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.
When you hijack yourself it’s really easy to allow other people to hijack you.
I’m an emotional eater so when things go bad or I get stressed and busy it’s hard for not reach for food as my tranquilizer. It’s not so much the eating but rather the preparation of food that calms me down. The longer the better. If you didn’t know me maybe you would think that I put on weight by dining at McDonald’s or KFC but no. It’s larger portions of well cooked full of love home cooked food. Good food makes me feel like everything is OK and that all that the rubbish that I am surrounded by can be drowned out for 20 minutes whilst I eat this beautiful meal. It’s like swallowing love. I tend not to stop at ‘satiated’. ‘Slightly full’ or even ‘uncomfortably full’ seems to be the mark. Especially at supper when I’m at home. I’m rarely over-full at work but in the evenings in the midst of hostility I over eat to compensate for the things that I’m missing.
On Wednesday I did 30 mins Core and hip work at lunchtime and 30 mins interval training on the elliptical on level 7. I should have been proud but instead I was miserable. Yes, I had a horrendous journey getting to the gym. The idea of going to a packed gym where other people could see makes me slightly frightened. Actually, frightens me a lot. The later I got there the more people would be there since it was peak time. By the time I had reached the front door I wanted to turn around and leave. Why bother trying to change this body, right? It’s already scarred and injured. Top it off it’s fat. I finally made it the changing room and my eczema started to itch. I started to scratch. I had to coax myself out of the toilet in the changing room like a little child. I tried to listen to some music as a way of keeping out of my head.
Whilst I was on the elliptical I kept looking around me- ‘What is she dong?’ I asked. ‘Her numbers are so much higher than mine’ I thought. ‘She’s going to fast. Why the hell am I so slow!’ I screamed. When I stepped off the elliptical I wanted to sit on the floor on cry. The best part of my session was stretching and realising that my joints and muscles were looser than last week. By the time I had made it back to the changing room and I realised that I forgot my protein shake. I thought ‘LOSER’. On my bus ride home I tried to pick apart my behaviour. Why did I feel so competitive? Why could I be pleased that I had met my targets for the day? Why did feel the need to do an hour in the gym? Whilst trying to be kind to myself by soothing my doubts there was one part of me that was raging like a spoilt child shouting ‘You want to lose weight? Here we go again. Why bother to set yourself up for failure?’ I went to bed with this shadow and woke up with a sore throat, a headache and the beginnings of a cold.
Yesterday, I did no Core work as I felt like death at lunch but later on in the late afternoon I thought that I might do one of yogayak’s video when I got home. I was sure that there was one for colds or I another one I could do. I felt a little more optimistic and less like a failure for not being able to go to the gym. The minute that I stepped in my front door I had my sister screaming at me about my mum’s medicine not arriving. Needless to say I was already tired but I turned on my heels to buy a phone card and when I called my mum she had already picked up her medicine. Had I sent it to the incorrect address like I had done last time? Without going into the details of my family I couldn’t believe how angry I was. And by the time my mother had made the second phone call to complain about there not being enough medicine I was livid. My blood pressure was through the roof and yoga had flown out of my mind. Looking back today I definitely not the victim- I was playing to other people’s expectations of what I should do and be like.
How does this tie in with me wanting to take better care of myself? Well, I’ve always been the big girl and when I’ve lost weight people have said ‘Oh no! Don’t do that. You don’t need to be like those thin girls. You’re not a teenager’. When my mum is in the country and I’m doing an exercise video in the morning she would come down and say ‘Oh, you’re doing one of your stupid videos’. This would prevent me from exercising in front of her and since she is a early riser and first in the lounge my morning exercising sessions flew out of the window. I trying to slowly move to a place where I don’t care what people think when they see me sweating and out of breath. I’d rather be uncomfortable now rather than dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure in 20 years time. Hopefully, after a few months of being at the gym I’ll be able to walk into a packed packed not give a hoot if someone looks at me and what they think.
