I’ve never lost hope that one day I will be less fat. But I HAVE given up hope that I’ll be thin. Nowadays I would happily settle (strive!) for being medium-size fat instead of super-size fat. I always hope that one day I will experience a moment of enlightenment, or, as Gretchen Rubin would say, “a lighting bolt that transforms [my] habits,” and I will suddenly become the kind of person who loves to exercise and naturally makes healthy food choices.
The main problem with these hopes is that there’s no such thing as magic. Being less fat requires sustained motivation and dedication, two things I struggle with in all aspects of my life. It also requires eating less and exercising more, because if you are born with a slow metabolism and a propensity toward fatness, at some point you need to come to terms with your fatness, or you need to come to terms with the fact that you just can’t eat like other (thin)people. Neither option is particularly appealing to me.
Right now, I’m in weight loss purgatory. I’m sure if I should go the fat acceptance route and just enjoy food and my natural state of being, or if I should continue striving for a smaller body. I know the statistics. I know that less than 5% of people keep the weight off for more than five years. It’s depressing to think about, and knowing my personality, I’m not all that confident I’d make that 5%. Sometimes I think I would be happier if I just forgot about losing large amounts of weight and fully accepted myself as I am. But then, I have had very real health consequences which I think are at least partially due to my weight: I had preeclampsia with my daughter, and I’ve been prediabetic since my early twenties. I suppose life isn’t black and white. I can accept myself as I am an make a real effort to exercise and eat better because it’s healthy and and makes me feel better. But there’s just something unsettling to me about putting aside my desire to be smaller. My entire life, losing weight — being smaller than however big I currently am — has been my most persistent goal, a constant shadowy companion in my life. To give that up seems like giving up a part of myself. An unhelpful and probably unhealthy part, but a part nonetheless.
Today for the millionth time, I tried an exercise class. I have joined and quit so many gyms and exercise programs. This class was strength focused and the instructor was tiny and muscular with a long blonde ponytail and a peppy, can-do personality. Music was blaring, and our workout was accompanied by motivational commentary being shouted into a microphone. If someone invited a silent workout class, I would immediately sign up for that class. I would probably quit after a few sessions, but I like the idea, conceptually. But this is part of my problem. I find ways to be annoyed by the music or the instructor or the hardcore competitive fitness of my fellow classmates, and end up dropping out, even though my dropping out probably has nothing to do with anything but myself. It’s just an excuse to stop doing what I’m doing. Achieving better fitness would probably such a tiny fraction of my time, maybe four or five hours a week… I spend more time in the bathroom. If I really wanted to get in shape, I’d put aside these superficial dislikes and just do it. I’m not sure what’s behind my general unwillingness to work hard.
This particular gym/program is $80 a month for unlimited classes. Realistically, I think I would do two classes a week, which comes out to $9 or $10 per class, depending on the month. The nice thing is that there’s no contract. You can quit any time. That takes some pressure off. This class wasn’t too bad despite all my complaints. It was a circuit workout so no one exercise lasted more than 60 seconds, and I felt good afterwards. I always do. It’s about 12 minutes from my house, and it seems like there are at least 20 class options a week I could make it to. I guess I will think about it a little longer before impulsively purchasing a monthly pass. Adult people do things they don’t like doing because it’s good for them. I have to remind myself of this. Not every moment in life is meant to be enjoyed and easy; sometimes you do hard things so your life is more enjoyable and easier in the long-run. So we’ll see. Maybe I’ll purchase a one month pass and see how it goes. One can always hope for change.