Friday, 4 June 2010

When Does a Fat Person Begin To ENJOY Exercising?

If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all. ~Joey Adams

I don't like gyms. End of. I also don't like the prices they charge, but that's another story. Like I said a few posts back, I am shunning the whole Lycra gym clothes thing. Nasty. Shudder.

I know that I have to move my body more. I also know that unless I do exercises to tone up I'll be left a flabby, loose-skinned woman when I eventually lose weight. I am cutting back on lots of foods, I am trying to eat healthily as often as I can, and I am not beating myself up about lapses and the odd food treat. It's the only way forward for me. However, I have become used to sitting around - not because I am so fat that I get breathless, but because now that I don't work I have time to SIT and read, write, paint occasionally and catch up with programmes on TV that I want to watch. I am not glued to the TV..I watch very little (if any) of the trashy stuff that's on day time TV. However, my life has become so much more simple of late and I love it. I love having no daily pressures. It's wonderful.

The lack of pressure and the lack of rushing around has been partly to blame for my weight gain this decade. That, and being in and out of hospital for ops since 2005. Some of my resting has been necessary so that I recovered  properly. I am also taking a concoction of prescription drugs now, some for auto-immune illnesses, some for other things...and many of them have side effects, one of many of them being 'weight-gain'. Sigh.

All of a sudden - bang! - I became 'a woman who wasn't well" and oh boy - was that frightening! I don't make a good patient. I like being able to live my life, and I positively HATE relying on other people, or depending on them to help me. Bad, I know, but that's the way I am after years of HAVING to do things alone and face one crisis after the other on my own. I developed a strength - a sort of lack of vulnerability (which I thought disguised my REAL vulnerability) a hard outer coating, to protect me from life's slings and arrows of misfortune. It served me well...but I added pounds and then stones to my already well-padded frame. I wasn't obese, I was active and needed to lose some weight, but I wasn't obese, and then years later, after a very sedentary period in my life, I WAS obese, and then, because I am only just 5' 5" I became morbidly obese and had a very unhealthy BMI. This all crept up on me and whilst I ignored mirrors and felt unwell it didn't seem to matter much. It sort of came with the "You're not well. Take these drugs and get used to being less active" territory.

I have a tractor tyre of fat around my waist..that's where my fat collects. I am the archetypal apple shape, just as my Mum was. Dumpy is my figure shape. I am a beach-ball on legs.

So I need to exercise now to shift that blubber. The fat has collected on my bum too, and on my upper arms...but it's most evident on that stomach of mine which sticks out and makes me look eight months pregnant. Actually, you know those Space-Hoppers..those bouncy rubber balls which kids sit on so they can bounce along? I have one of those fitted to my front. It's soft and squishy but very dense. In fact, I have a good layer of fat all over..even my wrists and ankles became fatter..and I gained a small extra chin and chubbier cheeks. My eyes receded into their sockets..or rather the fat face took over. Any fat people reading are I hope nodding along. Yep. That's how we become.

I like being active. In fact, one of my fears is that I'll become immobile as I get older. That's a scary thought. That's why, before it's too late, I must shrink this body of mine..and make it as healthy as it can possibly be. However, I don't want to 'feel the burn'. I don't want to go to classes or feel that I HAVE to sign up at the gym. For now, I'll do what I can at home, but I am aware that I have to say to myself "Come on woman. Get up. Time to move. Get on that bike. Go for a walk." I wonder how long I'll sort of resent having to do that? I wish that was automatic now, but it isn't. I wish I gleefully looked forward to doing exercises. I have to make a conscious effort to move - even to do household tasks, because when you are at home all day and don't work, the maƱana philosophy takes over. There is always tomorrow...and it's been like that with my weight-loss campaign too. If  mess up today I'll get back on track tomorrow. There is no sense of urgency, and perhaps I need to create one, but how? Being fat does make me sluggish.

Anyway, for now, I have a great play-list on Media Player. (I know, in the age or the ipod and ipad I am a dinosaur) I defy anyone to play Christina Aguilera's 'Candyman' and sit still. Music is a great motivator. I have to turn off the internet but play my music. A wiggle here and a pelvic thrusting movement there (eat yer heart out Beyonce) has to be good for the old bod. I can slap my behind provocatively to 'Put a Ring On It', trust me.

So, for now, there's a bit of biking, a bit of lifting baked bean tins, a bit of dancing to music, a bit of working (and laughing) on my portable rowing machine and my twisting plate and a bit of gardening. Housework comes low down the list (what mad women choose house cleaning as an activity of choice?) I do it out of necessity, not love. I do however like to tend to my I'll sign off and get active...somehow. First, Ricky Martin wants me to join him for a rendition of "She Bangs.." and then Shakira tells me "My Hips Don't Lie". Hmmm. My hips certainly don't lie. They tell the world I am a fat woman, but I'll work on it. Time for some jiggling about to music. It won't be a pretty sight but it's fun, enjoyable and bound to burn some calories. I'll have to draw the curtains first. What would the neighbours think if they could see me? :)

Have a good day all....make sure you move!


  1. I can identify with that. I don't know what I'd do for exercise if I didn't walk the dog. The pedometer I got from Amazon (it wasn't too expensive, under £10) makes it quite fun though because you can measure how far you've gone and how many calories you've burned. I find it quite motivating to know that I'll be getting rid of around 200 cals per walk!

    Do you like swimming? I do, but don't live near a pool - except the one at the local gym, Banantyne's, but membership costs FIFTY QUID a month, grrrr!

