I joined a gym!
Yep, that was definitely not on my bucket list.
Usually exercise and I aren't really on such good terms. We don't talk, and generally keep out of each others' way. But then, everything else has been changing this year, so why not add one extra thing into the mix?
Let me tell you about me. This is a blog, after all. I am skinny-ish with some alarming wobbly bits. I was always a skinny stick of a thing, never did much exercise, because I think sport is a bit silly. I mean, who cares if the ball goes in the net or not? What's the point?
Unfortunately, the march of time can let you down on the no-exercise thing. For me, it was twenty nine. The year my body magically stopped eating all those calories I consumed. The thing about having three, then four small children, is that you never notice what you wear or what you look like until a terrible day in a department store change room, the first day you've been out clothes shopping in about five years, and suddenly you notice you've put on fifteen kilograms. I went home that day, ashen-faced, and proceeded to lose ten of those kilograms over a year. I walked up killer hills every morning. I would serve up my meals, then put a spoonful back. Where I ate three biscuits for afternoon tea, I ate two. I did this every week, reducing what I ate by a spoonful here, a biscuit there, until one day I realised I was feeling hungry between meals again. It was such a good feeling! I stopped eating after dinner, cleaned my teeth with the children, and woke up hungry. Stopped buying biscuits and chocolate and discovered that 'hunger is the best sauce' as Ma says in The Little House books, and that dinner on an empty stomach is always delicious.
So for the last five years or so my weight has been steady-ish. I put on a couple of kilograms each winter, eating all that warm comfort food, and take it off in the summer as I shriek when I get into the summer wardrobe, and have to start walking up killer hills again. But really, I was still not happy. I have a few kilograms to lose, my 'baby belly' (baby being nine years old kind of makes that sound a bit desperate). It has to go. Not that I wouldn't like to be curvaceous. That would be nice. I am a great admirer of women who are plump and gorgeous and Ruben-esque. Unfortunately, I have a body type which looks ridiculous carrying any weight at all. I have extremely skinny wrists and ankles, and small bones, and only ever put on weight around my middle. If I tried the curvaceous look I would end up looking like both my grannies - like apples with toothpicks for legs. And they were lovely, but I don't want to look like a granny just yet, so I am doomed to exercise.
And so, the gym. I always swore I would never, ever join a gym. But there was this friend of a friend. You know the person you bump into at parties, and you think, gosh, I'd like to get to know her better, and then you don't see her for a year until the next party.. well, that person became a fellow ballet mum, we chatted as we bumped into each other after class, and she told me how she was doing a personal trainer's course, and was studying nutrition, and I said, oh I NEED a personal trainer, and she said, oh I NEED a training buddy to make me go to the gym three times a week, and I said, well I can do that!
So that's how I ended up at the gym. It is just down the hill, small and quiet, with no classes, and lots of medieval machines, the purpose of which is to make all my muscles hurt. On the other hand, it is incredibly easy because I just turn up and someone tells me what to do and I just have to follow instructions, which is something I am quite good at. And after three weeks I may have an actual muscle or two. I started being able to do a grand total of zero push ups, and can now do six. And I am having a planking competition on the side with Lucinda, who is busy over at her blog getting all gorgeous, or should I say, even more gorgeous. I started at 25 seconds, but Lucinda, I can do 45 seconds now. Three times! It is an actual miracle.
I stopped snacking. I don't know whether it is because I have more or less stopped eating bread and large slabs of cake, or because I have started drinking rooibos tea, which apparently acts as an appetite suppressant as well as being caffeine free and low in tannins, but I have really stopped wanting to eat between meals. Another miracle, and I am a kilogram lighter than I was last week. I don't really have a goal weight, but I have a goal waist measurement, which is 65cms, the perfect size 10. It may take some time... but I know I will have good company along the way.