There’s a certain vulnerability that comes with being in a public place with only some thin, stretchy fabric covering your modesty. That vulnerability triples (at the very least) when you’re not happy with the way your body looks.
I am overweight.
One way to stop being overweight is to exercise.
I hate the way I look when I exercise because I am overweight.
And the cycle continues.
Eventually you have to bite the bullet and just get on with it so I joined my local leisure centre and my first activity of choice was swimming. I hate swimming.
The thought of being almost naked in a room full of people who are bound to be thinner and more athletic than you is a pretty grim one, but I made it and it wasn’t awful.
I shuffled out of the changing room, sticking to the perimeter of the pool to remain inconspicuous, assessing the fastest route to immerse myself in water.
Nobody looked at me. Can you guess why?
They were swimming, of course!
Nobody cared because they were doing their own thing. It’s really natural to worry about how you’ll look in a cozzie (or perhaps a Speedo, depending upon who you are), especially if you’re overweight like me, but it’s so empowering to realise no one is looking at you and if they see you, they don’t care what you look like anyway, they’re just getting on with their own lives.
As I looked around, trying to make sure no one was looking at me, I realised I was the only person looking at anyone, so I hastily stopped (no one wants to be that creepy weirdo in a swimming pool!).
I’ve got a fitness plan for the next few weeks and after my first positive experience with exercise, I expect it will easier than I thought to stick to. I intend to try and lose 50lb between now and the end of August. As it stands, my fitness plan for the next couple of weeks is 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise 2-3 times a week. Swimming will be part of that routine once a week and gym visits will accompany that.
I visited the gym early on a Saturday morning. I was worried that with such a poor fitness level, my gym visit would be embarrassing, so I wanted to go at a time barely anyone would be there, which is why I chose an early Saturday visit (in the hope the rest of the world was hungover in bed).
There was a scattering of serious gym-goers, spread across various machines so yet again, my entrance went unnoticed. I mainly worked on cardio to get my fitness levels up but I intend to involve some weight training in my routine when I understand them a bit more.
I don’t really know where to start with weights and I’m a bit too unfit to dare ask the helpers yet. In previous years when I was a member of that gym and weights weren’t cool for girls, a female body builder used to sidle up to me on the treadmill and whisper, “Psst! Have you tried weights? Come with me, I’ll show you!” but because I didn’t know much about them and because she was a body builder I just assumed I’d end up with massive guns and not the svelte physique I craved. Oh! What a fool I was!
When I have a more a established routine and progress to report, I’ll share what I regularly do in the hope to help out some other folk hoping to exercise but feeling a bit too big and a bit too unfit.
Any tips or experiences to share then please let me know in the comments below, especially if you want an exercise buddy. I do have a Fitbit but I think my toddler has hidden it from me, if anyone wants a Fitbit friend I’m up for that (when I locate mine)!
(I’m really sorry if you thought there’d be a chubby photo of myself in a swimming costume, no way am I going to let that photo exist!)