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I have begin the quest to develop that most elusive of things: a regular, non-remarkable exercise habit.
I hear people have this. I hear that for a lot of people, it is the most normal thing in the world to have a gym membership and have certain times when you go to the gym, and you do the thing, and then you go on with your day. I hear that for these people, missing too many days will actually cause them to suffer from mood disruptions.
This is completely mind-boggling to me. I sort of get it intellectually, but… no. What? How? Who does that? How does that even work?
But my health problems over the past year combined to render me less of a couch potato and more of a couch. A migraine every other day will do that! So gradually even routine daily stuff like grocery shopping was getting hard. Two flights of stairs? HA. Going for a walk with my husband? Hard work, instead of a lovely time under sun-dappled trees, watching the ducks. Worse still, while I am okay with the changes in my weight*, my doctors are not, and they make a cogent case for how my weight is causing me a specific harm. I’d push back against general Fat Is Bad from the doctors but “these studies show this for your condition” is, like, Actual Science and not run of the mill fat bias.
I have signed up with a fancy expensive small-group training gym. You can’t actually go without an appointment and there will be a maximum of eight people there at any time — and four of them are on cardio and don’t need the trainer’s attention. They notice if you don’t show up to appointments or if you don’t make all the appointments you’ve paid for, and will call you to ask what’s up. They listened when I said I didn’t want to hear about their nutrition plan. When I had an injury, they worked around it. When I’m struggling, they tell me I’m doing great.
It’s been less than a month. I’ve had to struggle to get my three appointments a week into my schedule, sometimes; having back to back appointments is really tough for me and they’re closed Sundays. But I have now gone to the gym more times in a month than possibly in any other twelve-month period of my life.
I can (repeatedly) pick up and put down heavier things than I thought I could!
I have improved one of the exercises they use as an index for your capability by like 25%!
I still can’t really use the elliptical machine or the bike for my cardio without crying and having to stop. But on the treadmill, I have walked, like, an entire mile, after repeatedly moving heavy things around!
It is super hard, though, and I have had to apply a lot of stubborn bitch to get through some of this. But that is all in the gym! The best thing about all of this is that really, I don’t have to think about it the rest of the time. I just have to figure out how I’m going to make this appointment, same as if it were a doctor appointment or a meeting with my boss. The trainers have planned out what we do that week and I just have to follow instructions as best I can.
So, mostly, it’s like, all I really have to do is show up. Once I’m there, other processes take over and I am working hard because really any kind of movement is hard work for me, but again, someone else is in charge of that. I just have to get there.
I think that’s what’s going to be the thing that makes this possible for me. At least, I hope so. I need enough willpower and other supportive pressures to keep me going until I hit that point where the training is its own reward.
…will that happen? I hope it does. I really, really hope it does before the novelty of “wow, I moved heavy things around!” wears off.
Have any of you done this kind of thing?
*I finally fit in cheap mass-produced dresses off the internet, now that my belly has caught up to my breasts! Yay! Macy’s sales for the win!
This has become a bit less exciting now that I’ve discovered eShakti, which will serve me up cute dresses forever no matter what measurements I may possess. So awesome, so cute, and I should write up a post about that soon.
Captain Awkward has a post from a young lady whose mother is awful to her about her weight. She mentions being busty, and Sweet Machine offers advice that includes advice to go get fitted and get a new bra and it will make everything better.
This is the off-topic comment I didn’t post:
Fellow Chest Of Doom here. I kind of hate it when everyone is like “Go get fitted! Go to Intimacy, they’re awesome!” Bras should fit against your chest wall in the middle, you know, and if they don’t you’ve got the wrong bra.
I went and got fitted. I went to Intimacy. They only have underwire! They didn’t have many things in my size. The things they had hurt. Even more annoying, the bra they put me in and swore up and down was the right size? It was too small for my big boob, and I overfilleth the cup. The line that seemed most likely to be most comfortable did not go up to my size.
They said, look, it takes a while to get used to an underwire. Take this bra that we swear up and down is your size, NO REALLY, and wear it for a couple of weeks. You’ll love it.
I wore it home. I tried to wear it. It hurt! It kept hurting! It didn’t sit flat against my chest wall, because my boobs just don’t work like that! Apparently, some boobs are like that and no bra will fit against the chest wall in front. So the wire pokes out in front, and digs more in the bottom. This was the bra that was the best fit? Seriously? $70 to walk around in pain and aggravation until, I dunno, I get underboob callouses?
OTOH, they did confirm that my band size was correct. And for all that they swore the number of the bra was meaningless, the cup size was useful information. (OMG I am a lot bigger than I thought) and gave me something to try from other shops.
I stopped at a bra store and tried all their big bras. All of them ugly, and none of them fit. I got on the internet that made the previous Single Bra That Fit Me (that didn’t go up to my new size) and found a new Single Bra That Fits Me. It even only mostly fits me. I overfilleth. And it’s *padded*. Like I need extra there? And do you have any idea how few size H bras don’t have underwires? I live in terror of the day they cancel or change this line of bras.
EVEN WORSE, once I had a properly fitted bra, half my shirts stopped fitting. Because now I was properly supported, you see! Not only do buttoned shirts gap, but t-shirts rose like an inch in the front. There goes all those cute fitted shirts. I feel unstable on stairs because I can’t see my feet!
Right. Rant over, because this is not all about me. Mostly I wanted to put it here so that others can know that actually, a newly fitted bra might not change your life. It’s still helpful, generally speaking, but it might not be a game-changer.
What is a game-changer, in my world, is learning to love the shape you are and learning to dress for your shape and your style. I used to wear dark crew-neck t-shirts and jeans. I went through a skirt phase, and now I wear them sometimes. Now I wear v-neck or scoop-neck shirts in bright colors, with jeans or a skirt, and with shawls. I can move comfortably, I read socially as idiosyncratically feminine, and I feel generally pretty. A few years back I gave up on feeling body-shame and spend most of my summer in tank tops with my bra showing (except at work).
Dressing oneself is incredibly hard for a lot of people, especially those who do not conform to Standards. Even the outliers have standards, because manufacturers have to make enough units to make a profit. Racks my size are uncommon, but they still have a market; racks my shape? Apparently, there’s no market for that.
I do not believe that it is impossible to construct a bra that supports my breasts, fits flush against my chest, and does not create spillage. However, at this time, it is practicably impossible for me to find it.