Okay. I get it. I haven’t been participating in the SCA rapier community lately. Like, for months. And I get that my rapier-centric friends miss seeing me on the field. I get that, I do, but I’m so tired of avoiding a long discussion on the why of it. So I guess I’ll have to get a little blunt.
I’m too heavy right now. I don’t feel like my body moves right when I’m trying to fight. The weight of the sword feels wrong, the gorget feels wrong, and I feel wrong. I’m bulky and awkward and not in any kind of shape for the amount of exercise that, say, a tournament or even a short practice entails. My chainmail shirt, which I got for my birthday a year ago, doesn’t fit. My hood doesn’t fit, and I don’t have the free time to make another one right now.
I know I’m disappointing my rapier teacher by distancing myself from the sport. I know my friends are disappointed that they don’t get to fight me or practice with me. I know all this, but right now, at my current weight and in my current state of mind, I just can’t.
Yes, it’s that shallow of a reason. I’m embarrassed to get out there and waddle around pretending I’m not 1000% uncomfortable with it.
So I stab things in different ways. I embroider. Art has become my focus, and it’s something that I can do no matter how big I am. I am actually getting pretty good at it. I found another niche, and it’s one that’s big enough for my tubby butt.
Yes, I know that the exercise from the rapier practice could be beneficial in maybe starting to lose weight (or at least stave off the gain), but it’s like no one understands how awful I feel about this. How humiliated I feel standing there with my sword, roughly one hundred pounds heavier than I was when I joined the SCA. A full adult heavier. Granted, it’s a small adult that I’ve gained, but a fully grown adult nonetheless.
I want to lose weight, I do, but it’s hard to change forty-year-old habits. For half my life I was skinny, and my stomach and brain haven’t come to terms with the fact that I can’t eat anything like I used to.
My primary care physician isn’t much help. He either blames it on my meds or says that I have to cut calories to under 1200 a day to even begin to lose weight. He offers no other solutions, no other advice, and when I try to cut back I’m met with a deep, painful hunger that feels like it will never end.
I don’t like missing out on rapier fun. I don’t like stuffing my face with whatever I can get my hands on. I don’t like having such a gnawing hunger that I start to cough from the acid churning in my empty stomach. I don’t like having to buy larger and larger clothes. I don’t like the way I feel in general.
But most importantly? I don’t like having to say this. I don’t like the pressure I am getting from well-meaning friends who just want to see me excited about fighting again.
So I’m saying it now: until and unless I lose at least eighty pounds and keep it off, I might not come back to rapier. Sorry. I just don’t have it in me, physically, emotionally, or mentally, to get back out there.
I might some day. Start over once the weight isn’t an issue.
But now? Now is no. Just accept me and my choice and maybe I’ll see some of you on the other side of a gastric bypass.