I Heart My Body.
Here's the explanation.
A few weeks ago, I discovered the lovely DiminishingLucy via the Wonderful World Of Twitter.
I was unhappy with my weight and my fitness level, and spurred on by her Fat To Fit challenge, I decided to join in.
Though part of it was about looks, my biggest wake-up call was a routine visit to the GP, where my blood pressure was through the roof. At the point of having a stroke in fact.
She asked me why my BP was so high. For a minute, I looked at her blankly, wanting to say: "You're the fricking doctor, you tell me!"
Instead, I explained that I was carrying extra weight - that was obvious - and going through a stressful divorce. Plus I was recovering from depression and anxiety, had a special needs kid, and only got to be with my kids 50 per cent of the time, whereas it had always been 100 per cent in the past. (Due to the marriage split). Oh not to mention I had next to no money because I'm off work for medical reasons.
That would make anyone stressed.
She clucked a bit, and she didn't actually tell me to go on a diet or do more exercise, but encouraged me to Stress Less. Which is of course, easier said than done.
I've been studying and practicing Mindfulness and it has made a world of difference with the way I feel, and cope, and look at life. But it hasn't helped me lose weight.
Than there is my arthritis and fibromyalgia. The pain and stiffness has been through the roof (and yeah, it can flare up during periods of stress). I knew I would have to go back to my rheumatologist who would want to put me on more drugs, when I'm already on a pretty huge concoction of pills.
(And disclaimer: A couple of the pills have caused me to pile on weight. This is not an excuse, it is proven, but at the moment my specialists say it's better to take the pills and put on weight, than not take them and maybe end up in hospital.)
So it's been a balancing act.
Prior to this, I watched what I ate and walked a bit, and did yoga stretches at home. I'd done a few casual zumba and pilates classes and loved them. But it wasn't exactly regular, and when I got tired, it was easy to pike out. They were quite expensive too, usually $15-20 for a casual session.
The local Fernwood Fitness gym was offering a free trial, and the first class we did was a zumba class for parents and kids. I hadn't intended to sign up, but the girl I talked to did a hard sell, offering me a good price to sign up on the day. (My membership costs me $22 a week, which I decided was worth the investment in my happiness and health.) She also charged a half-price $99 joining fee, even though I'd mentioned I thought I'd seen an ad where they advertised No Joining Fee. She assured me that was out of date now, so I was a bit pissed a week ago to find the coupon in my car a few days ago ... I still have to talk to them about that.
Anyway, apart from that, I'm happy with my gym membership.
After about three weeks. I've probably lost about 2 kg (I try not to weigh myself too much), and my clothes are looser. My body is tighter, and I've rediscovered my abs.
At first the arthritis pain was unbelievable, and almost caused me to quit, but it is finally beginning to ease. I can stretch more, move more, workout longer than I did before. I can actually shake my booty in zumba class. (Not as good as the instructor, obviously, but because my bones have fused, I could barely move it at the start).
So I'm not fit and svelte yet, but I'm feeling loads better. Gentle exercise (and zumba counts because it's low impact) is really good for my form of arthritis, so it's moving bits that need to be moved so the bones are less likely to fuse. And the exercise endorphins have helped the depression as well.
I'm still to book in for my free fitness assessment, only because I've had a lot going on in my personal life and trying to get back to work. That's when they examine your fitness, weight, size and goals, and come up with a program to suit you. And from past experience, I believe that will speed things up.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying classes, and I'm remembering why I used to be hooked on gym and working out. I love that I can take the kids at least a few times a week so I don't miss out when they're with me.
It's going to be a long time before I really love my body, but, challenged by the I Heart My Body campaign and by Good Golly Miss Holly, I'm going to find a few things I love about it.
- I love that my body has conceived and nurtured and produced two small humans, who are the centre of my world.
- I love my breasts. When I was younger, they were small and perky, and I was happy with that. I could get away with not wearing a bra. I could exercise without them jiggling and hurting too much. Back then, the men in my life would
liesay: Anything more than a handful is a waste.
- After kids, my boobies got bigger and nourished my babies. Since then, my bust size is still quite ample, but they are still quite perky for my age. To the extent where I've pretty much stopped wearing cleavage-revealing outfits lest I take someone's eye out and/or embarrass the kids.
- I kind of like my legs. They are not as thin and finely muscled as they once were, but they're still pretty toned and strong. They get me where I need to go, and that's important!
- I like my eyes. I used to hate them - they are hazel - but my daughter has my eyes, and I can lose myself gazing into hers. (Though sadly I need glasses these days).
- My tummy. It's so big that I feel I should wear one of those t-shirts that says: I'm not pregnant, I'm fat. Though my kids tell me I am fit and slim and the most beautiful mummy in the world. LOL.
- I hate that I need glasses, but not enough to have laser eye surgery. Glasses can be cool too.
- I hate my bum. I think it's too fat, though men in my life disagree. I think that's because bums are in the eyes of the beholder, more than any suggestion that mine is nice. I want less junk in my trunk.
- My pelvis and sacriolliac joints. I cracked my pelvis having baby number one, and the sacriolliac joints are always so painful due to my arthritis. (It's ankylosing spondylitis in case you were wondering).
'My Mum's Not Perfect, But She's Working On It.'
Not that I will ever be perfect, but I'm working on it!