Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Little Self Love...

Hello, dear friends,

This will not be a stitching post... Not that I have not stitched - in fact, it's what I have been doing most of the time, - but... there is something else on my mind today: my own needs...

To begin: with all the non-stop stitching, my bum has taken over. It has been growing exponentially, and no matter how I tried to curb my eating habits, it did not seem to make any difference. It was growing, and growing, and nothing would stop it - while I at the same time was feeling more and more tired, getting dizzy spells every time I left the house.

The situation forced me to look at myself - and sign up for a gym membership. For the past three weeks, I have been going to the gym - three times a week: walking on the treadmill, exercising on the bike, swimming in the pool - among other things.

Now, exercising in the gym when you are thirty six is a different experience from when you are, say, eighteen or twenty five. When you are eighteen, exercising is more of a "pleasant distraction", it seems. You are naturally graceful - at least on the outside - and slender; working out is done "just for upkeep" or "just to gain some extra strength", - or, in my case, just because I liked swimming. Mirrors are your friends: every time you look at yourself, you think, "I look all right!"

Not the same when you are thirty six, after giving birth to three kids... All the marks life has imprinted on your body - stretch marks, saggy boobs, "love handles" (why the hell are they called that? there's not much to love there), extended stomach - all that is there for you to see in every mirror you pass by - so, you avoid mirrors.

Exercising is no longer "just for fun" - you came with a purpose: to lose weight, to lose the gut, to get healthy, - however you phrase it, the goal really is to both look and feel better.. So, you focus on the exercises, on strengthening proper muscles, on increasing resistance, - instead of "just doing stuff". This time, you know what you want. Consequently, this is no longer a social get together with friends - it's a place of sweating and pain. You do not expect to look "sexy" or "attractive" during these times - you just want, mostly, to be left alone, and occasionally for someone to let you know if you are doing something wrong- and correct you.

My personal goal is to lose 20 pounds (about 9 kilograms) in the next six months. It is a long road, and I even had a meeting with a personal trainer, who assured me that my goal was entirely reachable - provided I exercised regularly and ate right. He took my measurements, gave me an outline of cardio and workout exercises, showed me a couple of machines I could start on - and I went to work.

For the first two weeks, I worked out entirely by myself: walking on the treadmill and riding a bike for cardio, doing sets on the machines the trainer showed, and swimming in the pool. By the end of the second week, I noticed that walking no longer pushed the wind out of me, and I could increase the speed on the treadmill. The bike became more familiar, and as far as stomach crunches - I could now do three sets of 20 (up from 15) and not feel like I needed to lie down.

I have obviously been getting stronger. So, feeling brave and certain that I was ready for the "next step", I decided to go to one of the group lessons... Oh boy was I humbled! Every time I jumped, my boobs were flying everywhere... When the trainer said to the group, "Drop it, push-up!" - I could only think, "If I drop it, I won't be able to get up." Some exercises - designed to be "funny" or "sexy" in addition to working out the muscles, perhaps - made my inner voice state with dignity to me, "There are things I just will not do!" So - I was able to last about 40 minutes out of an hour workout.. I am not giving up, and will try again tomorrow. Maybe bring a longer shirt, hehe...

This is my third week at the gym. I know I am getting stronger: I can walk longer distances without getting dizzy, I don't have to catch my breath going up and down the stairs... I have been sleeping better and not feeling as tired. Also, I can better concentrate when stitching, so - it's an improvement. I have not bothered weighing myself - the trainer said that, most likely, I am not to lose weight during the first 4 to 5 weeks, and I may even gain a couple of pounds - because of gaining muscle mass.

Back to the gym tomorrow morning... wish me luck! 


  1. Excellent portray of how I (would!) feel in the gym (if I ever went!) - the last time I attempted regular attendance I was 15, but I`m sure I`d go through the same emotions as you if I was brave enough to enter that mysterious world again. Talking of mystery: yes, why ARE they called love handles?? Great effort, Katya, I`m so proud of you! :)

    1. Thank you for the comment, Laura - and for your support. I was told the other day not to worry about looks because "nobody is really looking at you, they are concerned with themselves mostly." As long as that is true, I am OK.


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