The first month has come and gone, and it’s time to review my progress!
When I started going back, as I mentioned, I felt weak. I am still objectively weaker than when I was at my strongest last year, but I no longer feel like my body is fighting me. I am mostly enjoying my gym time.
I had a few days that were terribly difficult for me, where I just couldn’t get my motivation and focus going, but I managed to go anyway and do the work. Those days will come for all of us, and it’s okay to go through a bad day and not even feel good about the workout afterward. You don’t need to always feel great about having had a workout, but you need to take those days and know that the next day will most likely be much better. True enough: When I had bad days, I made sure I went back the very next day, and those sessions almost always feel like some of the best days I have.
Sundays ended up being my busiest days, as I would go to Aerial in the mornings, walk Balrog in the afternoon and then still go to the gym in the evenings. I wasn’t doing this because I felt like I had to, but getting that active start on the day, I was so pumped with energy that I just really wanted to.
Of course, I had my aforementioned bump in the road with my inflammation, which took me out for a full week leading up to the check-in on the 28th. To be extra careful, I skipped a day of Aerial as well. I went to my first-ever Roller Derby training on Tuesday last week, as my arms were feeling better and I figured skating would be less of a problem for my arms, and I had a bloody riot! More on that later, but long story short: I am going to Glasgow to buy kit on Monday.
Aaaand then I went to Aerial again. Near the end of the two-hour session, I started feeling it in my arms again. It’s not full-blown, but it’s clear that I need to give Aerial a rest for a good couple of months as the hanging creates a very bad strain on my ligaments. This is very, very poopy. (yes, I just used that word.) At least I have Roller Derby, though!
Now, on to the numbers and visuals.
Most of the areas where I’m looking for growth have seen little or no change, which is expected. Muscle grows slow, and I’m happy if I can keep a half-cm change in chest, for example, with each month.
The most obvious difference is the waist. The numbers show a 3 cm decline across the beltline, and a smaller decline across the waist (the narrowest part of the torso). I’ve been trying to eat more, which has been difficult as I have had no desire for cooking over the past month (that’s weird for me). I have definitely gained weight and at a reasonably controlled rate to the point where my waist has actually gone down as the rest of me grows. Booyah!
Now, I will be completely honest with you: This makes me very happy. I’ve always been insecure about that little bit of extra fat (which wasn’t always so little) and it always annoys me that even when I’ve been skinny as a rake, I still have that bit of squidge. Mocking me from above my pants. It’s so minor and I’m 100% sure that I’m the only one who cares, but it bugs me.
On a less emotional and more practical level, that’s one of those things that make a difference when it comes to being photogenically fit. For modelling and film work, I’m still too skinny to be considered “athletic” but too squidgy to have that “skinny chic” look. I know. All of this is nitpickery and probably sounds incredibly banal to people struggling with real health issues. I’m lucky that something this small is my bugbear, but I want to share these parts of how I look at myself so you know that insecurities and self-criticism don’t stop when you get fitter. They become more specific, more niggling.
I’m reasonably happy with the way I look. I always have been. I would say I am as happy with the way I look now as I was when I was 18, weighed close to 90 kg (vs 75 kg now) with no muscle at all. I’m sure I will be no more or less happy with my body when I reach my goals. I do feel a change in overall happiness, but that is tied more to the sense of accomplishment than the actual shape of my body. I look forward to cycling through these progress shots in 11 months and seeing a gradual change, because that change is a symbol of my hard work and determination.
This is why it’s important to me to try and bring home the point that the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to try to be kinder to yourself. You might not be happy with how you look, but try to think positively. Enjoy who you are and what you look like, because if you can’t love your body now, you won’t love your body when you reach your goals, either. So work on loving yourself as much as you work on bettering yourself. Don’t do this for anyone out there, do it for yourself.
YOU DO YOU.
You are enough. You are the best you there is. You are worthy of love, just as you are right in this moment.