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.
Hey, I feel for you as I’m in the same boat myself. What used to work no longer wants to, blast. Just don’t allow it to change the happy, delightful person you are.
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Aw, thanks Anne. 😘
Join The club Miss Jenny LOL I have always been very fit even though I carried a little weight I could run with my inhand horses, compete on my mountain bike and anything else I put my mind too — like you I hate running for runnings sake and detest the gym especially at my age. But I have decided it’s not about losing weight as such its about getting fitter, my lungs are shot ( through a couple of accidents colapsing them) so are taking quite a lot of work for me to be able to breathe even walking quickly but I am getting there. I want to be able to continue to show my own dogs and to that end I am eating a very healthy diet and doing a lot of walking —– it’s doing me and the dogs good 🙂
Keep up the good work and learn to love your body and it will work for you instead of against you. Be the great role model you are to us all XXXXXXX
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What I love about blogs is that you can get a decent long response and find others who are going through similar issues. Well done, you, on getting back up and going after an accident that collapsed your lungs. That sounds like a major effort and many would have decided not worth it. You inspire me! We’re in this together. xxxx
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Jenny, you are not alone in this struggle. We are all facing our individual demons…but you have motivated me, and I’m sure countless others, to get up and keep pushing to get exercise in and do our own part to make ourselves healthier and more fit. It may not happen as quickly as we’d like, but at least we’re doing something in the right direction. I only hope that we can return the favor and encourage and motivate you as you do us. Doing it with others, even though we’re far apart, makes it easier! You have no idea the impact you’ve had on so many!
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You DO encourage and motivate me. It makes a huge difference to get response from others as they also exercise and attempt to get to their own goals. Thanks Maryann.
No…don,t make me leave or think I don’t struggle cos I,m “skinny” and/or thin in your eyes…..little do you know…it has been a struggle all my life and I have been doing Trim Healthy Mama for over a year and am a self- confessed sugar holic…..GIVE ME SWEETS!!!!!…..So …..whilst I get told..”It’s alright for you, you are skinny’…..pfft…..AND i need to exercise more to prevent the ticker doing funny things as….80% is hereditary…20% diet..says my GP about those cholesterol levels…..as for the saggy muscles…as I approach …eek…60..( i turn 56 this year) …apparently, I stand to loose more muscle and become skinny AND saggy…so , pretty please……count me in…:) …..
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Of course! I think the point that is becoming apparent, is that most people have some issue, and rarely do we discuss openly what that is. We show our best side in public. I’m just acknowledging my own personal struggle, and thanks for putting your own hand up. Skinny can be a burden too, I’m sure.
Virtual group hug……and I applaud your braveness too! I’m with you in this one……best foot forward!
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Dear Cousin Jenny,
I understand only too well what you have bravely expressed. I am just 5 years younger, and keeping fit has become a major challenge now. To add annoyance I was put on various medications in an effort to relieve depression, and found out some are appetite stimulants and swiftly put on another 15 kilos !!!! Oh, the horror! (Especially in the mirror) Anyway, I am bumbling along trying this and that, and consoling myself with the knowledge that I am a grandmother now.
I think our (most women that is) predispositions to overeating and certain to sweet and high fat foods are like habits that have been reinforced practically our whole lives. More like an addiction. We eat to survive, we eat to celebrate, we eat to cosole ourselves sometimes too! Other things we might ingest and want to stop, can be completely avoided, ie cigarettes etc. But we can’t stop eating, we can only temper our diet. And there are so many special eating occasions and times we don’t want to offend people – it’s really tough! In my opinion it is exactly like having an addiction, only a socially acceptable one.
One of my best friends has had the lapband thing done about 10 years ago, and it has changed her life profoundly because she had been very overweight since a young child. I am toying with this idea now too, because it is reversible and only slightly invasive.
I like the French Womens food plan: just have standard portions of the foods you like, nothing is off the menu, but only having the one standard portion of a dessert etc. The other thing is that they try to walk as much as possible.
I could go on for hours about all this, I even worked as a weight loss counsellor for a time (that was a while back!!). But I also think the botom line is self acceptance. We worry about what others think of us, but most people are so busy worrying about themselves they barely notice us at all in that respect!! People enjoy being around other people that leave them feeling happy and uplifted. You are one of those happy, uplifting people Jenny! Everyone enjoys your company! Plus you are humorous, clever and interesting, and a genuinely caring person……. Love Jeannie xxxooo. God Bless you Jenny 🌷🌻🌿
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Wonderful wise words, Jeannie, and very true! I completely agree with you. Thanks for your encouragement cuzzy