Its December 12th and I think I am almost done sending off packages and cards to all corners of the country (and to Australia this year, Shaun, however will not let me sign up for Western Australia despite my desire to meet to the girls in person).  For the first time in December I’m not trying to balance a training schedule with a holiday, work, life and home schedule.  After Florida I took 5 weeks completely off.  No nothing (other than rolling on the floor yoga, which does not count as physical activity).  For the past few weeks I have only been doing what a feel like. 

It’s me (and my super cool Anthropolgie critter shirt).

Wake up and its (relatively) warm and sunny, I’ll go for a run, no watch, not heart rate monitor, no nothing, just running as far and as long as I feel like.  Able to get out of work early, I’ll go to yoga.  Cold morning but I feel the need to move, I’ll get on the bike and spin for an hour (right now my rear derailleur cable is crimped so I only have two gears).  I haven’t felt the urge to head to the pool, its too cold for that and I don’t want to swim in the basement.  I spent way too many years in the pool to miss it after only 6 or 7 weeks.

I am a little surprised that without the structure of training I still feel like me.  I think a lot of the time we define ourselves by what we do (triathlon, running, attorney — which reminds me I really need to re-write my bio, Dartmouth alum) or own (a dog and two cats, a nice tri bike, lots of pretty clothes for both work and training) or like (reading, NPR, endurance sports, Doctor Who, Sherlock or well I could go on for a long time on this one) rather than WHO we actually are.  Its hard to define a who rather than what because it is intangible.  I don’t know that I can exactly define who I am, but I’ve come to a clearer realization that I’m not what I do and that whether I’m “training” or “not training” I’m still the same person.   

In “not training” I’ve also had a lot of time to think about my issues with eating and body image (as a funny aside I was using the term “ED” to talk about eating disorders with Shaun, problem was he thought “ED” meant erectile disfunction, sometimes we really are speaking to each other in different languages).  On one hand I think that I should work to accept my body the way it is and understand that this is the size I’m supposed to be — essentially if I’m physically healthy and realtively fit, I should be happy with my body.  On the other hand, I have the nagging feeling that I’m not completely healthy and that there is something actually “wrong” with me. 

After lots of thought, I made the decision to see Dr. Jeff Donatello in Kittery, Maine (yes, Maine of all places).  Dr. Donatello told me he really thought that he could help me and I’m in the process of doing a fair amount of testing for all sorts of fun things (below is are the little vials I filled up with spit to measure cortisol levels).  As sad as it sounds, I would really like for there to be something, anything, wrong with me to provide some answers and next steps.  As much as I want answers, however, I think I have come to the realization (nd acceptance and understanding) that whether I weigh 130 lbs or 200 lbs, I will still be me and will still have all the good and the bad that goes with being me. 

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

1 Comment

Kristen L · December 13, 2013 at 12:48 am

Body image and weight can be such difficult issues. I hope you find some information from your tests and the doctor can help provide some good direction for you!

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