Somehow, I had not realised that my body would be this sore. And that I would have to hit the gym and work hard whilst aching. During my workouts I am focused and I work through the pain- no more looking at the panels of other people’s machines when I’m almost dying. Ha! There’s one way of getting rid of comparison envy. Whatever discomfort I’m feeling during my exercises I can bear. But, I did not know that I would not give myself a rest and that the next day I would be back in the gym repeating the killer exercise from yesterday. At least I can walk. Last week after my session on the treadmill I couldn’t go down stairs for 5 days. At least my body is adapting. I managed to fit in two hours of exercise on Monday. I woke up early by accident and the first thing I thought was ‘I can exercise!’ Strange and slightly scary. I am almost waiting for this joy to fall away and for me to go back to my old self. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like every day is like this. Last week I spent most of my week feeling horrid and I cried myself to sleep last night. But, I kicked ass on that treadmill though.
Yesterday, during my Core exercises and hipwork I realised two things: Firstly, that everything that I have learned for the last few years has finally come together. For a long time I did not fully commit to changing myself. Now, it’s not easy but, it’s not the uphill struggle that it used to be. Yes, I have tried to talk myself out of going to the gym for the last two days. But, I went and worked HARD! To top that I worked out for two hours on Monday as I woke up early and did some yoga. The second thing that I realised is that I need to respect my injuries. My pigeon pose is quite deep on my left side but my right knee is injured. It used to frustrate me that I could not bend my knee as much or bend forward as far as I wanted. However, yesterday I thought to myself ‘This is how far you can go today. Respect your injury. Respect your knee.’
It’s coming together in a way that I never thought possible. My portions have decreased and I am not starving. Although my cashew nut addiction shows no sign of abating. Why can I not have an addiction to carrots instead?:) Aching limbs are now my badge of pride. I’ve even somehow managing to overcome my fear of people using me exercise. I’ve found a new room for my lunchtime practise. Sure, a high rise office block overlooks me and I am sorry if you saw my knickers today. But, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.
My body has finally shut down with the ‘flu. I was feeling a bit unwell a couple of weeks ago but, now my head is pounding and I ache. Every where. I took the day off from work yesterday but, I’m back in the office as I don’t ache as much. Yes, I am thinking about the money as I am a temp but, I’d like to think that I would not go to work if I was very sick.
My last amazing workout was on Monday where I did Blogilates’ Treadmill Shredmill workout. OMG!! I don’t think that I have ever worked this hard. My legs were shaking like a leaf after I stopped off the treadmill. I hadn’t even run at 6mph. Try it. If you dare. I discovered that the incline on the treadmill goes to 15%! I don’t ever want to know if it goes further than this. On Sunday I did the Blogilates upper body workout for Saturday 13th October. My upper back was still hurting yesterday. I held a plank and moved! for 10 minutes. I’m seriously happy. Adding to my happiness I started to run on the treadmill. I was quite scared to do this. I have no problem running on road but, there is something about running on a treadmill that frightened me. Then last Tuesday during my workout I thought ‘Go for it’. I started running and that was it. I tried the stairmaster as well that day. Oh Lord, who invented this monster? When I recover next week I’ll definitely be using it a little more.
I tried to watch Supreme 90 during the weekend but it won’t work on my dvd player. When I was purchasing it I thought that it would work on my mac. Alas, this is not the case. I don’t really feel like buying a region free dvd player just to play those dvds. I guess I could hack my mac? But, no. I had wanted to try Supreme 90 for the resistance training. Instead, for the next few months I’m going to stick to Blogilates workouts and pilates for resistance training and then I’ll hit the gym for cardio work. I’ll be going back to try some Taebo. I love Billy Blanks. I’ll still be doing core work at lunch time although finding a room to do it in is becoming a bit of a problem. I find that variety keeps me happy. Too much of one thing is boring. Like lying in bed wondering when I’ll get better so I can exercise.
Having said this lying in bed has given me the time to think about the impact of shame on my body. My eczema has flared up pretty badly covering about 50% or maybe a little more of my torso. It’s all over my arms too. Ordinarily, I would be ashamed of showing my arms in the gym. Instead on Monday I rubbed some moisturiser on and had a happy workout. Yes, a couple of women in the changing room might have thought I was strange for putting it on before I had a sweaty workout. Oh well. I didn’t want to run on a treadmill because I would feel ashamed if I fell off. The impact of shame is that I want to look like I’m not trying when it comes to my body. I have never minded if people know if I care about other areas of my life. I mean I slept on the floor of my library when I thought that I might fail a year during my degree. I didn’t want to be seen to be exercising because I was ashamed to be seen to be working out. In some ways I think that for men if you join a gym it’s part and parcel of looking good. But, for women I have found that it becomes competitive. It’s a generalisation, I know. But, have you noticed the different reactions that your male and female friends have to you wanting to get healthier and lose weight? This time it’s more of a secret for me. I’m a clandestine fit girl weeding out those habits and thoughts that I have had as a child. This has made me want to root out shame from my life. The shame that I recognise and the shadowy side of it that I don’t.
I’ve never really valued my body. I’ve spent a lifetime being ashamed of it. I’ve allowed other people to devalue it and pour their own obsessions over me. From the day when my parents at shouted me for showing ‘my fat body’ in public as I went naked in the kids paddling pool in reception class to the days when the stuffed my face with foods that I knew that I was allergic to. I realise that a lifetime of hatred does not disappear in a few weeks. I don’t know if it will ever away but, I am going to try so damn hard to think and breathe in a way that shows love and gratitude for the body that I have. With all its scars, injuries and imperfections. I am grateful for being able to feel the chill of the autumn air. For being able to watch watercolour sunsets. For being able to taste the deliciousness of homemade almond butter. All my flaws and experiences are for my benefit. I going to take all of my experiences and grow from them.
