I’ve talked a little bit about the things that I’ve found myself able to do now that I’ve been A) losing a little weight and B) taking in regular exercise.
These things include, but are not limited to:
Standing up to do the dishes without having to sit down; standing up to cook; going for longer during workouts; making it around the supermarket without having to lean on the checkout for support at the end; actually walking places; swimming longer; standing for longer periods of time; not being in pain when I reach around to wipe myself in the toilet (sciatica does make this difficult!); sleeping; reaching down to pet the cats; reaching down to put my socks on.
The list could actually go on, but I’ve forgotten a lot of it.
Put simply: life is getting, little by little, easier. I’m not as out-of-breath walking up the stairs at home any more. I stood up for fifteen minutes to wash the dishes the other day. I made pancakes (as I mentioned) the other night and I didn’t have to sit down while I waited for the cooker to heat up.
But until today, I haven’t actually made any physical – literal comparisons. I took my measurements before I started attending the gym, but I can’t find where I put them, so that’s pretty useless, so I’m relying on my other method.
I’m relying on the photos I took in January.
On the first of January. Just over four months ago.
Now, January 1st is 13 weeks and a couple of days ago. Which means that I am technically just under average for 1lb-a-week weight loss, which is not bad really. I should be losing a lot more, but I’ve always said I’m never going to complain about losing a pound, and I’m going to stick by that.
So, 10lbs down the line, how are things looking?
Well, if we look at my progress page, we can see the static photos from January 1st, and below that, the newly-taken static photos, taken by my little sister today.
Or we can do this:
Now, to do a comparison, the major differences I can see are in the rolls of back fat which seem to be receding, the backs of my arms seem to slimmer, and my belly seems to be sort of… higher. A little.
I look somehow taller.
Mum said she thinks my legs look a little slimmer, but the pants are just baggy enough that you can’t quite tell. I think she may be right, though.
Thing is, that’s just 10lbs down the road. 10lbs down the road last time, you couldn’t tell blind. There was not a single bit of difference.
Now there’s physical difference. My body is changing. It actually looks like I am starting to have a neck! I haven’t had a neck since primary school.
My chin is shrinking.
My back is almost flat.
My ass is looking huger by the second, but only because my back is getting smaller, and it’s looking huger by comparison.
But, you guys. YOU GUYS.
Exercise. Exercise is making a difference to my body.
Never mind the difference exercise is making to my body, actually.
Let me talk, for a second, about the difference it made to my brain today.
Now, I spoke about my medication last time, and how bad I’d been this past week with being off of my medication, about being so fucking down without it.
I woke up this morning, and I swear, all I wanted to do was go back to my bed, go back to sleep, hide away from the sunshine and the light and bright and just let me sleep, I thought.
It was 9:40am. I had 20 minutes until my alarm was due to go off.
My class was due to start at 11:15am. Enough time to get up, get dressed, have my breakfast and let it settle so it wouldn’t bother me while I pedalling like a maniac.
9:40am, and I didn’t want to wake up.
I couldn’t get to sleep.
10:02am. I looked at my iPhone, and it was 10:02am, and I thought:
WHAT ARE YOU DOING. GET YOUR FAT ARSE UP OUT OF BED, AND GET DRESSED.
I got up, and I got dressed, and I nicked a bowl of my little sister’s Multi-grain Starts, and I talked to my Dad, sprayed Deep Heat on my knee, until it was time for him to run me down to the Water Palace.
As soon as I walked in, there were two members from my class, and we chatted while we got checked in, saying we hoped our “regular” bikes were available – it was only my third class, her ninth class, and already we have preferred bikes – and we went and got set up, got settled in.
Fifteen minutes into class, with sweat dripping down my scalp, I couldn’t even remember why I didn’t want to get up. I was pedalling and I was smiling and attempting to sing along to the music.
(Ever tried singing along to music while doing a Spin class? It’s not possible if you weigh more than 400lbs. All your effort goes on remembering to pedal and breathe. It’s awesome.)
It lifted me right up.
I’m not kidding. Chocolate, junk food, whatever, you can take it and shove it. It makes me feel like shit once I’m done with it.
Exercise lifts me and doesn’t drop me back down once I’m done with it. I might feel sore, might go back to my bed because my body’s exhausted, but it’s not because oh god stop the sunlight I want to go back to sleep, it’s because oh my GOD that was amazing but I’m knackered, I need to replenish.
I got home after my Spin class, ate a sandwich, drank some fluids (all right, a lot of fluids) and went back to bed for four hours. When I didn’t want to get up after that, it was because I was all tuckered out, all power gone from my legs, because I gave it everything I had during class, and I felt amazing afterwards.
I can’t wait to get back into the gym this week. I’ve missed the treadmill. Missed me, missed my iPod, missed the air conditioning.
Missed the friggin’ natural high.
Mum looked at my pictures, hugged me and told me how proud she was of me.
She said: think. If you keep up the exercise, once you get into your weight-loss stride, you will be like, BAM, drop a dress size, BAM, drop a dress size, BAM, drop a dress size.
I haven’t dropped a dress size since I was 10 years old. Since I was 10 years old, ever year, I’ve just gained and gained and gained. I’ve been a size 30/32 since I was 15.
I’m ready to start being a real loser now.