Sometime in September of 2017, I was feeling physically awful all the time, and started feeling like if I didn’t get into shape now-right-now, I was never going to, I was not going to live very long, and what time I had left was going to be spent in misery.
I have no idea how accurate those feelings were, but they propelled me into a major change.
As I’ve often said, I’ve never been in shape, beyond whatever “shape” we get at birth. It’s been pretty much downhill from there physically. I’m sedentary by nature, being a reader of books and watcher of video and typer of words.
I started out as a bone-skinny kid and young adult. Somewhere in my mid-twenties, my super-metabolism shifted more toward normal, but my eating habits of a lifetime didn’t change. So I started putting on weight. After I cheated on my husband in my early thirties, I consciously started eating, both to make myself less attractive to men in general and to test my husband to see if his love for me was strong enough to survive me getting fat. (Yes, I do know exactly how twisted that is. But that’s my truth.)
So slowly, and then not-so-slowly, I got fat. And stayed fat. And learned how to mostly cope with my fatter body.
But the eating I did after Jay died put me in a whole new dimension of fat. My joints ached all the time. I couldn’t move without hurting. That’s what scared me so much that I forced myself into motion. I decided it was time to embrace the suck of undoing the damage I’d done to myself.
I promised myself I’d do a year of near-daily exercise and see where I was at the end. Clearly, I’m not at the end of that year yet. But I just finished a 100-day cycle of more focused body movement, and I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m both surprised and proud.
I can now do a simple sun salutation with only a bit of awkwardness. (And I have Jessamyn Stanley’s Every Body Yoga to thank for that. Thank god for yoga that knows how to work with a fat body.)
I’m learning tai chi, which has been such a blessing for my joints as well as adding another meditative aspect to my life.
I’m doing interval training on an exerbike, which is probably the only thing that would ever get me on an exerbike for the simple reason that it forces me to pay attention to my speed and timing so I don’t have time to get bored. I’m still not riding very fast, because part of my goal is to heal my insulin resistance, and riding at a speed that gets me out of breath but not sweating is part of that healing.
And I’m doing weights with clubbells, which is probably my favorite part of this program. I just purely love swinging those clubs.
And the results? Since I started, I’ve lost 4″ around my middle. I’ve gone from barely being able to ride the exerbike to being able to do a full set of intervals at a decent speed. I’ve gone from being 7″ away from touching my toes to being 4″ away. (That’s huge for me – I can’t remember the last time I was able to touch my toes.) I feel better, I move better, I’m less miserable all the way around.
Can’t wait to see where I am at the end of the year I promised myself, and to see how much further I can go from there.