cooks for me.
Alpha, you've captured what it feels like when a lifelong "non-skinny" becomes, even for one fleeting moment in time, "skinny." Been there (although never to your size--I bottomed out at 130 on my 5'6" frame, which was enough for a size 4.)

I did it a different way--neurotic romance,anxiety, divorce, breakdown--but I did love how I looked at the end of it all and I wish I'd been able to figure out a way not to lose the "crazy body" when the "crazy brain" went back into remission. ;-S

Isn't shopping in the juniors section amazing? Great and amazing?

Why can't clothing manufacturers acknowlede all of us who aren't going to remain the size we were when we were 13?

Ah, the eternal lament.
That probably was a tad too skinny for most 5'7" ladies, so you're surely looking even healthier and better now. Sounds like your eating and exercise habits were healthy but maybe went too far (waiting for part II of your story)?

2008 was my skinny year, but not super skinny (5'8-1/2" and 133-135 lbs), after Weight Watchers Core and continued extreme vegetable eating ;) Of course, I still have 2 of the 5lbs I gained from Christmas cookies and cashews to lose, but my bento box lunches are helping.

I put on a bikini last summer and felt incredibly self-conscious and exposed, since I had been wearing tankinis and boy shorts for several years due to pregnancies and chubbiness. I pushed through it and wore that bikini. I figured I would blind people with my extreme pallor. Bikini shopping can be terrifying if there is a multi-angle mirror.
I want a skinny year!
I am determined to make 2009 my super skinny year. 2008 was close. I lost 30 pounds from March 2007 to October 2008. But I am not satisfied- and I have recently put some weight back on (being unemployed is a very sedentary lifestyle- no more 1 mile treks to the train in the morning). So I think I might join the gym, despite the expense. It's worth my happiness.
Karma, it's hard to do that. In my experience, by the time my pelvis bones were exposed, the cleavage was nearly gone. It was a package deal.
I've had two "skinny" years... both revolving around breakups. Most people would call me small anyway, but I was skinny the way I WANTED to be, both of those times. I know what you mean about being to shop and wear anything... it's great. Hopefully going to drop the 5 pounds this year that keep me out of the skinny pants... we'll see.
Looking forward to part II.
I have heard that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. That's hard to remember during these cold, dark winter days, but essential to keeping the weight off.

Bravo on your journey and doing it healthily with good food and exercise!

Oh, and great writing too. Vivid, lean and conversational.