My body is a temple

bikramyoga7301622So I’ve finally restarted at the gym. Many seemed to think it wouldn’t happen (myself included) but at last it has. And it’s not been too bad. I burned 500 calories tonight (the 3rd time I’ve been since restarting last month) and I had fruit and yoghurt for dinner and I’m not hungry (work-outs reduce my appetite, rather than increase it).

To give some context – about 2-3 years ago I was going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I could eat and drink absolutely anything. I was wonderfully slim, toned too. And then I changed jobs, my hours went crazy, my old gym was no longer local, my membership lapsed, etc.

The rest is of course history. A history of excess, gluttony, over-eating, over-drinking. My weight has increased steadily and – whilst arbitrary figures are unnecessary – it would be right and proper to say that I have ‘let myself go’, entering a world in which man boobs, muffin tops and bingo wings have become the new reality. Well perhaps not the bingo wings; I think they are more common in women and very obese men (of which I confess to be neither).

But I have been genuinely unhappy since the weight gain. Nice, new-ish clothes I’d bought in the last couple of years no longer fit. The cashmere jumpers (size small), those chinos and so many other pairs of trousers no longer do up at the waist; my old t-shirt and shirt size feels tight. And I look in the mirror and see this slightly cherubic grimace staring back at me. It’s horrible. And it has knocked my confidence a lot, something one can never have enough of when desperately seeking Stephen.

So I rejoined the gym. It’s going OK although the one near my office enjoys (?!) an over-representation of demonstrably gay men, partly because of the area it’s in. This in itself isn’t bad but it can make you feel even more self-concious. Buffed, toned, waxed with zealously manicured panty-lines and endless tattoos. It can be a bit intense. I mean – I know that society will berate me and tell me that I should be happy that I’m “with my own people” – but truth be told, I have never coveted the muscle mary look. I just don’t find it particularly attractive. Anything that smacks of body narcissism is a turn-off,  just like when perusing dating websites I rather abhor a man who might describe himself as ‘VGL’ (very good looking). It’s just vain. And let me point out – were it not obvious – that I am not at the gym to obtain a muscle mary figure myself – but to lose the fat and ‘return to normality’ as I see it (I have been slim pretty much my whole life). There is a  genuine difference. I just want to be fit and flab-free and to not feel like a walking advert for Michelin or to feel cherubic. I hate that. And I want to be able to eat and drink what I want to again.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that I now feel ‘back on track’. At last.

9 thoughts on “My body is a temple

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  1. I’m glad you’re working out again and that it’s helping with your appetite.

    But you know my attitude towards you calling your “slightly” cherubic face “horrible”. Gay men have such low tolerance for even the slightest bit of extra padding 😛 And you know how it must make those of us who aren’t svelt wonder what you would think when meeting us 😉

    That being said, I agree with you completely on narcissism, “muscle mary’s” and the “VGL” thing 🙂

  2. I don’t like “muscle men” either and I don’t like men who are SO groomed that they look as though they spend most of their life staring into the mirror.
    I’m glad you’ve gone back to the gym though – for me, the bit about getting fitter that I hadn’t anticipated is that I feel better in myself – more energy and I just feel – well – more healthy. (Mind you I’d feel even better if they hadn’t just cancelled the Great North Swim for this weekend – thank you for your comment on my blog. I had been SO looking forward to testing myself and hopefully succeeding!) Good luck with the gym.

  3. Well done on getting back!
    I need to find exercise that doesn’t include my right arm/shoulder and isn’t running. Maybe just walking more would help.

  4. Jeni – thanks! It feels good to have restarted I must say. Isn’t just physical (as you know), gives you a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction.

    Justin – oh I don’t mind a few extra llbs in others and I wouldn’t make judgements on others based on weight/looks, as such. I know I can sound a bit like a crusader though.

    Daphne – I completely agree. It’s not at all just a physical or weight loss thing, it’s a state of mind. You sleep better, you eat less, you have more energy, you feel more positive about things. And when you also see the physical changes it’s a great feeling. Hope that you can find another swim as that did sound very disappointing to have it cancelled at such short notice.

    Birdy – ha! I gave up pilates a while back as I could no longer do the moves (too many tyres in the way) so I may now go back to it!

    Mancais – they say walking is extremely good for you. No countryside here to walk around though walking in the city is OK.

    Vic – you used to be quite into it yourself I seem to recall! 😛

    Josh – ‘bingo wings’ are the flabby parts on the underside of upper arms common in over-weight people and the elderly (women more prone than men). You are super-slim (I recall) and definitely do not have them! 😛

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