I’ve written about getting on and falling off the exercise wagon a few times now. Before I met Adam I was really enjoying it. I was committed – getting up early to use the elliptical trainer at the gym, and I loved the changes to my body. I made modifications to suit my skin. And I was glowing.
But then I found myself without a car, with little time, the endorphins I got through pushing the pain barrier replaced by endorphins of love. Then I went overseas. And I ate. I came back and I ate some more.
I fell deeper in love, content to sit on the couch. I’ve written more – that never takes place on a treadmill – always in bed!
I got really sore. Last year was one of the sorest of my life.
Since early 2014, I’ve been to the gym more times to use the shower when mine was broken than to use the equipment. And that shower made my feet sore – I picked up some nasty from the communal recess.
So many excuses (and legitimate reasons) not to move. My metabolism has changed since hitting 30.
And lately, I’ve felt fat.
I look in the mirror, unhappy with my body, not feeling I’m the right size for me. I’ve never had this issue until now. I’ve always been ok with my size and shape.
My skin hurts as it presses against bulging fastenings. My arms wobble and my tummy is far from the toned pride I had in my early 20s.
Fat hasn’t been a way I’ve ever described myself. And I know worth is not determined by dress size or body shape. So with feeling fat, I feel guilty, because I am aware I have thin privilege.
Most sadly, I’ve been looking at other women and comparing myself – thinking I’m not as slim/toned/gorgeous as them. Which is completely stupid of me because that’s not what I’m about. I’m about loving my body and appearance and encouraging others to do the same. I guess I have the same vanity as everyone else.
I’ve never compared my appearance or been concerned about my size because I thought that was trivial when I had health issues to manage. Plus, I feel comfortable with unconventional beauty. And I feel it’s an expectation I am happy with myself, considering I label myself an appearance activist. But now I catch sight of a tummy roll in photos and I want that conventional ideal. Again, the guilt nibbles.
As the reality of fitting into a wedding dress has drawn closer (less than six months!), I know I’ve got work to do.
All of this negative self talk aside, it’s for my own comfort that I need to tone up.
So I’ve been gently easing back into exercise and eating better. Not back at the gym yet, but once I settle back into my new job and manage my time better, I’ll go. I will. I want to feel that rush again, to kick those goals of running through songs and for my skin to glow. I want to have more energy for life. Because burning energy gives me more energy.
This last month I’ve been on long walks, short runs in my neighbourhood, done lunges and squats in the park and skipped like it was 1989 when I did jump rope for heart. In my previous job, I walked to and from work each day. And I’ve done incidental exercise, walking to get groceries instead of driving there.
I feel better. Happier about my body, even.
Not liking my body is out of character. I want to look in the mirror and see what my body can do, see tauter skin, and see what Adam loves about it.
I’ve stocked up on cute active wear – it makes me want to move. Proof looking good can make us feel better about ourselves.
I took a cheeky selfie in my active wear recently, and liked what I saw. My skin was clear and my body felt good – more toned and on the verge of a glow. It’s a start.