Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun and Games

It's been more than 2 years now since I started this blog, which makes it more than 2 years since I ditched dieting and started this (wonderful) journey of self acceptance.  In these 2 years I've learned to see my body as part of my self rather than an external force - and I've come to understand that if I look after my body better, all of me benefits.  

I quit smoking over a year ago, with the aid of patches and following a year of regular chest infections and ill health that I couldn't pretend was nothing to do with the habit.  I feel better for it, and I know that I found it much easier this time around because a) I had a clear reason for quitting [ie. the terrible effect it was having on my health] and b) I had no concern whatsoever about gaining weight if I gave up smoking.  I knew it was a possibility, and I knew that when making that cost/benefit analysis that smoking was going to be worse for me than putting on a few pounds.  

I make decisions for my health now in full recognition that health is a different animal to weight loss (thank you Linda Bacon) - and now I'm finding myself wanting to take the next step forward.  Maybe break into a jog.  

Exercise.  The very word fills me with dread.  Even at the peak of my weight-loss manias I generally wouldn't go quite so far as to exercise.  There was a time in the dim and distant past known as primary school when I was on the netball team.  I loved horse riding.  I'm also a very strong swimmer.  But at High School sport was a popularity contest, sport was all about winning and I just wasn't the type.  Games wasn't at all fun for me.  You had to like all sport or none at all, and my hatred for hockey and cross country running put me purely in the second camp.  I hated games lessons, I hated the teachers, I hated wearing P.E. knickers (yes, really) - and so I came to hate all sport.  

Since school?  I was a member of a gym for a bit.  I only really liked the treadmill, and the steam room.  It was expensive and I stopped going.  I've done aerobics (dull and sweaty).  I did tai chi for a bit (too much to remember).  I've done yoga - which I loved - but I'm not able to find a class here that I can attend regularly.

But I'm ready to try again, to try again to find a way to move my body which I enjoy.  I'm going to start by trying running - I've stumbled upon the Couch to 5K on the NHS website and it seems like it could be just the ticket to improve my stamina and get me moving.  Running could potentially work for me because it's non competitive, doesn't require excellent spacial awareness (I have very poor spacial awareness), doesn't require a raft of specialist equipment, and is free.  I'm going to give it a go, and am giving myself a 2 week deadline on starting the endeavor.  I might not like it, but it'll be something I've tried - something to tick off the list of potential candidates for the Exercise Holy Grail.  

I deserve respect, and if I'm going to respect myself I need to respect this body that I live in.  That means giving it what it needs, not just fuel but also movement.  

Let the search for the Holy Grail commence!


  1. Ben Hackney10:12 pm

    Very thoughtful post that makes a number of good points (we all have to learn to live with aspects of ourselves that we don't like or make changes so that we are comfortable in our own bodies)! Running/jogging is quite high impact though (on the knees) and can sometimes cause damage if done wrong. Cycling and swimming are both lower impact and good cardiovascular excercise, but not free in the same sense (you have to invest a bit in a bike etc but second hand is always a possibility). Steven Fry always swears by a long brisk walk while listening to an audiobook on his ipod and I agree its a pleasant way to get some excercise!


  2. Anonymous8:28 am

    You could finish making kit and come along to Catreath.
    Once a month wander through a forest for half a day will be a nice addition to your exercise


  3. Did Week 1 Couch to 5k podcast yesterday. Running is hard! Basically it was a 30 minute walk with 8 60sec bursts of running in the middle - I managed 6, which I'm actually quite proud of with it being the first time I've tried to run in 15 years! Rest day today and surprisingly not feeling too sore - tomorrow I will be aiming to do at least 7 out of 8 running stints.

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