It’s just a normal Saturday morning. I woke up, feeling slightly achy from yesterday’s PT session, and thought about how hungry I felt. I decided, from the comfort of my bed, to have baked eggs in avocado with a side salad. I thought about how I quite fancied training, and wondered would I choose a bike ride, a swim, a Body Pump class or something else. There is nothing that I feel excluded from so I considered the options. Then I remembered that I need to write an assignment for my degree today, so decided that my body would appreciate the chance to rest and recover from my intense interval training yesterday and I would study, guilt free. Once I have the assignment done I will choose some training, maybe Body Balance tomorrow morning.
Doesn’t sound all that unusual really and it’s certainly been my normal for a while now. But if you compare this to where I was, just 18 months ago, the difference is unbelievable.
I would have woken up, stiff and achy from too long in bed and suffering from the effects of a very sedentary lifestyle. I would be craving sugar and carbs so breakfast would have been sugary cereals and several slices of toast with jam, which would set up a day of wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels. Had I even had the idea of wanting to exercise I would have felt incapable, excluded, fearful. And I spent a long time telling myself that I wasn’t clever enough to study for a Masters degree so that would not have been on the cards either.
I am so grateful for how far I have come.
I am still overweight. I still have flappy arms that I dislike, but I dislike them less everyday because they do amazing things for me, and they’re just part of my stretchmarked, imperfect but yet totally fantastic body. They’re not me, they’re just arms. I’ve been increasingly having them on display during training, which I used to avoid intently, but you know what – they’re the arms I have and they’re doing what they do. Accept me, accept my arms!
There is so much I can’t yet do (Pull ups I’m looking at you) but nothing I can’t do with effort and training. Want to do a triathlon? Yep, gottit. Want to ride to Paris with a mate? Of course.
It’s been a hell of a journey from where I was to where I am, and it’s not done yet. I accept where I am right now, flappy arms and all, and I’m excited to see where the road will take me next.
Having fought for a long time against marginalisation and exclusion and wanting so desperately to fit in, I now find myself so proud to be different. Recently I was chatting with friends about cake. I have strong feelings about cake. Many do, except that I think it’s basically poison with some sugar thrown in. So when I was invited to try some of the cake my friend had made and when I refused, I wasn’t using willpower. I just do not want it. In the same way as I don’t want to inject heroin or smoke a cigarette. It does not make me feel good so I choose not to do it. I don’t judge anyone who wants to eat cake (or anything else for that matter) but I do not want to.
Last time I ate McDonalds (nearly a year ago now!) I ended up in bed for 6 hours in the afternoon with tummy pains, a severe lack of energy and feeling absolutely terrible. Why would I put that in my body? It doesn’t help it, it hurts it and it doesn’t make me happy. I drank Coke for the last time more than 18 months ago now, and when I did I fell asleep for an hour with such force that it was almost like passing out. I woke up an hour later ravenously craving more sugar and with a very fuzzy head. Why would I put this stuff in my body? I only get one and I want to take care of it.
I’m grateful for how far I’ve come and I’m so pleased to be different.