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Obesity

Failing My Fitness Challenge?

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The time in between years is a time we use to reflect on the year gone by. As part of our Solstice & New Year rituals we light a candle each night and towards the turning of the year our discussions centre around the past 12 months and the coming year.

Last year I crossed a mental barrier and had joined the local gym. I had spent a long time thinking about my increasing lack of activity and I wanted to be strong and fit for Blogtacular in the Spring.

When I went for my induction I snapped the photo above and uploaded it to Instagram. The response and support was so incredible that I added a hashtag, #katfit52, on a whim. Standing there at the foot of the mountain in January I figured it couldn’t get harder to go to the gym each week.

So it turns out that doing something every single week is tough. There are several reasons for this: my childcare hours got cut, I tore my calf muscle and I was really really tired. I think the overriding issue was that after Blogtacular my singular focus had gone and, compounded by squeezed time and injury, I let it slip. When the first week I didn’t set foot in the gym passed it became easier to let it slide down the priority list and I don’t think I’ve been in there on a Monday morning in the last six months.

Of course I am almost deliberately looking at this from the negative point of view. If you flip it around I went from pretty much zero active weeks to 37/52. That’s 70% and I’m taking it as a win.

KatFit52

I learned a lot from not completing my 52 in 52 weeks; sometimes setting a challenge isn’t as straight forward as it first seems.

One: I was so out of tune with my body. I knew that I wasn’t feeling right but until I started to actually focus on what my body could do that I realised just how much it couldn’t. The first time I did the cross trainer I couldn’t manage more then three or four minutes.

Two: finding plus size workout gear and shoes is in and of itself a nearly impossible task. This time of year is your best bet as big businesses cash in on our resolutions. My solutions – sports bra from Simply Be, running leggings from Sainsbury’s, (men’s wide) shoes by New Balance and t-shirts from ASOS although these are cotton rather than technical tees.

Three: July and December are a write off. It’s taken me a long while to realise that school events and the flurry of trying to get work done before the end of term leaves little time for anything else. I need to factor this in next year, lots of frustration came from trying to carry on as normal.

Four: people assume I’m trying to lose weight. I’m not, I’ve said so from the start. I know I would feel better if I did but I also know enough about the complexities of my body and weight to know that it’s not that simple. I’ve ended the year on the same weight as I began; no more, no less. I’m good with this and I hope everyone else is too.

Five: and this is the big one. It’s ok. It’s ok not to do it all. It’s ok to cut yourself some slack. The world doesn’t end, you can fail and start over.

So that’s my year of fitness. 37/52 weeks and proud of it. I’m undecided on whether I will finish the hashtag or begin a new one. One thing I know for sure is that this is important to me and I’ll be making time for it in 2015.

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Fat and Unapologetic

Housewife Confidential

This evening I got an email from a TV company asking me to spread the word and even apply to be in a TV show about weight loss.

This is possibly the third such email I have had since writing about getting fit and buying plus size clothes. (Spoiler: your TV shows are going to be pretty same-y UK viewers)

There are so many ways in which this pisses me off and it got me thinking about the ways in which people have tried to tell me that my body is not acceptable recently.

When you go through the world fat you get used to people treating you differently, assuming you’re stupid and being openly disgusted by you. By the time I was six I had already been conditioned to loathe myself and was regularly harassed at school for my body. Those scars set hard and I can’t tell you how long it takes for those words to truly be meaningless.

A few weeks ago I was abused and harassed on a train by a man who thought his opinion of my body counted for something. I can’t go into details as it is now a matter for the police but what I can tell you is that he is not the first and will not be the last.

That night I was shaky and furious but I was not shamed. And nor will I be.

Kat Molesworth photographed by Xanthe Berkeley

Image Xanthe Berkeley for Blogtacular.

The default position for anyone who is over their ideal weight is that they must DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And do you know what? It is none of anyone’s business except mine what I do with my body or how I live.

Do you think I don’t know about the health risks? Are you under the misapprehension that I am stupid and unable to understand how weight loss works? Well let me advise you that I do not need your opinion or not-so-subtle suggestions on how I should treat  my body. If you have never walked in my shoes don’t presume to tell me what I ought to do or how I should act.

I will continue to live how I choose without imposing my views on your body – because I get that those impulses are about me and not you. How about you pay me the same courtesy?

Because I don’t know about you but I am feeling a serious fuck this attitude. I do not have the time or inclination to deal with prejudice about my body. We should not have to put up with people telling us how we should look, what we should wear, how we must behave.

I have spent too much of my life apologising for who I am and how I look. No more. I know what I’m worth even if other people are yet to catch up. I am over making excuses for who I am and how I look.

So excuse me if I don’t give what you say any heed, if I call out your prejudice or ignore your email about a weight loss show. This is me: I’m fat and unapologetic. Get over it.

 

2 Months of Fitness

Kat Fit 52

When I posted my first photo I didn’t really think people would take much notice. I was quite surprised by not only the size of the reaction but by the incredible warmth and support. You guys are so amazing and I am so glad to have you in my life.

It’s no lie to say that there have been some weary Monday mornings when it was just the thought of sharing my photo on Instagram that got me out of bed. And it’s the help to make that first step that has me in the gym regularly ten weeks down the line.

More than two months in and I am really pushing myself. When I started out I struggled to get past fifteen minutes on the bike. And the cross trainer? I managed three minutes on my first try before stepping off on shaky legs.

Kat on the Cross Trainer

A couple of weeks in I started to race myself, keeping track of my distances in a set time really made a difference. I have challenged myself to up my time on the hated cross trainer and now hit it for 20 minutes every time I go. At the beginning of January there was no way I would have managed that.

I have had so many messages from people who want to get moving. I understand so badly that feeling of being trapped in your circumstances. I probably thought about getting fit for a couple of years before I got started.

It is so easy to feel daunted by what you can’t do. That first step is the one you need to work on. Take that first step and the next one is going to be easier. Find something you can do to make that move. Who cares if you only make it once around the block the first time? It’s once more than none and next time you’ll go a bit further.

Two months in and I feel more confident of meeting my 52 weeks of fitness. I still have a way to go but I really feel like it’s something I can do and that’s because you’re cheering me on.

Consider This a Before

Katfit52 Before

I know; them’s fighting words.

This last year I have moved less and less. Between building websites and spending more time working at the computer I have little by little stopped moving all together. There have been times when I’ve stood up to get a drink and my legs felt wobbly. Or other times when I’ve been wrecked after a simple day out. Put simply: it wasn’t good.

So at the end of last year I decided to do something about it. I took advantage of a GP appointment for my asthma (big contributing factor, not been breathing well for a couple of years now) to ask her to refer me for exercise. It’s a simple programme whereby the patient (me) gets reduced gym rates and support through a 12 week fitness plan based on their goals.

Now, I might have been referred for obesity but my personal goals are fitness, endurance and strength. I have a blog conference to put on in less than four months and I want to be standing by the end of it rather than crumpled in a heap!

Sure, weight loss is, hopefully, going to come along with my fitness (believe me, I’d like to be able to fit into a wider selection of clothes) but it’s not what’s making me get up at seven in the morning.

I hadn’t planned to make this a series but after the wonderful support I received when I posted this photo to instagram I decided I really wanted to share what I’m up to. So Monday morning photo #2 went up and I decided I would commit to a year of exercise.

Consider this a before, I’m working on the after.