Weighty Issues


Well my attempt at a fitter me has been slightly derailed by overdoing it last week and resulting in a (thankfully appearing transient) back problem. I’m less worried about having to put a break on the weights work than being unable to run for a few days, as the part of me that expects every aspect of my life to hurtle towards a car crash at some point worries about the loss of fitness and an expectation that my weight will suddenly increase rapidly overnight.

Ah – yes, weight issues. I have always had a problem with my weight, from a child to the present day. There was a brief period in the late nineties/early 2000s when a combination of exercise and a better diet had dropped my BMI out of ‘overweight’ into normal but apart from that I have always carried more weight than I should have with all the accompanying – for me at least – body image issues.

I do not remember a time I has not fat as a child. And I was fat. The bullies at school were always there to remind me after all. The reasons for this were multiple. First off is that I’m my own worst enemy, with a personality that tends towards excess and a n aversion to the concept of rationing. Unfortunately for me, I was born into a loving family for whom showing love included never being hungry. So, I was fed well at home, and fed even more at grandparents. As an example, every Sunday was spent at grandparents and went along the same lines; large cooked breakfast in the morning, followed by the inevitability of Roast Pork and overcooked vegetables and tinned peaches and ice cream before everyone sat down in front of the TV and fell asleep leaving me to do my homework in peace. But about two hours later it was Teatime, so of course out came the sausage rolls, apple pie and scones and although no one could have been even remotely hungry to not at least attempt to eat some of it was unthinkable if my Dad was going to avoid a falling out with his mother.

And of course, by the time we got home it was supper time.

The real curse of this type of scenario is that you get used to it and it becomes a vicious cycle and that was how it worked as I just began to get larger and larger. Add to the equation that I hated sport at school anyway (and with my ever-increasing size proceeded to hate it more and more as I became even more useless and increasingly feeling the shame of my size in the mandatory communal showers meant that by the time I was fifteen I weighed fifteen stone; and I knew that a year earlier that had been fourteen. I was putting on a stone in weight every year.

Panic can be a good thing sometimes. I proceeded at this point to panic and started to cut back on what I was eating as best I could and take the dog for longer walks. It was not easy ducking the scones and pies but I managed it well enough to stop the progression and reverse it a little, although it still dogged me through university and still today; if it was not from my running I think I would be in a much worse place, so here’s hoping I stay injury free for a while so maybe I can get closer to a place where I feel good about myself.

I was somewhat amused that I wrote this blog only to find this news story on the BBC the same day, entirely coincidently http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40921856 so I’d better get my running shoes back on…