Winning at losing

I am a person who exercises.

I am a person who exercises.

I am a person who exercises.

It's a mantra I have to repeat until I convince myself that it's true. I haven't got there yet. All too often I am a person who does plenty of walking around the 'hood but doesn't exercise nearly enough.

Tuesday, however, I went to the gym and did a hard workout on the cross-trainer, plus a few other things. I did the same on Monday. I started going to the gym again a couple of weeks ago, sporadically. I had stayed away for several months due to what I thought was tendonitis but which I now think is a strained ligament, which heals quite slowly. I decided that I was going to take the next step in ignoring the pain emanating from my elbow. So far, it seems to be working. My elbow seems to be getting better, slowly. Exercise might not be helping it, but it seems not to be hurting it either.

There are lots of reasons for me to go to the gym, other than the fact that every month they bill my credit card, I feel better being aerobically fit. It's good for my heart (and various kinds of heart and circulatory conditions run in my family). I need a certain amount of upper arm strength to be able to play drums (my second instrument) for any length of time. And I need to be fit in general even to get on stage and play guitar and sing.

And, oh yeah, there's another reason I spend time on the cross-trainer using up an extra 400-some calories a day. I am overweight.

Overweight? As a feminist and a progressive, I'm not allowed to say that! Patriarchy! Fat shaming! I must accept myself as I am!

Sorry. That's a load of crap, at least for me.

I am not over a weight that someone else tells me I should be. In fact, last week, when I told a friend that I needed to lose some weight, she said she thought I was looking particularly good. I do carry it pretty well. But it doesn't feel good on me. It literally weighs me down. I just don't feel as good at this weight as I do when I'm at least 10 pound lighter, which I was not so long ago.

I'm not ashamed of myself or my shape. I just know that I can get to a lower weight, and that I will feel better, physically and mentally, when I do. Getting there will involve things I should be doing anyway—exercising regularly and eating sensibly (but not crazily—I'm a cook, and I love good food). I'm not a diet. I'm not going crazy with exercise. I'm just trying to engrain the habits I should have anyway.

No fat shaming. Seriously, no fat shaming! I know people of all kinds of shapes and sizes. I am unconcerned with their weight, whether it's a lot or a little. It's their business. No one should be discriminated against because they are larger or smaller than the norm. No one should be shamed or laughed at or scorned.

Just as my fat friends know what works for them, I know what works for me. And it's not being fat. I don't have the body for that. I don't have the body to be really thin either. I know my body quite well, and I know how it functions best. So yes, I will continue to work at dropping those 10 pounds. I will keep working on visualizing myself as someone who exercises. I will keep portions small because not only does that help me find a good weight; it also just makes me feel better. For years, I didn't realize that being uncomfortably full wasn't something normal. I know better now.

I don't obsess about this. I'll just do what I'm doing. And this might be the last you'll hear about it.

1 comment:

lyndsay said...

Ah, some sensible comments! Unfortunately, a lot of people have trouble trying to change themselves without hating themselves. But for me, I want to change my body but it doesn't mean I hate it. I would be happy enough if I stayed the way I am now. But really I am too weak and unfit. So I am slowly exercising more consistently. The consistency is difficult though so good luck.