I am almost convinced that my body hates me.
When I was a younger girl my activity of choice was soccer. I remember long nights of practice at this cold damp park that sat below the 210 freeway and hot sunny Saturdays putting the practice on the field and battling girls I didn’t like from other schools. When I got a little older and moved from suburban California and up to the high desert where there was practically nothing to do, we got into gymnastics.Another form of endurance and strength training activity that I was so very much into and loved which required practice two or three days a week and sometimes we would take more than one class a day.
Hours and hours of landing hard on my bare feet locking my ankles into the heels of my feet putting all my weight into the ground below me again and again trying to land the perfect back tucks at full speed. And putting all my weight onto my wrists and shoulders to do that cartwheel leading into those multiple back handsprings again and again, and I was never a small girl. I have always been built like a short and stubby solid tank and I joke now that I am the London broil of women with very little fat, very lean muscle but it’s muscle that is very solid and not very appealing to the everyday eye. So when you put that much pressure on a single pair of hands, wrists, shoulders, ankles, knees and feet, eventually they get worn, get tired and break down. Fortunately for me, once I hit High School, I was pretty much over being athletic, wanted nothing to do with any of it and cared more about boys, friends and drama like a teenage girl would.
I ended up getting a job at a local grocery store and it required long days and once again, strenuous activity that would require me to push huge long trains of baskets uphill into the grocery store. The parking lot was on an incline and the only way to get the carts into the store was by way of this stupid hill. Over time you develop thighs and calves once again, that have rebuild the muscle tone that you probably had lost over the years. I was expected to life over 50 pounds, sometimes daily, and bagging groceries for the better part of 5 years, standing in the same place on a concrete floor 8 hours a day and the repetitive motions happening in those same pair of hands, same shoulders, same knees, ankles and feet began to show signs of wearing down eventually leading to my rotater cuff tearing, heel spurs developing, cortisone shots happening, massages and chiropractic visits being necessary, I was just showing signs of aging far too early in my life.
Fast forward to year 40 having had a lifetime of aches and pains and struggling with maintaining my weight, having a second child in my 29th year of life, I decide enough is enough and I am going to get my butt into shape and get healthy. I am going to change the way I eat, I am going to lose weight and I am going to exercise. I want to, now that I am on the back nine, be healthy. I have wasted enough time sitting in my own fat and liking it, it’s time to quit being a sloth.For the most part I have had a successful ride. I have lost between 35-40 pounds and I have gotten to buy smaller clothes. I have done a 5k and I can do a 14 minute mile which I couldn’t even do when I was in high school, so in a way it’s pretty awesome. I am in better physical shape now at 40 than I probably have been since I played soccer or did gymnastics, and my body is falling apart.
- I have constant numb fingers and hands while I sleep
- I have pinched nerves in my groin that shoots down the front of my thigh
- I have back pain
- I have foot pain
- I have shoulder pain
- I have kidney, liver and gall bladder issues
And not all of these things are ailments I haven’t dealt with before, but I guess because I feel like I am FINALLY trying to take care of myself, maybe I shouldn’t be feeling so terrible like, all the damn time. Jamming through my daily 2 mile walks on what we call “hell hill” is horribly painful, every time. It never feels like it gets easier but rather more tolerable. People are constantly telling me I should go to the gym, I should go to boot camp, I should do eight million burpees I mean on and on and on and I immediately shoot it down and in my mind all I can think of is how horrible it sounds because of how horrible it will continue to make me feel. People are constantly telling me “it will be hard at first but get easier” or “it will make you feel so good” and knowing that the little exercise that I am doing and knowing how TERRIBLE it makes my body feel I KNOW that these people couldn’t be any more wrong, and it is TOTALLY discouraging.
Because I know that when I try to eat greasy fatty foods it makes my liver and gall bladder go bonkers and cause me pain worse than labor I know that going back to being a sloth isn’t ever going to be an option. Knowing how bad my body hurts as a result of walking like I do, I feel like I have to accept that maybe the gym, the bootcamps, the burpees are never going to happen and that maybe that is okay. Maybe. I am not sure HOW to get to the place where I can accept that fate, not with seeing all these other people who are younger than me, heavier than me, weaker than me doing all these things, getting healthier, feeling better and getting skinnier. Getting healthy and fit is making me feel worse than I have ever felt being fat and lazy and that is discouraging, depressing and just overall sucks. And because I am a self loathing idiot and wont ever just see myself as the gem God made me to be, I have to wonder if I will go to my grave feeling this way but first, I need to get through today.