  2. Hi Christie. I actually like walking but now that I feel I HAVE to do it I am putting obstacles in my way. I ought to just DO IT, but the thought of walking alone, just for the sake of it doesn't hold much appeal. I have also convinced myself that if the local axe murderer is out that day, he'll target me in some lonely spot! (Yes, completely stupid thinking, but you hear of so many nasty stories.) Mind you, the flight or fight response would kick in and I think I'd square up to him and request that he desists, and puts his chopper away immediately;) Tee hee.

    I like swimming, but again, can talk myself out of a trip to the local baths. Car or bus journey, (cost) admission fee (cost) clothes off, swim, get wet, shower, clothes on, dry hair, car or bus journey home (cost). It just seems like an almighty (expensive) effort, even though I don't particularly mind baring my fat body in a costume.

    I can talk myself out of the most sensible approach, quite easily. I suffer, no one else, so I wish I could get my head round my reluctance to just fully engage with all that weight-loss entails. :(

  3. The crazy thing for me is that I LIKE working out and still don't do it sometimes. I don't feel "whole" unless I've put in some gym time but, for whatever reason, I will struggle SO HARD to get back into the gym should real life get in the way of my routine even just one day.

    Worn out from working out over a week straight and finally hit a wall? Decide to take a rest day? BAM! The struggle commences. Needlessly. Because my heart is in the gym where I left it!

    So frustrating!

    I hope you can find a way to do what needs done. I'm to the point now where I'm just going to have to take a "NOT OPTIONAL" approach to it all and just do what I must for the sake of progress.

  4. Hehe. "The Hips Don't Lie" made me giggle. I can relate very well w/ this post. I'd rather tend to my garden too..although I've barely been able to do that since I've been in so much pain. Oh, and I hate gyms too.

  5. I popped along to have a read and stayed here reading for absolutely ages. You have a great writing style and I identified with so much that you said. I thought that I had buggered up my skeleton from not moving from my recliner chair for over a year. When I started moving again after my depression lifted my hip was so painful I was sure that I was going to need a hip replacement. It got much better after a week and my God am I grateful that it wasn't anything more than my skeleton just complaining because I had done nothing with it for so long. Now I am determined to keep up the building of extra activity into my daily routine. I too hate exercise but we have a gym at home and I have to force myself to use it. I feel amazing when I am done but I can take the whole day trying to convince myself that I need to get going. I would be better off just getting it out of the way first thing in the morning then enjoying a smug feeling that ‘I did it’ for the rest of the day.

    We take the dogs out every day for an hour's fast walk - that is much better than the gym as I am not constantly clock watching as I do on the treadmill at home. But as I said, the thing that is making me keep the exercise up is the fear that I will become immobile as I get older and will have wasted my opportunities to get on with life when I had the health and fitness level to do so. I use my gym now to do cross-training and weights to tone up and interval training to get my fitness levels up. Its working and I have to accept that exercise is now going to be part of my life from now on. But at least I know that in time I can exercise less the fitter I get and it will probably only be three times a week instead of five. If I had the courage I’d buy a pair on inline skates as that is a fun way to exercise but I’d look like a complete arse at my age and size whizzing up and down the main road in my village!

    I love your approach by enjoying what you want and just limiting the amount - a pound a week weight loss over a year makes for a lot of lard being disposed of. Playing the long game will benefit you in the end. I’m like you in that I hate being told what to do and resist that. I think the difference this time is that I’m telling myself that I need to move more, it’s me that’s cracking the whip. My internal dialogue is my own personal trainer and I can picture myself looking as good as I can do by Christmas – a time when I want to be able to wear a little black dress, killer heels and rejoin the human race instead of being invisible, ignored or just plain smirked at by those disgusted by my size. Good luck with this new lifestyle of yours, I’ll come back to see how you are doing.

  6. Forgive the apostrophe in hour's instead of hours! By the way, I hope you don't mind me pinching your quote about pain being inevitable, suffering is optional. It is exactly the title I have been looking for to set the tone of my next post!

  7. Dani, your strength and straight-talking really do me good! You've just said it - I think some parts of my journey, the parts when I want to be gentle with myself have to be 'not optional' if I want to see changes before the next millennium. OK, so I am not going to be around then, but you know what I mean :)
    I don't want to become 'the woman on a diet' so that my whole life revolves around my weight-loss goal. I need there to be some flexibility, but I'd be doing myself a kindness if I sealed off a lot of the 'escape' doors I allow myself. I want to lose weight at a slightly faster rate than is happening at present. Too much time spent thinking and writing and not enough time spent sweating methinks?! :)

  8. Sorry about the pain Kim. How horrible for you. It IS frustrating not being able to do things you want to do. Can you find a different way of moving at all? I know being in pain and sitting it out has seen my weight go up in leaps and bounds, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

  9. Hey MOB - thanks for dropping in :)

    You are another woman who tells it like it is - no punches pulled and you have a wonderful way with words. I really enjoyed reading your blog and can relate to so many of your stories and so much of your thinking.(Must be a woman of a certain age thing?)

    Yes, I am trying to be my own task master too, but I am probably being too easy on myself. I am remaining conscious of my goal to lose weight but becoming frustrated that I could carry on playing around with the same twelve or so pounds - taking them off and putting them back on - unless I set myself some realistic targets and promise myself that I will strive to meet them!

    Yes, of course you can help yourself to that line MOB. I look forward to your next offering. Like you did here, I spent a long time reading your blog after I'd found it. I do like a good read, but it keeps me rooted to this chair in front of my PC! I am too self-indulgent. I think one of my targets will have to be a time-limit for morning computer use. I could have walked miles if I'd taken myself out instead of going online! Mind you, it is a miserable, wet day ;-) (See how easily I forgive myself? )

    I'll have half an hour on the bike before I write my blog. Blog-writing perhaps has to be my reward for doing some serious exercise? See, there is a mini-target already :)