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  • cogswellmatt77

Fat Kid in a Public Pool Goes on a Mini-Vacation

Late afternoon yesterday I got a text that caused me to have an immediate anxiety reaction. The text was from the landlord of my building and surrounding buildings. Whenever it snows, the plow comes, and when he arrives, we need to move our car to the street. When I get these texts, I move my car as soon as possible to get a decent spot on the road. Even that short trip can be arduous, especially when I need to reverse direction when it comes time to move back my car. The text from yesterday said that when the plow comes (today) that we will need to move our cars or they will be towed, and we would pay for it. The idea of moving my car onto the street during a blizzard freaked me out, and I knew it would stress me out for the entirety of the blizzard. So, I did the only logical thing: I got a hotel room.

Because I'm a Hilton Honors member, I found the closest hotel and booked a room for two days. There's a whole side story of anxiety connected to entering the wrong address, which resulted in excess driving in the dark, during the three hours of rush traffic. Anyway, I arrived about 25 hours ago from the moment I'm typing this. Last night I went to swim in the pool. It wasn't a real workout because there were kids and one father also in the pool, making it impossible to do laps. It was still relaxing. That evening I ate some of the food I brought, which in total was a combination of Nutrisystem entrees, my shake mix, some candy, and a jar of peanut butter. I ate one meal and some peanut butter. Lowkey food evening. I'm getting better with moderation.

I had a decent night's sleep, better than my usual pattern. When I woke up, I wasn't hungry yet, so I went to the pool again. No one was there, and it was so nice. I swam for 720 'strokes' of various swim maneuvers. It felt great. After showering, I went to get the included breakfast. I had a good amount of delicious food. I was tempted to get more because it was part of the price and I do love breakfast food, but I stopped when I felt satiated.

Now, part of my joy of going to hotels is the bathroom amenities. When I arrived, there were two small bars of soap, and one bottle each of body lotion, bath gel, shampoo, and conditioner. Now, I had two days reserved and in my mind, there should be two sets of these because I paid for two nights. If people can take home the remains after one night, why can't I have two opportunities to do the same for two nights? I don't usually point out or advocate for myself for these types of things. However, I also needed a razor and shaving cream because in my mad dash decision to get the room, I forgot those items, and I desperately needed them. I requested and received those. I stayed brave and asked if I could have an additional toiletries set because I was staying a second day. The guy at the desk collected four items, and I assumed these were the list from before. Instead, they were two shampoos and two conditioners. I didn't advocate for the lotion and gel. Earlier this evening I decided to extend my stay to allow more time for the roads to be cleaned and treated. Later in the evening I went down and asked if I could have an additional set because I was staying for a third day. Well, this time I was hooked up with a practical gift basket: two body lotions, two shampoos, two conditioners, two gels, and new to the mix - two bottles of mouthwash. She forgot soap, but I should be okay through Monday morning.

To return to the pool, I went down four times in two days. During the last times it felt like I was sunburned. I couldn't figure out why. I noticed my face was a little red, but I honestly didn't think much of it. Well, after putting four and four together, I've come to the conclusion that I have a chlorine rash. It's nothing terrible at the moment, but it is annoying. I won't be going back to that pool. My body is very sensitive to allergens; I should have known that a chemical in a pool could affect me. It's a damn shame because I do love to swim in pools. I guess I need to wait until I can swim in an ocean or lake. I was proud of myself for all the exercise I've done while here. Those moments are not lost, and I need to change my plans for the next (up to) 39 hours to not include swimming.

I also went out for a brief walk during the blizzard. I wanted to check if any open restaurants were within safe walking distance. They weren't. I ate what I brought for food. I'm a little hungry now and do have some food if I want to eat. I look forward to tomorrow's breakfast. Cleaning off my car will be part of my workout tomorrow (or I can wait until Monday), but tomorrow may otherwise be a well-earned rest day.

During my last time in the parasitic pool, the three girls in the pool were all hanging by the steps when I wanted to leave. I actually stayed in longer because I didn't want to pass by them on the stairs. I took the out when it came. I felt like the fat kid in the public pool who always felt judged by other kids. In situations like this, I can forget I'm the adult and their (imaginary) judgments can still 'trigger' me. I got out of the pool. One of the dads and his son were sitting in chairs on that end. Their heads were buried in electronics. I walked by another pair of parents. They, too, had their heads buried in electronics. They also had food and drinks, violating one of the posted rules. I walked back to my chair to towel off. The girls were doing their thing, being kids, not paying attention to me. Still, I felt self-conscious, and that wasn't relieved until my Patriots sweatshirt was covering the pounds of flesh I've become hyperaware of over the past couple of months. I left feeling oddly defeated. I didn't "get to do" laps, and I had to share the irritant with kids.

In the middle of much of this story, I led a virtual acting workshop that was the second part of a group training I started two weeks ago. The three to five people (it varied) who appeared were wonderful. I had a pretty solid lesson plan, and the time was well spent. I felt energized because that is what I love to do. I'm not earning money for this particular gig, but I don't care. I don't feel my usual anxiety (outside of audition and first rehearsal nerves) when I'm engaged in artistic adventures. I feed off their energy, and my own energy and authentic self comes through. I do not feel judged. I do not feel anxious. My size is not on the forefront of my mind.

I'm not sure what tomorrow and Monday will become. I hope to still eat well, but I also want to practice the idea of "eat like a king for breakfast" tomorrow and just enjoy the hell out of that included breakfast, as it is so much more exciting than just my Nutrisystem entries, as opposed to snacks being part of the mix. A needed and requested rest day is in order, so I'm not sure about my caloric intake. I'm also not and won't become one of those people who obsesses about these things. I know I'm a work in progress and that I am doing well recently and that like most addictions/thought process decisions, it's a matter of one day at a time.

On this day, I want to turn into that king bed over there and get a good night's sleep.

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