I felt like I was going to die in the gym today. I had done my Core and hip exercises at lunchtime. Happily, I realised that I was stronger and that I needed to move to the next level. After a couple of months of following the programme it was long overdue. This lead to me upping my level to 8 on the elliptical because I didn’t want to get to the point where I am comfortable. 30mins later I understood why people wear sweat bands. Today, people, I tasted my sweat. Vile, yes. I was horrified but I had that secretly pleased feeling when you know that you are working hard. Those intervals killed my thighs and arms.
However, my elated feeling didn’t last for very long as I took the convoluted route home as I had to go to several stores. I am never doing this again after the gym because I’m still waiting to eat supper. It’s going to be a delicious dish with rice, turkey and cabbage so it’s worth the wait. I was crabby and I couldn’t make up my mind about where to go. My lack of preparation saw me without a sports bra and my protein shake today hence me being annoyed. I finally decided to have an apple and cashew nuts. All of the mental whirl kind of came to a standstill and I kept thinking about what getting healthier really means to me. I’ve lost both my grandparents to cardiovascular/diabetes related illnesses. My mum is going blind from her diabetes. My dad is dying from a heart/kidney disease. Whilst sometimes this is a lot to deal with I don’t want to go down the route that my family have taken. My family may not have been able to prevent their illnesses but maybe a healthier diet and exercise may have helped. I don’t know. I am trying hard not to judge as everyone is on a difficult journey. However, I’d like to think that even if I have an illness that I cannot cure, the least that I can do is ensure that I am as well as possible. It’s not how long you live but how well, no? I think that the mistake that I made before was allowing fear to drive me to exercise. This time I making sure that it’s love that guides me to look after my body.
I’m drawing my own map to my destination. That destination is me. As my father’s inevitable death draws closer that map might involve a lot of crying but I’ll finally be speaking my truth. The lines and colours will all be mine. This is love.
My first day back in the gym for 8 days now. I had a little bit of that back to school feeling when you’re slightly uncertain if all the kids will still like you. But then you spot your friend and everything is alright again. Well, my friend is the elliptical machine. Every time I see it I think ‘You’re going to give me a great workout. Yay!’ I’m trying to work through all the nerves I feel before I workout. It feels like every time I get into the changing room I have 5 minutes where I completely freak out and then I make myself walk out and after 2 mins I’m fine. Does anyone else feel like this? I am naming it Gymxiety. Gym+anxiety. I forgot my Gymanxiety and did 10 mins on the elliptical and 30 mins on the treadmill. As always interval training.
I took a 25mins walk yesterday and you know, I miss walking in the open air. I remember walking for hours in the rain and loving it but, hating the reason I was walking. (Because I couldn’t bear to go home). Walking is like meditation for me. It goes me a chance to clear my head and sort things out. I might not be able to walk as much anymore but I am going to try and fit at least one 20 mins walk in a week.
I started out a few months ago wanting to exercise as a way of getting stronger, fitter and to lose weight. What I am now realising is that there are wider repercussions. The way that I am thinking is changing. I feel like I have a camera lens and the blurry picture is now becoming more focused. It’s as though all this time I had forgotten how to operate the lens. I knew that the lens was in my hands but, I was paralysed and unable to use it. At any moment I can make the decision to do a, b or c. If it makes me happy. It might not necessarily be comfortable but it might bring me unexpected joy.
Today, as I was eating lunch I realised that I was actually scared of losing weight because it’s going to a place that I’ve never been or seen before. I’ve always been the chubby girl. I’ve never visited Planet Slim. It made me feel anxious and I had not realised this before. I put my inability to keep waiting off as a sign of me not trying hard enough. Rather than seeing that this requires me to go to a place that I’ve never down before and that this entails me doing things that I’ve never done before. As I love trying new things I think that this is a brilliant opportunity for me to find different ways to exercise and to make it interesting for myself.
It’s been a quiet week for me exercise-wise. The Raindance film festival is in town so I’ve been 2-3 movies every evening after work. This has meant 5-6 hours of sleep for me. I figured that this was something that I wanted to do for the last 4 years so I would cut my gym sessions and throw in a couple of short daily walks. My last proper workout was on Monday when I did some Core and hip work at lunchtime. The last time that I went to the gym was on Saturday when I spent 15mins on the elliptical and 45mins on the treadmill. This doesn’t really fit in with my health first philosophy does it, huh? Mmmm…not good enough. But, I’ll move on. I plan on going to the gym tomorrow before I hit the cinema. I have been aware of what I am eating and how I am eating all week. I trying to be more conscious of when and why I eat. In order to make sure that I am really hungry for food and not for something else. I eat half of my favourite cupcake that I had not had for three months. At that moment I was feeling full of love that I handed the rest to my friend. Ordinarily, that cupcake would have been all mine as I can only buy it in a couple of places in London. So, I’m making progress on the food front.
This morning I took my measurements and set my goal weight. It was scary and overwhelming to see the figures on paper. I am excited. I received the Supreme 90 Day System a few days ago. I haven’t had time to do any of the workouts but, I’m going to break out the CD tomorrow to have a look. I’ll let you know what I think.
This time I not going to give up. But, this is not a war. I’m not going to fight with my body. I am going to make peace with it. Love and cherish it for the way it is.