Musings

What Do You Do When Your Body Won’t Play Ball?

In my mind, this was an upside-down ‘V’…

It’s no secret.  I have put on weight.  I am probably the heaviest that I have ever been while not pregnant.  I am probably medically (not morbidly, mind) obese.  Now, some of you know me, or will have met me, and may dispute this description of myself.  But, let there be no confusion – it is fair.  If there was ever any doubt, my child reminds me of this on a daily basis, while patting my belly and cooing, “awwww, mummy, you have a baby in there.”  And, she’s not even taking the piss (at least, I don’t think that she is…)  She is going to be very confused when she eventually learns that human gestation only lasts for around 9 months and not in excess of 2 years.

My wardrobe also reminds me of this weight gain on a daily basis.   I am restricted in the clothing that I can wear.  I currently probably only wear twenty percent of the clothes that are available to me.  And, I have some lovely clothes.  They tease me from their wire-thin hangers – “Pick me!” “No, pick me!”  Meanwhile, my enforced capsule wardrobe is feeling used and abused and screaming out for a break.

Not one to be left out, the mirror reminds me too… far too many times to mention.  I put something on.  It looks ok from up above.  I look in the mirror.  I realise it is far from ok and it comes off.  I reach for one of my old faithfuls.  I reach for comfort.

Comfort.  What irony! I want to feel comfortable.  I wear things that I feel fit the description of “comfortable”.  However, I am anything but comfortable with the condition I find myself in.

These are the facts:

  1. I love food.
  2. I hate shopping for new clothes.
  3. I’m getting older.
  4. My metabolism is slowing down.
  5. I need to do something about it.
  6. I need to get active.
  7. I have tried.
  8. So far, I have failed.  Or at least my body has failed me.
  9. I dabble in alcohol.
  10. I love food (it’s so nice, I have to say it twice)

You see, the spirit is willing.  In fact, the spirit is very willing.  But, this flesh of mine is so very weak.  It’s messed up.

This could be me, but my knees are the enemy.

Problem #1: My knees

These knees of mine have been a problem for a few years.  I used to run…a lot.  I loved running.  I ran every Saturday as part of a club.  I did 5km and 10km runs.  I was addicted.  I used to have twinges, but I ignored them, thinking that I could just run through them and that they would go away.  Then, one day, while running, my knees couldn’t take it anymore and they gave up.  Tendonitis hit and I finally had to stop running.

Recently, I booked 10 sessions of hot yoga with Indira, a lovely local yoga teacher, at a lovely, local studio here in North London – quite aptly named North London Yoga Studio.  I love yoga and used to combine it with the running.  It worked well and helped with stretching, which I didn’t really do properly because it’s super-boring (see Problem #2 below).  I like to block book a number of sessions at once so that I can pre-book regular, recurring sessions to look forward to each week.  Two sessions in and my knees are already playing up.  Indira has tried to coax me into waiting a while before I return to yoga and going to see a specialist, which I will… mainly because I have visions of walking with a stick by the time I’m 50.  Unlike Ernestine Shepherd (pictured above), who is 80 and body goals.  I want to cry.

Problem #2: Things that are super-boring

I have been to physio.  Every physiotherapist who has worked with me has told me that I will run again, but I need to put in the work.  I need to respect my body and help it to repair itself by working with it.  They give me exercises to do at home. The exercises are super-boring and require patience.  I do them for the first couple of days and then I don’t do them.  The pain remains.  I feel 80.

Some of them advise me that I can run, but that I need to take it easy and go for a short, 5-minute run.  But that’s super-boring, so I don’t run at all.  Now, even running for the train can be painful.  My ankles give way because they are so weak.  I may look 20 *ahem* years younger, but I feel, at least, 40 years older than I am.

We have a stationary bike at home.  The Photographer has suggested that I use that regularly, as it is low impact on my knees and will help to strengthen them.  Now, that’s all very well, but riding a bike while sitting in my front room is another activity that fits into the category of super-boring.

Ra-ra Rasputin!

Problem #3: I act like my knees are cool

I tend to do really stupid things, like carry my, then 5 year old, now 6 year old on my hip, like she’s 6 months old.   Or, suddenly drop down and start bussin’ a  traditional Russian Cossack dance, a la the late Bobby Farrell from Boney M, cos it’s hilarious…to my kids (but literally fiery hell to my knees).  Or, during an evening of adult entertaining (which, for clarity, is very different to Adult Entertainment), I will stand up the entire time, busying myself with wiping down surfaces, hand-washing things that I can’t chuck in the dishwasher, hovering by my guests with a roll of Plenty/ dustpan and brush in my hand in case they spill/drop something, etc. This standing up not only wreaks havoc with my knee, but causes my feet and legs to swell due to my Lymphoedema (see previous post My Shoe Struggle: The Full Story)

So, what do I do?

