This is a hard post, but it makes sense that it should be the first post in the Starting Out Fit section of my Starting Out blog.
Before I get into it, I want to say that I am not ashamed of my body. I am also not happy with it. I have hypothyroidism that caused me to gain a lot of weight, to the point that I have had moments of not recognizing myself in pictures and having cognitive dissonance when I look in the mirror. The changes in my body happened very fast, and they were very scary. In addition to my medical treatment, I have made lifestyle changes to try to help my body adjust to its much slower metabolic rate. I take yoga classes once a week, karate lessons theoretically once a week, walk more, and stay very mindful of my diet. But that hasn’t been enough.
Tomorrow, after months of telling myself I didn’t need one, I’m going to get a gym membership.
This is after a winter of repeating, to myself and others, that “once the weather got nicer” I would walk more, start a running program, and ride my bike the ten miles to work, even through rough neighborhoods.
This is after half a dozen health setbacks, including a Double Red blood donation that left me hypovolemic and hyperventilating for three days, and still has me even paler than usual and feeling weak after a flight of stairs. (It’s been going on six weeks, and I’m only now finally starting to feel better. I definitely support blood donation, but I should have done the math before donating 18% of my red blood cells!)
This is after buying workout clothing, home workout equipment, free weights, a Perfect Situp, a Shakeweight, a Wii with several fitness accessories and programs, a foam roller, a jump rope, resistance bands… and letting them gather dust in my office.
This is after months of telling myself I would make space to practice my karate at home. (I’m a shorin-ryu orange belt, about to test for my green, and have been studying karate in private lessons for almost five years.)
So: I’m going to stop telling myself I can do this on my own, and start going to the gym with The Gentleman for access to weights and resistance training, which are my favorite form of exercise, after all. I’m going to reach out for help and work to create accountability. I’m getting married in three and a half months, and no matter how much I have materially succeeded in my fitness goals by then, I am going to make sure I feel good about the work I’ve done.