I have a question for you: should I sit with my uncomfortable feelings and pick them apart to gain greater understanding at the risk of not exercising? Or should I override them and in the moment exercise despite my misgivings?
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk and almonds
- Poussin and salad x2
- Gluten free diary free egg free blueberry pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk, cashew nuts and almonds
- Salad with turkey and tofu.
- 2 large Sardines with rice and carrot rice.
- 9 Bar x2
- Blueberries adn the rest of my pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free cornflakes with soya milk
- Eat Natural Cereal bar
- Strawberries with soya yogurt
I joined the gym yesterday. Me! Again!
But, things are different this time. The gym is not going to be the only place that I exercise. This gym is not the circus that my last gym was. There doesn’t seem to be that intense competitive sexual environment that was there before. I mean people pay for what I had to listen to. Plus it’s larger and emptying even at the supposed peak times. I am a lot more confident than I was 3 years ago. Even though my induction is not until next week I went to an instructor and asked him to use the elliptical. Before, I would have tried and probably failed to work it out for myself.
I only did 35 minutes but, boy did I feel like a goddess at the end of it. I felt amazing. I had taken my towel and underwear to change into but I went straight home and had a shower there. I didn’t want to shower away my warm (and yes sweaty) feeling. Standing at the bus stop I said to myself ‘I love exercising!’ It’s was weird but it sounds like me. Why shouldn’t I love exercising? Why can’t I love exercising as well as making things, cooking and staring at sunsets. I’m going to make this part of my ID. I’m doing core exercises at lunch time for 20 mins. I am going to add 2-3 of blogilates videos in the morning. It’s going to be so cool. It is cool. I’m becoming the fit girl.
Why am I starting this blog? To hold myself accountable. When you’ve stayed hidden for as long as I have you learn to make all sort of excuses. You don’t hold your self to account and the people around don’t either because they are making the same excuses you are. I’ve let my goals slide for various reasons but, mostly because I’m scared.
However, recently I’ve started doing more exercise and seeking out beneficial foods, videos and activities. I’ve spent the last couple of months watching and read blogilates videos and posts. Yesterday, i kept thinking to myself Cassey works so hard to me. Yes, me specifically. She’s made all these free videos and does them in the craziest of places. The front of Buckingham Palace everyone! I mean I can’t even run in the park without feeling like people are judging me. She was on the floor doing all sorts of moves in the middle of one the busiest places in London. She’s inspired me to order some trainers. Yes, I’ve had the same trainers for about 12 years.
I am going to get myself to the gym. But, I am also not going to rely on the gym as my only method of getting fit. I am going to plug my MP3 in and not give a fuck about what anyone says or thinks. I am fitter the I think about I don’t try because I don’t want to be seen trying. I don’t want to be that fit girl because fit girls are cute. Fit girls get what they want. Fit girls are confident and tell you just where to get off. I’m a nice girl. The quiet girl who happens to dress quirkily but, doesn’t want you to notice her too much. Just notice the brilliant clothes that she is wearing, the off-the-wall accessories but not the body or person underneath. Once I had a professor who asked me why are you hiding? I was angered by this question because it hit the nail on the head.
Why am I hiding on this fat? Don’t I deserve the best?
Often when people lose weight they tend to say that they were disgusted by the fact that they let themselves get so large. I’ve already lost 4 dresses sizes but, I don’t feel disdain for my larger self. If anything I feel sad. I wasn’t always able to protect myself and being fat was one of the ways in which I felt and feel protected. When I am scared, sad, afraid or confused I eat. Now, I stop and think about what I am doing. I have not always had this awareness.
My goal is to increase the love that I have for myself. Being fit for me does not mean being skinny. It means being strong. Pain free. Flexible. Alive in one’s skin. Being the best that I can be. I like the fact that I can give myself this. So why the wait? Get to it, girl!
I’m going to try. I am going to fall down. I will dust myself off and start again. This will be my secret mission. I will smile and ignore the doubters. I am who I say I am. I have the tools to make myself into anything I want to be. I had forgotten this. I’m remembering.