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Published on March 23rd, 2012 | by Trigger Mortis

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Food is my Monica Bellucci: On the Road to My Ideal Derby Weight

It’s 4:27am and I am trolling the interwebs for pictures of food I cannot eat. I literally just kissed an image of a succulent dark chocolate cake that was on my monitor. This is a recipe for disaster and nothing good can come of it. I imagine seedy politicians feel not unlike this just before succumbing to the advances of high dollar courtesans that look like Monica Bellucci. My fatal weakness, my mistress–my Monica Bellucci–is food.

I am writing about this instead of raiding the refrigerator, in hopes that I can overcome the impending weakness in my knees, and the seductive whispers of the last slice of chocolate cheesecake my brother left in the refrigerator. I feel that, standing at the threshold of near cave-in, I need to explain how food was slowly destroying my life, so that I can remember WHY I am no longer going to give into the trollop that is food. (*sidenote: they call ’em “tarts” for a reason.)

Let me start by saying that I am, even if I were at society’s silly standards of ideal weight, a big girl. At five foot, nine and a half, I am “supposed” to be a healthy 160 lbs. in the real world. But, I had convinced myself that, in the derby world, I needed to be a little bigger than that, and I think I hid behind “the derby excuse” for WAY too long. Instead of being just a little bigger than that, I had let my weight get way out of control, eating fast food all hours of the day and constantly repeating catch phrases like “blockers don’t eat salad” and “it’s all in the tits”. To be fair, in my particular case, I would have been telling the more accurate version of the truth if I had said “an impressive and shockingly unbelievable amount of it’s in the tits,” but I digress.

When I decided I had hit rock bottom just a few short months ago, I was eating so much that I would literally eat in my sleep. I would have a plate of food in my lap right before I went to bed and would actually fall asleep mid-bite. Not good. I would wake up in the morning, groan with one eye open, brush the crumbs of the previous night’s food indiscretions off of my sheets and do the walk of shame, empty plate in hand, downstairs to the sink to wash my plate clean of the evidence. But no matter how many times I washed my plate, I was ignoring the evidence that was being left on my body. I was at my heaviest weight ever, tipping the scales at 230 lbs. I had a great boyfriend and an awesome roller derby league, but had never been more unhappy with myself.

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I am a five year veteran on the travel team of my roller derby league, and, at that point, was in serious danger of being cut from the team because of my sub-par level of physical fitness. I could BARELY squeak by on our minimum travel team requirements (30 laps in 5 minutes) and I had zero endurance. Sure, I got exercise from roller derby, but I was doing just enough to get by in practice–WHEN I showed up. I couldn’t keep up with the basic endurance drills anymore, and I would be so discouraged at practice that sometimes I would actually talk myself out of going to practice so that I could spare myself the embarrassment of the newer skaters passing me up. It wasn’t really the way I looked that was bothering me so much as my diminishing level of skill and agility.

In retrospect I can now admit I was committing a hell of a lot more penalties doing illegal shit on the track–reaching with my arms, elbowing, flailing, bullshit stuff–to get the hit, because, simply put, I just couldn’t get there. I relied more on kill shots than positional blocking, because I just couldn’t move on my feet like I wanted. I knew where I needed to be on the track, but my body would fail to do what my mind wanted me to do. I would laugh it off, but it wasn’t funny. I could have (and probably did) seriously hurt someone or myself on the track as a result of my lack of body skill. As the venerable Val Capone so succinctly puts it, “Being a big girl rules. Being unhealthy does not.”

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To make matters worse, my malfunctioning body insecurities had even started to be reflected in my relationship. I was in a such a bad mental place that when we would go out for a drink, I’d overdo it and would become “that angry drunk girl” that no partner ever wants to (or should have to) deal with. My poor boyfriend. He handled it like Gandhi through it all. I am truly lucky to still have him after some of the self-loathing shenanigans I pulled.

In short, it was not fun, I was not fun, and I never want to go back to that unhappy place, which is why I will not eat that last slice of cheesecake in the fridge, no matter how sweet it might taste. Those few seconds of bliss are not worth a possible lifetime of unhappiness. It’s all fun and games until someone ends up sitting in their Camaro, shaking their head and blubbering “I’m a fucking idiot…I’m a fucking idiot, fucking idiot, fucking idiot,” Phillip Seymour Hoffman-style.

While it’s funny to think about that scene in Boogie Nights, the truth is, I WAS feeling like that and was beating myself up about it without doing (a) squat about it. Finally, I had had enough. I was through feeling like that, so I bit the bullet, threw out all of the shite food in the fridge, stopped drinking soda, cut back to four alcoholic drinks a week, started shopping at the farmer’s market, got a gym membership (thanks, Ben Dejo), and started running a mile or more every other day.

The first time I got on the treadmill, it wasn’t easy–I won’t lie–it was discouraging as hell, but I had to start somewhere. I was lucky to log a mile in 17 minutes, but I couldn’t run yet. My tits were too big and I would have given myself a concussion, even with the three bras I was wearing. But fast forward just a few short months later, I am now running a mile at around 9 minutes and only getting better. AND I now look forward to every derby practice and discovering what I can do on skates with my improving body. At the risk of providing TMI, did I mention sex is better, too? If that’s not enough motivation, I don’t know what is. What a difference almost 30 lbs. makes!

While I am definitely not yet at my final goal derby weight of 175lbs, I am only 28 lbs from it, only seven pounds away from my second goal of 195, and only three pounds away from my first weight goal of just under 200lbs. There are four odd weight goals and personal rewards for me, but they work for my weirdo brain. Who knew that eating right and running every other day would actually work? Definitely not me.

I have to give my boyfriend a ton of props for getting me on the right track and being my dream personal trainer, but he refuses to take any credit for it. He always says, “You’re the one doing all the work.” What a guy, right? I’m glad we got past that dark place in my life. As I stated earlier, I never want to go back that unhappy, Hoffman-esque place I was at, and, with the right kind of self-discipline and support–which I feel I finally have–I never will.

Eat your heart out, Monica Bellucci.

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