Cast your eyes across the photos of the fluctuating shapes I’ve inhabited in the last few decades
I wanted to write a post about ‘being fat’, but as I sit down to gather my thoughts, it is apparent to me that it can’t just be about that. For one thing, I’m feeling annoyed with my own poor body, for daring to respond to my habits and lifestyle in a natural and genetically pre-disposed way. And for another, in the big scheme of things, being overweight is hardly something to grumble about, compared to the very real health and disability issues that many are subject to. I brought it largely (ha!) on myself. And it rests upon me to remedy it, or resign myself to it. Certainly I don’t want to continue to whine about it.
Let me just say – in my own defence – that I am an apple-shaped person, who loves food and cooking, with a passion for life, and a desire to sample all of it. Sadly, my passions have run more into the creative and imaginary – so if I’m not making something, I’m watching or reading it. I was never an athlete, I abhor running, I despise the gym. My childhood nightmares all involved being the last one in a pack of runners when the shark/lion/wolf reaches for my flailing legs. For this reason alone, I hope you know what an effort of will it is to be attempting, for the second year running, My Peak Challenge (Sam Heughan’s fitness and donation package).
Up until my fifties, I could apply that same effort to my burgeoning figure, and find it responded well. As the photos attest, I have been successful at compressing and expanding this sturdy body over decades of indulgence.
But alas, the day has come when that same effort no longer pays off.
If you, dear reader, are one of the Slender, then feel free to leave this post (casting a sympathetic eye back at me), and await something more interesting. Right now, I’m basking in some well-deserved self-pity, but it will be fleeting.
For the first time in my life – only yesterday – I was unable to join the group who were to go swimming at Piha. It was a balmy humid day, the waves were just right, the water was warm, and I would have been in it, were it not for the sad fact that my togs (bathing costume) no longer fitted me. Yes, I tried wrenching them on just before departure, and I felt like a sausage, when you wrap your fist around it and squeeze. Parts of me reformed to bulge out in other places.
This was all most annoying, and I spent the long drive out to the beach bemoaning my fate, and accusing my body of treachery most foul. I would eat only lettuce from now on! In fact, I would not eat at all! See how you like that!! I blame AGE, I blame Fatty Liver, I blame my genes, I blame . . . I blame. . .
Instead, I drove today to the local mall to use funds I don’t have, to buy a new swimsuit. In a larger size! The mirrors in the changing room were NOT kind.
I hear you saying, “Why are you so bothered? A little fat here and there is nothing – you look fine!” (What, you’re NOT saying that? Why not?!!!)
Actually, it’s not fine when the extra weight is making my flexibility and fitness suffer, and giving rise to health issues that can only curtail my future plans if they aren’t dealt with. And there is diabetes in my family, which I would rather not get. I have learned that having fatty liver slows the process of weight loss down considerably, and although it is satisfying to know that might be part of the problem, I am not satisfied to give up now. I fear that the weight I lose this year, I will put on and more next year, but if I’ve learned one big lesson in Life, it is that FAILURE is something to accept, but you must keep trying and learning and attempting again and again. There’s nothing wrong with failing as long as you get up and give it another shot. There’s always more information, new breakthroughs, and above all, a body that will forgive and adjust if you give it enough reason to.
So, I’m writing this post partly to ‘bare all’ but mostly to record my own resolution to 1) lower portion size in what I eat, 2) reduce or cut out sugar from my diet, 3) have more vegetables or fruit and 4) less grains or bread. At the same time, I have actually been walking first thing in the morning for long enough now that it has become a habit I miss if I don’t. I intend to continue to walk and cycle, which I love to do, and will record my daily progress with @PeakPirates and @MyPeakChallenge. And most importantly of all, I am going to stop ranting at myself, calling myself names, and feeling miserable. That is the very thing likely to provoke me into a decision to give up altogether and let it all go, and I have TOO MUCH TO LIVE FOR to let that happen.
Now’s the time to extend a virtual group hug with all those of you for whom losing weight and increasing fitness is a very real challenge. HUG. My heart goes out to you. Feel free to make up your own reachable goal and share your progress with us at PeakPirates.