Thursday, 19 June 2008


Most important thing first, in the last 6 days I have been to the gym 5 times and every time I have worked myself to the point of sweaty, breathless pain. The only day I've missed has been yesterday due to the combined reasons of a) being so sore I was having difficulty changing gears in the car b) I had just been for monthly waxing appointment and I dont' like to combine that with sweat.

What I'm proud of most is not so much that I've gone (even though that in itself was a monumentous effort in un-denial) but of how strong I feel even in a week. It actually makes me feel a little bit ashamed just how easy it is to be fit and strong and how much I've taken my extraordinarily healthy body for granted. Already within a week I can run faster, I can ride faster and harder and I'm upping the resistance on the weights that I'm doing. I know it's early to be crowing, but one of the things I've been doing is actually just assuming that I will do this every day, and therefore making it part of my timetable. Not a "special effort", just something I do. I get home, I get changed, I throw on my neon bright shoes and zip off.

After the mood lifting and soul pleasing weight I lost last year, I sort of got into a bit of a rut. I'd hit my healthy weight range again (my randomly picked goal weight) and even though I lost a few more kilos I basically went into the "hey I'm in the healthy BMI range again and I certainly don't look or feel obese so it's all good". When in reality I was undoing so much of the good stuff I'd done last year (some of which - especially the last couple of kg - I will admit though was fuelled by stressed non-eating). My timetable was hectic, I spiralled back into depression (now that I'm not in it I can see it), exams were stressful, the kids were Hard Work and I don't like admitting this but I will so I can face up to it - parts of being married sucked. A lot. Especially the bits that required me to be a mature, responsible and considerate adult. LH bore the brunt of this when I wasn't loathing myself, and to be honest, any time he suggested the gym (his reason: because I always come home happy from the gym) all I heard that was on top of everything else he didn't find me attractive any more because I was FAT. FAT FAT FAT.

In blunt terms, I only put on 2kg in this whole time, so it's not entirely like I was eating for Australia, it was mostly that I became a slothful hermit with crazy hair. Stepping on the scales earlier this week made me really angry, because I worked really really hard last year to scrape into my healthy weight range and here I was completely ignoring how much work had gone into that. I'm still within my healthy weight range, but I've stopped looking at the number because now it's pointless. Statistically I'm not likely to be affected by my weight as much as someone who does have excess weight as a risk factor, but on an individual basis, that number means nothing.

What means something is how I was feeling a month ago. Lethargic, anxious, slothful, wobbly. I look at photos and cringe because even though I still hate the fact that I'm ugly, I barely saw that because I was too distracted by the misshapenness of my body. The way its contours are obscured and overblown. I lost all the confidence I'd gained in the last year and sat looking at one photo, a beautiful candid shot of the 4 of us and thought about how it would have been perfect if I HAD NOT BEEN IN IT. I try really hard to think positive thoughts about myself, but photos especially have this special way of digging their way under my skin and stabbing the inner most parts of me. Of making me face up to the fact that I will never be beautiful (on the outside, please don't post crap in my comments about being beautiful on the inside - people ONLY say that to fat kids and you know what - it makes me feel worse), but that it doesn't matter. It's strange because I can confidently stand naked in front of the mirror, I almost never have sex with the lights off (and we have sex most days) and yet, a single photo can make me feel so nauseous that the bad part of my brain wishes me back into anorexic hell.

I think part of the problem last time was that I let myself believe a few things...
1. once I'd reached my healthy weight range then that was it - no more effort required
2. holidays are exactly that - who goes to the gym on holidays?
3. I'm in my *healthy* weight range and have a moderately active lifestyle - I'm getting heaps of incidental exercise
4. I'm ugly anyway, what's the point
5. LH loves me anyway, what's the point
6. It's not like I can actually get back to my teenaged weight anyway, what's the point
7. love yourself for who you are, what's the point in pushing yourself aimlessly for a pipe dream?

Overall though the one thing that is incredibly apparent to me now, is that I was depressed, and that I didn't deal with it very well. Usually I recognise the signs well in advance and head it off/start doing the things required to stop me spiralling. Picking the malrotation before the volvulus. I instead sought outside validation (in bad ways) and hated myself for it, withdrawing from healthy activities and obviously adding to it all. While still going to work every day and staying married and with kids. And while they were all affected (I may receive my first 4/pass for my medical degree, the other stuff makes me cry) the person who took the brunt was me. I imploded.

I'm now in a much better place, and what is a good sign of that is the fact that I'm proactively doing something about getting out of the pit and NEVER GETTING THE FUCK BACK IN (and yes those caps are needed).

Back to the happier stuff.

Tomorrow I'm goign to go through and do a whole big list of measurements and cold hard figures again so I can again have a base to work from and I'm going to set out my actual goals again. Proper goals with proper rewards and incentives. I can say the ultimate goal - I'm going to Thailand to have rampant sun, shopping and sex in December and I want to weigh 60kg at that time. I think 65kg is more realistic, but I'm an overachiever from way back.


Nicole S said...

I have been reading along feeling very surreal, observing your feelings, but with no real way to get 'to' you.
I miss you a lot, Jenn.

Have a drink or 4 with me in October, k? I'm coming your way ...

Shel said...

Oh dude you are as fat as the ocean is hot.


There is a lot to be said for endorphins though I reckon..I just MISS mine ATM!!!!

hissychick said...

I'm hearing you.

However...I have a wee bit of an inkling that you are being unnecessarily hard on yourself appearance/fitness/motivation wise.

I hope you find your groove. And that it is outside of the all or nothing spiral. You know what I'm talking about....

Take care.

Melissa said...

Not blowing smoke..but. I've seen only 2 photos of you. one recently. One at your wedding, with the Elfling. You're as far from ugly as I am from a size 8!

Sorry. Not disregarding how you're feeling, it's just recently you've made a few comments to that effect, and I'm a bit.... lost?

If Nic comes your way...can we pretend I 'know' you both and sneak me in for a drink or 4?

Lex said...

I can really identify with this post Jenn. Unfortunately I am still in the overweight portion for BMI, but I am so close to 'normal', closer than I have ever been before.

I am finding it tough for a different variety of reasons, mostly that the times required by both James and I means that I can barely make the gym anymore.

I think the added pressure of university just makes it all that more tougher and at times can really tip the scales.

What I really think we should do is create a massive website with our countdown, because we are on it. I may have a mountain to cross before I get to the finish line but it is beaming strong and bright to me.

I think things are going to get a lot better for us come December.

Love to you.

Donna said...

No point telling you all the 'You're not ugly,' bits because that needs to come from you. One day it will though, you will look in that mirror and you won't see an ugly girl looking back at you.

You've inspired me though Jenn. I have already joined a gym in anticipation of actually seeing my youngest born turn 21 one day but reading this latest entry has jolted me back into reality where 'Contented Cow Syndrome' is no longer a funny excuse to stay how I am. It's a death dentence.

Thank you :-)

Jenn said...

Thank you to all :) I have very high standards for myself and get very annoyed with myself for not reaching them/sticking to them. Especially when I know I could do better.

Lex, I think we will be able to hear eachother come December. I hope you and James have something nice planned, though tbh just having that certificate will feel pretty damn good!


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