Since about the beginning of July, I have been going to the gym on a regular basis- about 3 times a week. It was fairly easy to work into my schedule over the summer, especially with Mark being off for the month of August. But now it’s September, and it’s definitely a lot harder to find the time to go. I will find a way though- I’ve been feeling a lot better about myself since I started going. I’ve definitely lost weight, though I don’t know how much, since I’ve decided, for now at least, not to weigh myself. I get too bogged down with that number- if I don’t lose as much as I thought I would have, I get depressed and discouraged, and it’s just not good for me. I know that I’ve lost weight by the way my clothes are fitting, and that’s enough for now. I’m not counting calories, either- again, I just get caught up with those numbers, and it makes it too hard. I’m making healthy choices when it comes to food, and a huge part of that stems from going to the gym. If I’m going to work hard and get all sweaty and gross and sacrifice time that could be spent with my family (or Netflix), then I’m not going to flush that down the drain by eating a tub of ice cream. And that’s not to say I don’t ever eat ice cream anymore- I do, but it’s a normal amount, and it’s only once in awhile.
So those are some of the major differences between my current weight-loss journey and ones from years past. Another is the way in which I simply do not care anymore what anyone at the gym thinks of me. When I first started going to the gym as a teenager, I would be sure to have my hair done perfectly and I actually wore make-up to my workouts. MAKE-UP. To WORK OUT. That just seems beyond ridiculous to me now. If I went to a class back then, I kept up with what the instructor was doing at all costs. For step classes, I would have at least two risers for my step and I think one time I even put three risers on. And no matter how much pain I was in, how much breathing trouble I was experiencing, or how close to death I felt, I would not slow down, lest anyone notice and think I was out of shape. Now, my attitude is more like, “Risers? I don’t think so. Just the step is enough.” And I will ALWAYS take the lower impact option the instructor demonstrates.
After I gained a lot of weight in my early twenties, one of the barriers to me losing the weight was the fact that I was too embarrassed to go the gym- the thought of working out while fat, with people around to see me, was enough to make me hyperventilate with fear. I did eventually, sort of, get past it. I would time my gym visits to when there would be the least amount of people there, and then as I lost weight, I became more confident. But I still feared being judged. Now, I just do not care. I mean, I don’t love the way I look, but I’m at the gym, trying to get into better shape- what more can I do?
I’m realistic enough to know that, after having two C-sections, and years of my weight going up and down, my body will never look like Jennifer Aniston’s does, and I’m fine with that. I just want to be able to enjoy shopping for clothes again. I want to get in front of the camera for pictures instead of hiding behind it because I don’t want there to be photographic evidence of my double chin. I want to be able to run around with my family at the park without feeling like a hideous, out-of-shape blob. I want to take Penelope to Parent and Tot swim classes without anxiety over how I look in a bathing suit detracting from my enjoyment of that. I want to live a happy, long life, and being healthy will go a long way to making that happen.