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:
- I love food.
- I hate shopping for new clothes.
- I’m getting older.
- My metabolism is slowing down.
- I need to do something about it.
- I need to get active.
- I have tried.
- So far, I have failed. Or at least my body has failed me.
- I dabble in alcohol.
- 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.
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.
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?