Mind and body.

So, I still weigh exactly the same, to the ounce.  I think that if I stopped going to the gym I would continue to weigh exactly the same.  Which is exasperating in a way I can’t describe; when you’re doing approximately 6 hours of cardio a week as well as 3-4 hours of weights and sweating more liquid than you can take in, it takes everything from bewilderment to sheer rage to cover the emotions you feel when you step on the scales and find that nothing has changed.  Luckily, I actually enjoy going to the gym, so I’m trying to focus on upping my fitness, rather than weight loss, as there seems to be no point in that. This morning I did 25 minutes running and then two exercise classes back to back. I wasn’t planning on the second class, but an interviewee needed some guinea pigs, so I stuck around to help her out – it wasn’t like I had anything pressing to get back to.

It might be difficult for some to believe that I enjoy the gym, but I think there’s something about having your mind concentrated on a physical act, that seems relaxing.  It’s also mildly empowering to be in control of your body, in some way, at least in that you move your legs to run, or choose a heavier weight to lift, or get that silly aerobic step-tap-step move mastered.  And then of course there’s the adrenaline – there’s nothing like plopping off the treadmill while it’s still slowing down with your heart still pumping and your head feeling light and clear.  It gives some temporary relief from thinking about Freddie, or about getting pregnant again.  But as soon as I head down the stairs, get in the car and set off home, he’s right there with me again.  I don’t always mind – I like to think of him sometimes, to think of carrying him inside me, to think of his little feet, his hair.

Sometimes though, in the gym, all I can think of is how it was before I ever got pregnant, when I was fitter and lighter and everything seemed so ‘right’.  I was happy and ignorant of the pain in my future.  Now my physical heaviness is paralleled by my emotional weight. It is difficult to move my body and the heaviness of my limbs weighs solid and real, reminding me of what has happened.

One of the ladies who I see at the class I attend on Thursday mornings, asked why, after 6 weeks of classes, she didn’t look like the instructor yet – all toned and size 8ish.  Before I knew what I’d done I said, ‘I used to look a lot like that’.

‘What happened?’ asked the lady.  I took a deep breath and considered what I would say next.

‘I got pregnant’, I said.  And left it there.

I wondered afterwards if she’d ask how many children I had, or something, but she didn’t.  I wondered if she was wondering if I was still pregnant, but didn’t want to ask.  I wanted to tell her what happened, but I didn’t.  ‘No point upsetting someone else’, I thought, as I picked up my dumbbells.

Never again will I assume that someone is fat just because they eat too much and/or don’t exercise.


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2 Responses to Mind and body.

  1. andrea says:

    just popped over from FOL, and i have to say that you write so beautifully…when i read that you were an english teacher i laughed a bit and said (in my head) ‘that’s why:)’

    i used to go to the gym years ago, but that was when i didn’t have a weight issue…now i just keep thinking that i should go although i have no desire to go.

    oh, how i long for the days when i could just binge drink and my irritable bowel would take care of the rest.

    apparently it’s true what they say about being over 35. stupid hormones.


    • Abbie says:

      Ha, well thanks, though I’m only 26 AND I have an irritable bowel too – despite my multiple daily ‘movements’, the scales read the same…I’m not sure where exactly it’s all coming from if it’s leaving me with enough fuel to keep my body so rotund and wobbly…

      Binge drinking is still an option – you just have to tell yourself that vodka is calorie-free, pour your own measures and count them as ‘singles’, and the kebab doesn’t count because you can’t remember eating it.

      Stupid hormones indeed.

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