Change Your Life


It’s a Sunday morning, and I’m trying to talk myself into running.

Or should I say, run/walking since I suck at running. It’s painful. I have flat feet and they cramp up when I work out, still getting used to me working out again. My parts are too “jiggly” so I have to run/walk in restrictive garments to reduce the pain of my ass bouncing all over the place. Also, allegedly, working out in shapewear is supposed to help mold your shape? Whatever. Anything to keep from looking even more like a broke down stripper when I jog.

In 2011, I lost 30 lbs. I couldn’t tell that I lost weight, but everyone else could. Sometime around mid-2013, I gained it back. I guess I should be proud I kept the pounds off for two years, but meh. If you’re someone like me, someone who’s gone through periods of working out and weight loss, then discouragement and sloth, you know the drill. You start to make progress. You start to feel really good about yourself. Then, enters Set, God of Chaos, and all my reserve energy goes into not experiencing full colony collapse, that sensation when the lights are on, but all the things that made you “you” are no longer home.


I used to be skinny. As a kid. I didn’t correlate the crappy hour of gym class that was marred by teasing and my lack of athleticism and asthma attacks as the only thing that kept me under 135 lbs, my ideal weight. Without someone forcing me to do jumping jacks and burpies, then play some horrid sport I was not good at (volleyball) which would only lead to me being yelled at by the other, more physically gifted girls (audible groans were often heard when I got assigned to ANYONE’S team). Plus, I was bullied in gym class more than in any other class. Mostly because anyone could take gym. It wasn’t like I only went to gym with the other college prep and Honors classes kids. I went there with the brutal masses. Girls who made assumptions about me based on my no-name tennis shoes and inability to tell my left from my right. In any other class I was the star, but in gym class, the playing field was finally even for them. And they were going to make me pay.

Therefore, I hated gym. The minute I didn’t have to do it anymore, I didn’t. But I didn’t hate physical activity. In fact, before I gained the 80 lbs of depression weight after my horrid starter marriage, I greatly enjoyed things like: dancing for four hours straight, riding bikes, walking everywhere, and the occasional stairmaster workout. But gyms still gave me terrible anxiety.

Around 2011, I got over the anxiety, hired a trainer at Evolution gym in D.C. and worked my butt off, literally. Losing 30 lbs in two months was impressive. Why I couldn’t keep pushing myself after moving home to St. Louis and joining a less aggressive gym with a slightly less aggressive trainer, was beyond me. Somehow knowing that I was spending an insane amount of money for an amazing trainer made me power through those workouts where I could barely walk afterwards and was sore everywhere.

Now I’m trying the cheaper, but less insistent form of exercising for me, working out on my own, in my house and going from run/walks using the Couch-to-5K app on my phone. The app is helpful, but again, there’s no one to hold me accountable if I DON’T go for a run/walk that day. And there was the fact that, as always, I totally hated every second of that run/walk. That’s often the biggest deterrent for me when it comes to exercise. I’ll try something like jump rope, something I loved to do as a kid and could do for hours, and find that while my heart was willing, the rest of my body was an uncoordinated mess that would get fatigued after a few minutes.

I realize I can get over this hump. I’ve done it before. The more I work out, the more stamina I will build, the easier things will become. Small gains will excite me. I’ll adjust my diet to help out all that sweating. But it is disappointing to remember loving something, or being able to do something with ease, and find your body giving you the side-eye. (“Burpies? Girl, bye,” said Danielle’s arms, thighs and knees in unison.)

I may never be able to “go hard” dancing for hours up hours until I was happily drenched with sweat, but maybe I could go hard for an hour again. That’s my goal. That’s all I really want.

Oh, and to lose my 80 lbs of depression weight. Fuck depression. OMG, fuck it hard.

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