Back to the gym

I went back to the gym today. It’s been 3 weeks since my last visit and my visits before that were pretty sporadic. I was finding it harder and harder to get there between work, kids and my business. But now I don’t have a job, I am hoping I will find it easier to be a little more regular. My aim is twice a week and once a week to yoga. I’ve been trying to decide how I feel about the gym. I definitely don’t go for weight loss or for punishment. Do I love it? No…Do I hate it? No…Why do I go? I *think* it’s part of my self care. I know I need to move my body. And I lead a very sedentary life. I’m nearly 45. I have aches and pains…arthritis in my right knee…moving is hard and unpleasant. I don’t like to walk far as I get tired and my knee and feet hurt. I get plantar fasciitis on and off regularly. I don’t want to become immobile. I want to find movement easier. I don’t want to age prematurely. I do feel good after I’ve been to the gym and I am glad I went. I think for now, this is the the right option movement wise for me. I thought about cancelling my membership and looking at some fun exercise videos I’ve seen posted in some of the HAES groups, but I’m not convinced I’ll actually do them. Whereas I’ve paid for the gym and I feel an obligation to go. I have a great trainer who does my program for free. Well one day I’ll build him a website in exchange, when he is ready…but still, that’s an opportunity that doesn’t come up often…and the gym I go to is pretty cool. I don’t feel too intimated or self conscious there…I feel pretty comfortable, even though I am clearly the fattest, unfittest person there. The manager is lovely and has always made me feel welcome and is always so friendly.

Yoga I enjoy more…I do that once a week and I’ve considered maybe doing more yoga instead of the gym, but for now I think I will keep both of them. If I could not do any exercise without repurcussion…would I quit these activities? Probably…I struggle to get to yoga some days too…as some parts of it are hard and do cause pain in my feet/joints. But again I feel the movement is important for me and my healthy and my longevity. I think the mediation part of yoga is good for me too..

On the topic of my health….I had a checkup by the nurse at my GP’s office last week. It was in order for me to get a health care plan for 5 subsidised sessions at the amazing HAES/non-dieting dietician my yoga teacher told me about on Facebook.  I asked not to see my weight. I know I’ve put on weight this year and I really don’t want the numbers to scare me back into dieting. I know I’ve put on weight because I can see when I look at my body in the mirror…I can see it in my face…I can feel my clothes tighter…I just feel heavier and more uncomfortable. But you know my blood pressure was 113/84. Now I was surprised by this as recently my blood pressure has been sitting around the 139/90 mark. Which is high normal. But the nurse pointed out that if doctors don’t use a larger cuff (and mostly they don’t and my cuff at home is not one of the largest cuffs), then the reading is going to be inaccurate. She said they must use a large cuff for it to accurate. I hate blood tests in August and everything was fine…sugars, cholesterol, liver (which is one thing that came up last year as an issue…I had an ultrasound…the result was ‘fatty liver’) but since then my liver blood results have been fine. I had an ECG…also fine…I get scared as I gain more weight about my health and about dying and leaving my kids behind. This often makes me want to diet. The GP I have been seeing (who I do not plan to see any longer for various reasons), keeps telling me that though my health seems fine now, that it WILL catch up on me because of my weight. She has suggested I think about weight loss surgery..even though I already had the lapband in 2008 and I am not interested in any more surgery.  So this is an area I am still pondering as I learn more about HAES. I wonder if I really should be worrying about dying young because of my weight?

Something else I read today in the HAES group was in a post that someone posted that a practitioner wrote…that it’s important to grieve for the body we don’t have…I’ve been thinking a lot about this…as I always had this dream that one day I would be thin. And now realistically, even if I did lose weight, I would have a lot of loose skin and I don’t know that I’d want surgery…so I’m never going to have the body I always dreamed of. I don’t yet know how I feel about that.  Sad …but working on accepting that this is my body…and working out how I deal with things if non-dieting leads to weight gain…dealing with the fear that the weight gain will never stop?  It resonates so strongly with me that allowing myself the freedom to eat what I want, reduces the frequency of overeating the foods that I previously restricted. It really has been my experience. Since I stopped dieting and stopped trying to control the amount of carbs and chocolate/sweets I eat and even to some extent fast food, I often don’t even feel like eating them. Every day if my meal isn’t planned, I ask myself “what do you feel like eating?”. Every time I’m in the supermarket, I ask myself “do you feel like chocolate?” as that is the one food I always tried to avoid buying. And mostly the answer is no…I don’t feel like it. But previously when restricting, it was such an effort to not buy chocolate…I wanted it!

I’m still working my thoughts out on “healthy” food…I definitely still have some judgements around processed food. I don’t know that’s a bad thing…and I have become a little less restrictive around that, with the exception of diet products as I don’t like them and I really don’t think they are good for our bodies. I often will avoid recipes that contain things like cans of soup or soup mixes, because of the preservatives and I always check the ingredients on products in the supermarket and don’t buy them when I see preservatives or numbers…I’m not sure how that works with intuitive eating/non dieting. But I have an appointment next week with this dietician which I am really looking forward to and hope to discuss these things with her.

One thing that I do not understand about my body…is that when I am not feeling well in the tummy, I crave coca-cola. I crave it and if I buy it and drink it, I feel better! Tonight I had a Mexican street corn soup that I made last night and it has a fair bit of cream and butter in it, as well as bacon. I added chicken and baby spinach tonight and it was a bit better, but it made me feel a little queasy/nauseous. And all I wanted was a glass of coke. But I try not to keep it in the house…as I don’t want to drink it every day. And I don’t want my kids drinking it every day. That’s not very “intuitive eating” is it? So I stopped the movie I was watching and went out to buy some. I drank it and immediately felt better. It’s not just the bubbles, as I buy sparkling water to drink at home and I was drinking that…but it was not making me feel better…So weird. But my body told me what it wanted…and I listened…

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