Worth the Weight (Part Two) Exercise Endorphines, I’m Still Waiting For Those!

Do you ever go to bed at night, satisfied that you have done well – achieving much for the day – only to wake up with dread and thoughts of inadequacy?

I did, just last night!  I went to bed basking in the fact that I had attended work for 2 full days (well full for me) this past week and I had enjoyed it!  I had managed to be there for an ill BabyBoy, provide some reasonably healthy meals for a few days in a row, grocery shopping had been done and the weekend was in sight.

I woke early this morning feeling like every bone in my body had been through the mill.  I ached in places I didn’t know I could ache and I felt every kilo of my overweight body dragging me down.  I still feel this way, even though it is now 4 hours since I woke.  I just don’t know what to do to make me feel better – physically.

Do you know how difficult it is to do any sort of exercise when you are hugely overweight like me?  Well, it is almost impossible to find an exercise that is safe and not too scary to do.  Many of the exercise machines are only for use if you are under 100 kilos – that’s not me!  I don’t feel safe on my exercise bike anymore.  Pathetic is the word that comes to mind but I know that  is my old failure story, that repeats in my mind and so I quickly acknowledge it, as I would an acquaintance, and try to move on to the friend that is the new chapter I am writing in my head.

Walking is an easy exercise that everyone can do – right?   Wrong!  Walking is a difficult exercise for this obese person to do because my breathing becomes scarily difficult in a very quick time, leading straight into an asthma attack or coughing fit.  Then there is the chafing – thank God for 3B Cream!  Useless is the word that comes to mind but I know that is my old failure story, that  repeats in my mind and so I quickly acknowledge it, as I would an acquaintance, and try to move on to the friend that is the new chapter I am writing in my head.

Swimming – everyone knows that swimming is the best exercise for obese people.  Do you have any idea what it is like for me to put on my togs and walk out into the public?  Think about those insecure times that you may have on the beach or at the pool and multiply it by a hundred times.  Terrifying is the word that comes to mind but I know that is my old failure story, that  repeats in my mind and so I quickly acknowledge it, as I would an acquaintance, and try to move on to the friend that is the new chapter I am writing in my head.

It is the same going to a gym.  I know that people are probably not looking at me but I literally want to die with the embarrassment of the situation.  Pilates!  Yoga!  Tai Chi!  All great suggestions given to me by caring people.  Have you ever seen really fat people doing these activities?  Well, I have not.  Simply getting up and down off the floor is a major production.  My knees don’t work like yours do.  They have been carrying my body for many years  now and they function like an 80 year olds, waiting for a knee replacement (which I wouldn’t get because I carry too much weight).  Excuse is the word that comes to mind but I know that is my old failure story, that  repeats in my mind and so I quickly acknowledge it, as I would an acquaintance, and try to move on to the friend that is the new chapter I am writing in my head.

Did you know that sitting, standing and even lying in bed or on the couch is painful when you are a real plus size?  It does. Ridiculous is the word that comes to mind but I know that is my old failure story, that  repeats in my mind and so I quickly acknowledge it, as I would an acquaintance, and try to move on to the friend that is the new chapter I am writing in my head.

I want all this to stop!  I have no idea how to make it stop but I have to find a way or I am going to die!  And that is not the old failure story, that repeats in my mind.  That is my reality!  I am learning to control the negative stories that I constantly tell myself and replace them with new chapters to repeat in my mind but that does not help the physical pain I constantly feel.  I don’t know what to do to make the pain go away.  I would love to be able to do some gardening without feeling like I was going to die!  Or walk to the letterbox without sweating so much that I have to change my clothes after.

My best guess at a solution would be some pool exercise class.  Just writing that here is making me super anxious.  Anxiety is something I am learning to live with and yet not let it take control of my life.  It is a slow and harrowing journey, that is taking much longer than I would have ever dreamed it would.  Movement forward contains pain, just as raw as the physical stuff does.  I feel less like I am going to die from anxiety than I did 6 or so months ago.  So I guess slow movement, in fact any movement is the key!

So, you see – no glib one liners today.  Not even any answers or inspirational quotes or pictures.  Just the hard, ugly, truth sharing that we often hide away from others and most importantly ourselves.

Getting my G20 on.

I don’t know if anybody outside of Brisbane realises but we are hosting  the G20 Summit this weekend and for a relaxed holiday city like us, the security is crazy!  Obama’s secret service detail requested that a roundabout outside the University of Queensland, be demolished so that the President’s motorcade would not have to slow down when transporting him!  Request denied!

US decoy helicopters.
US decoy helicopters.

Tomorrow has been declared a G20 public holiday in Brisbane, making a lovely long weekend.  With the extra day break and the predicted temperatures of 38-42 degrees celsius, most of Brisbane has made their way to the beautiful Sunshine or Gold Coast to enjoy the beach.

Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland

But not me!

What to do on this momentous occasion?  Well, I could wander into the City Precinct and go people watching. Don’t really want to get frisk searched or mixed up with the many protest groups already there.  I could go shopping.  Many of the Shopping Centres are closed.  I could do housework and fold clothes from Mt Washmore – actually I just might do some of that.  I’ve been wracking my brain for what to do.  It is just this kind of weekend, when most of my friends are away, that I can fall into a deep depression and crawl under the covers and not come out (obviously with the air conditioner on).  So I decided I needed a plan – thank you Pinterest!

Mandy’s Stay at Home Pampering Weekend is about to be planned.  My mind, body and soul are going to be nurtured and loved and spoilt and hugged …….. by ME!!  I am going to rest, relax, drink plenty of water & G & T’s! I am going to slather and lather and scrub and smooth!  I am going to pray and think and read and write! I am going to move and swim and listen to music and dance in my kitchen!  And I may even plan my food for the next few weeks and I will definitely be sneaking in a few “get ready for Christmas” activities!

Watch this space for G20 Spa updates!

Christmas crockery has made it's way into my cupboards!  Oops!!
Christmas crockery has made it’s way into my cupboards! Oops!!

What will you be doing this G20 weekend – wherever you are in the world?

Worth the Weight?

I’ve been wanting to write about my weight for a while now but I have been afraid.  I have lost friends over my weight before and I don’t want to lose you!  Today I am writing for me and I hope you might learn something helpful.

I wasn’t always fat but I think I have always seen myself as BIG!  Even as a youngster, I compared myself to my girl cousins and they were mostly teeny tiny, as was my sister.  Looking back now, they were SHORT but not always SMALL.  I always felt like I was the  biggest at home and at school.  Looking back at photos now, I wasn’t – certainly not at school.  I was athletic and fit and strong but once I became a teenager, I looked at myself in a very negative light.  I was still athletic and fit and strong but with no help from anyone in particular, somehow this became big and fat and unacceptable.  Never do I remember my mother saying anything negative about my body or hers.  She was (and is) always encouraging and positive about me.  But somewhere an internal voice started to be the voice I listened to the most.

Outwardly, I was a happy, out going, flirty, teenager.  I appeared to have everything I needed to those around me looking in.  I had confidence to sing and play the guitar out the front of church, to lead meetings, to speak and pray aloud, and to eventually start my career as a teacher.  But inwardly, I was often second guessing myself – wondering if I fitted in or whether I was the biggest in the room.  I over compensated by often being the loudest and certainly drinking way too much!  I also stopped a lot of my physical activities, as I felt self conscious of my body and how it looked doing things.  Oh how I would love to be the size I was then – now!  I would be so active and busy.

Mandy 1979

Well, life moves on.  I fell in love, married, had three gorgeous boys and went back to teaching.  I had a full  and eventful life with many ups and downs but not for my weight!  It only went up and up and up!  Yes, I had some success with diets and healthy eating programmes but it wasn’t long before self sabotage, stress and anxiety came to the fore and the weight returned.  The little voice inside me continued to privately verbalise and I became my own self fulfilled prophecy.

And here I am today – still overweight.  Still unhappy about it.  Still not in control of the voice in my head that tells me I’m big, only now when I look back at photos of days gone by I can see I wasn’t.  But now I really am!!!  Now it has become a medical issue, with exercising painful for my knees and back and respiratory problems and I’m scared!  I can hear you all yelling at me, that all exercise hurts and that I just have to push through the pain to get the benefit.  I know that!  Telling me doesn’t help me.  So what will help me?  The truth, gently given, is helpful.  Especially, if it is a positive truth about how I look and what I am doing.   I love clothes and colour but often (wrongly) question my ability to choose suitable outfits.  If you think I look nice – tell me!  This is one area that Fev can’t help me!  Do physical things with me and I don’t mean dragging me to the gym.  I do mean, encouraging me to join you in outdoor outings and healthy food choices BUT please don’t judge me when I falter.  Be assured that  I am already judging myself enough for us all.

At the moment I am going to see a  therapist to help me change the little  voice  inside me.  While in these sessions, I have found that that little voice inside me, tells me lots of unhelpful things in lots of areas of my life.  So, whereas I thought that solving my weight issues would solve my anxiety, I now know that the weight is just one of the manifestations of the negative story I tell myself internally.  I am a work in progress.  I am writing a new chapter for my internal book.  It’s going to take awhile because the old chapter that I have been listening to, has been being reread for 55 years.  I have to believe in my new story as I write it.  I have to have courage to say it out loud and to believe I am enough – now!  Not days, months, years down the track – when I am thin.  But NOW.   As I am!  At the moment!   I am enough!

Mana Mandy

Wow, this has been heavy but I don’t apologise for it.  I do promise to write something lighter next post.  You may even smile or laugh when you read it!