If you’ve stayed with me so far, it may sound like I’m moaning.  But, that’s because I am.  I need a bit of a rant.  And now that I’ve typed my rant out and published it on my blog, I have a permanent reminder.  A reminder of how I feel right now.  A reminder of the fact that I need to do something about this feeling – the physical and the emotional.  So I will.

If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.  If you have a similar story, please share.  Have you been able to beat your body? How?

Cee x

13 thoughts on “What Do You Do When Your Body Won’t Play Ball?

  1. Why are you like this I’m too amused to help! Oh what about swimming #thisgirlcan #blackmumswimming #andwinning 👀

    1. Yeah, I really should give swimming a go. Now that I have short hair there is no excuse. Except for waxing and body consciousness…#lesigh xx

  2. I. Feel. For. You!!

    Although I’m on another tangent (I’m ‘morbidly obese’) and I rarely used to exercise – I did manage to knock myself down from a size 22 to 14 with no problems at all. I loved exercise albeit a DVD at the time and stuck to it.

    That is until I got bored and I shot back to a size 18 which is where I sit now.

    I began exercising again and within weeks found out I was pregnant with my 1st, which in my mind meant ‘ok! Excuse made sod the exercise off!’
    Probably the worst thing I could have done. I gained over 3 stone with my son and as a result? I lost all cushioning in my knees from the weight. Midwives informed me and sympathised – my doctor however seemed set on demoralising me rather than helping me.

    This leads me to now, where I’ve since had another child but act like an 80 year old climbing stairs. I partake in a bums and tums class weekly and act like my knees are perfect – Whilst in actual fact, inside I’m in agony living on the hope that the ibuprofen I popped 30 mins before class would ease the pain…

    It never does. So I’m also hopeful for answers as my GP’s don’t seem to want to help me – they would rather just say it’s because I’m fat rather than acknowledge that I’m actively trying to do something and yet failing because it’s too painful.

    Yoga does seem to be the one I’ve been recommended too – but it does seem boring give me cardio anyday!!

    The other one is swimming – maybe you could give that a go? I wish you well in your journey babe and another fantastic relatable read!

    Zara
    X

    1. Oh hun! Thank you for this! I’m also hoping that your knees get sorted out soon. You (we) take your (our) body for granted when you’re younger. I wish I had known then what I know now and been kinder to myself. You (we) need to do something about it. I have exercised through the pain too many times and my knees are probably 90% dust rn. Get those GPs on it, love. Get referred and do the strengthening exercises. Yoga may be an option, but get a proper diagnosis first so you dont do any further damage (hark at me!) And swimming does seem like the sensible option – just that it also seems like such a faff! xx

  3. Pilates!!! Knees are a bugger and there’s nothing more demotivating than pain for scuppering fitness plans. There are so many things you can do to work around and strengthen your knees (or rather balance your muscles so there isn’t disproportionate strain on them).
    I love food too. And wine. And gradually I’m accepting that the washboard stomach is a bygone dream never to be brought to fruition. But you can feel better, move more, breathe better. Shall we chat and come up with a plan? Xxx

  4. Hey Cee! Thank you for being so candid with us! Love it! I gained 20lbs last year, and like you… my clothes betrayed me.
    I’ve since lost those 20lbs.
    What has helped me is Fitness Pal… I know I know… who wants to count calories? But I’ve found that to be my most “accountable” partner in the journey.
    I’m in bed by 9pm and up at 5am for the gym. I find getting it done as soon as I wake up makes it harder to “skip”.
    So, I’d recommend starting with what you eat, controlling your portions even more than exercise.
    Not to mention, summer is here… workouts at the park can be fun!
    Hope this helps!

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely look into it. I know my portion sizes are ridiculous. I try to match the husband spoon for spoon. Everything is a competition…except he doesn’t put on any weight 😒 xx

  5. right I feel your pain I have dodgy knees that currently point in the wrong direction, make funny noises that give me gip! running is terrible for knees and a whole host of other things I enjoy running but know it has a sell by date. I was doing aqua aerobics which is fun and a nice way to ease you back in. yoga is good have your tried hatha or iyenga? sounds like, the rest of us and you need to strengthen your core and become strong then you can hold your daughter without guilt and protect your knees at the same time. it’s not all lost look into strong women’s classes. mine is too far for you but look at them, or cross fit to get an idea. looks scary but if you have a good class it’s not. also invest in some one on one so it’s specific for you. I really like keleche on instagram and she does one to one sessions. for me sho has but thighs and weight gain she looks like she can solve the issue. goodluck lovely

    1. Send me this lady’s details Sarah! I will also look into strong women classes. Sound very interesting. Thanks for the essay…😉😂xx

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