I’ve been doing pretty good with going to the gym. It’s kind of my new focus now on this journey — getting to the gym at least four times a week and hitting it hard when I get there.
I started off speed walking on the treadmill, and even though I was almost jogging and hitting three miles every time, I felt like I wasn’t working any significant muscles or really actually exercising. I was sweating, but I was also bored and really dreading going to the gym.
The final clincher came when I bought a bathing suit I was really excited about and then it looked AWFUL on me. I sent pictures to my sister, to see how honest she’d be, and she was nice but honest and her husband jumped in with polite honesty and they agreed it was pretty bad. Which was terrible because the suit was designed to make you slim and hide any belly. And it completely showed my little belly I have left.
So I talked to Husband and he suggested that I start biking at the gym, hard core biking, because it would work my calves, thighs, and butt. He suggested that doing something that would make muscles burn and actually tone parts of me would probably be better for me right now.
Last week I slowly integrated biking with walking. It was hard because it meant I would have to spend more time at the gym, and I felt awkward on the bike – was the seat too high/too low, was I pedaling right, did I look weird, was I pedaling fast enough, etc. I still (and probably will always) count down to when exercising is over. I push and cycle with crazy speed for a few minute bursts, and that makes the time pass; I also zone out watching TV and that makes the time go by fast too. I don’t know when I’ll get to a point where exercising is enjoyable (a coworker told me I must ‘love’ going to the gym because I’m so religious about going — but dedication and love are two completely different things!).
Then we went to MIL’s house this past weekend and … the entire weekend … was basically … a critical analysis of what I was doing. We started off talking about how she’s doing with it all so far and there was much congratulations and praise. Then it shifted focus to me, somehow. My gym is not as great as hers. I eat more food than I should. (She actually cut up a hamburger at dinner and was like, ‘This is what you should be eating. THIS.’) Just doing cardio is bad, I should also be doing weights. She’s losing so much weight, have I really lost any weight?
Her. Her. Her.
Husband tried to help. He tried to shift the focus to how he’s only been biking since March and he already shed and toned so much.
Ignored. Ignored. Ignored.
We came home Sunday night and I was in a really, really hard place. My self esteem was on the floor (it was already low because I was on my period and bloating with water weight). I didn’t know what to do and I felt like everything I had accomplished was worthless because I hadn’t and wasn’t doing things the way she did.
A part of me just wanted to stop everything and shove food in my mouth and just let myself go.
And I want to put down that it wasn’t just this weekend. Everyone in my family has acknowledged and celebrated the fact that I am losing weight and getting fitter. I am a size 6/8 instead of a 12/14. I am maintaining 130. I feel like it is obvious. And yet, no one on Husband’s side has outright acknowledged this. But now that MIL has started losing weight … she not only won’t acknowledge that I have done anything over the past year, but she acts like I am awful in terms of health and fitness. And that really hurts my feelings.
So I went to work on Monday and I talked about it with my coworker and I told her how I didn’t know how to go from here because what if I am doing everything wrong and is it even worth it anymore and do I just need to completely change up my entire lifestyle. And my coworker looked at me and was like, “Seriously? MIL is almost 30 years older than you and is way heavier and already went through menopause. Of course her weight loss is going to be completely different from yours. You still have a metabolism. You’re working on maintaining weight, not losing mass amounts of it. You’re already skinny, you should be proud of it, and she’s probably just jealous that it’s “easier” for you because she has to do very limited eating and she is completely ignoring the fact that you’ve been working on this for over a year.”
I’m the type of person where I’m sure Husband said like the exact same thing Sunday night, but I need to hear it from someone who I’m positive isn’t just trying to calm me down. I knew my coworker was being honest and I knew it was true.
So I went to the gym on Monday and I decided to try walking two miles on the treadmill and then cycle for an hour (with hills). The walking warmed up my legs and I was able to get a good speed going on the bike. Yesterday was day three on the bike and I can already feel a barely there muscle on my calf when I tighten it. This is exciting!
I ordered a new swimsuit that is a body shaper and similar to my old one so hopefully it will fit and look great.
It seems like everyone now is trying to be healthy and get fit. And while that’s great, it’s so key to remember that everyone’s journey is different. I’m still totally learning this. It’s going to take me about a month or more with hitting the bike at the gym before I get the results I want to see. But my sister went to the gym just a couple weeks before her wedding and lost 5 pounds in those weeks. Everyone is different and though it’s hard to understand that when you look in the mirror, check the scale or button your pants, it’s very, very true.