This year has been pretty toxic. It began with a flourish – Him Underfoot & I signed up for Dry January and stuck to our goals, not drinking at all following a rather excessive Christmas. And it felt good, not to have a hangover at least one weekend day. To be fair, neither of us can actually tolerate much alcohol without become both very very drunk and then very very hungover, and we certainly can’t drink more than 2 days a week without going into hibernation. I’d started the year feeling happy with my weight and my BMI of 25 (top of the normal scale, but suits my curvy frame).
Then in February my Dad died suddenly. When something like that happens, the world caves in. It becomes surreal. You eat, you don’t eat. You eat badly, without thought, fitting it in around the endless arrangements, phone calls to various inept financial institutions, the emptying of his house. You drink to cope with the loss, with the pain, with the never ending bureaucracy of death. You drink to celebrate his life, to toast the departed. Then you drink to forget. And eat lots of cheesecake and ice cream in the process.
Finally you begin to emerge back to life, dealing with the routine of the return to work, comforting yourself during lunch with coffee and cake. Or pastries. Or bacon sandwiches. You think you’re coping emotionally. You’re not. When someone you love is subsequently diagnosed with cancer you fall to pieces. You spend Easter weekend in a drunken haze, wondering exactly what the hell you are going to do with your life, after being told the person is not a close enough relative to make you eligible for flexible working.
Then you snap. Somethings got to give. You resign from your job after much comfort binging. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make in your life. And you sleep for a month, having spent the previous 4 months in a haze of stress induced insomnia.
Now, there’s a sudden clarity. A reckoning on the scales, and a realisation that this is the tipping point. Get fit, get healthy, get productive – but do it for yourself. Otherwise, the slide into middle age depression and obesity can really take hold. Mentally, you’re coming out of the fug of sorrow, physically you are wrecked.
So this is where I started Bat Fit this week, which has been devised by the lovely Curious Professor Z. Ten pounds heavier on the scales and suffering from complete exercise inertia (aided by a 4 week stretch of grass pollen induced exhaustion). I now have no excuses. I dragged myself onto the Wii Fit on Monday, and this is what it told me:
I know that BMI is a pretty simplistic measure of weight control, but it works for me. I am aware that at 138 pounds many people would consider me a healthy weight. My BMI says otherwise – I’m short. So I am going to use this as a measure of weight control, seeking to get back down to 130 pounds in the next 3-4 months. I also have a creaky back, so it’s essential I stretch it well before doing anything – I’ve set up a 20 minute routine of stretches & yoga moves that does just that (and the crunches are crippling my stomach muscles here on day 4!!). I have a minor heart murmur, so don’t like to do anything that makes it zoom in my chest overmuch, so I’ve been thinking about what I enjoy doing exercise-wise. Well, I like to walk, I like to swim and I like to dance with maximum enthusiasm and little coordination.
The Wii is perfect for that. OK, so Just Dance 2014 does not have any major goth dance floor classics on it. But I have a sneaky liking for the odd pop classic here and there. Nicki Minaj and Rihanna really do get my butt shaking. YMCA & Dancing Queen are great fun. I can set up a timed routine on there and just let loose. No one can see me trip up or fart about, the curtains are resolutely shut!
I’ll be honest. I begrudge it every time I get my shorts and sports bra on and have to look at my own translucent cellulite. I begrudge the chirpy humour of the Wii when I first turn it on, and it comes up with handy hints for weight loss. Then I start…and by the end of the dance routine (right now I can only manage 15 consecutive minutes) I am dripping in sweat and grinning like a loon. Them endorphins are really kicking in. It’s only been 4 days and I already feel much better (although very sore).
I’m off on a writing retreat in 10 days, so I’m reserving the walking for that, and then starting to swim again when I return. I honestly don’t know why I stopped swimming. It leaves me in a zen like state of relaxation. Water is very definitely my element, even if I’m not particularly strong. There’s also a 30 minute walk home from the pool along the seafront which I’m looking forward to. I’m avoiding beer and cheesecake (with the caveat that 1 day per week can be a blow out day with Him Underfoot). I’ve actually gained 2 pounds, but I feel much better…hmmmm!
So, here’s to the next few months of Bat Fit 🙂