Exercise and the Failure to Diet (by )

So today I take Jean swimming, today I go swimming for the first time without needing aid to get into the pool for a decade. Today I am fretting that without my glasses on I will not be able to keep track of my 9 yr old or that due to not having been swimming much I will have forgotten how to and I could only just barely swim as it was.

Today I stand here with two swimming costumes, my new one black and multicoloured and my old one - black and white. One is really too big for me and one is really a little too snug and just fit last week and I've had a pigging out birthday weekend so my stomach is not wanting to be compressed.

I am fretting that one will slip off and the other will leave back dugs - or folds of skin, I am fretting that before Alaric has always been there and now I wont be the obvious wife and mother but just me and I do not look young and beautiful. At the same time I worry because I put the swim suit on and I feel naked and exposed and I'll be in public. I have some pit stubble and some leg hair and I don't want to use my energy in dealing with them as that may result in no swimming. I am only an ok size if I hold my stomach in and it hurts today.

I have the scar on my knee from the 10 yr old biking me and scars from caving mucking up my shin and the varicous vein sticking out and ugly on my thigh, cellulite bobbling and I'll admit I don't look that different to me as a teen and I felt all of this then as I panicked over day glow bikini or my turquoise swim suit.

And I just want to hide but Jean... Jean is growing up and wants to swim, I can take her now - for the first time since being a mum I myself by myself can take her. She is already self concous and worried about her body and I don't know if confiding in her or hiding it from her is best.

Bingo bango bong - it's time talk about my diet and expectations. People think the diet is about weight loss but it's not I've also felt fat, it doesn't matter what size I am I look in the mirror and see the same sized person. For a little back ground on that - this has been the case when I was size 8 to being in the last trimester of pregnancy at a whopping 16 stone. One of the swim suits is an 18 and the others a 10 - to look at they don't seem that different.

My diet has been driven by medical stuff and the want to feel better - of course I want to look better but I resigned myself to being not normal aesthetics a long time ago. This is part of the panic before I go out.

My hair is big, it is frizz, it is curl, my skin is blotchy and changes colour and I have scars and now stretch marks. I have an enormous bottom - always have had, it sticks out and is wide. It's just the way I am.

I like weird clothing but I know from having tried that I still stick out even in normal clothing so I might as well wear what I want.

Recently the diet has kind of failed, I have reverted to the 1600 cals a day and I no longer have a nurse to talk to about this. However, I am now a quantified self and have been monitoring things - not weight Alaric deals with that as I don't really want to know. But I do know that my weight has plateud, which is amazing as I keep eating 200 cals more than my maintain intake. The maintain is what you can eat without putting weight on but you wont loose weight on it either.

And the strange thing is that everyone is now commenting on the weight loss but I am no longer loosing it - what is happening however is that I am going down dress sizes. I am physically becoming smaller or more compact as I exercise.

For me it is strange how the focus is on the weight loss, I assume this is because it is the most easily quantifiable thing?

On the other hand my pedometer game is going really well and today I won a pink lemur, the more exercise I do the more in game energy I have to make plants grown and to build buildings with. I still have huge areas to unlock on my maps and it is my main motivator - except now the headaches are under control and the pelvis is behaving and the bleeding has stopped I am enjoying the exercise - but I wasn't before not why that was all going on - I was just doing it when I could for fear of being unfit/fat except there was no way I could do enough.

I mention this as there are people out there who keep trying to use me as a gauge for themselves - you can't. I couldn't even use myself as a gauge six months ago. Each person has to find out what works themselves and sadly my journey has been made a lot more doable by money. Yes you can exercise cheaply - ie running but without proper shoes you risk shin splints, without the pedometers motivations to actually do a run can be low.

Gyms cost money and adults on the kids climbing frames at the park can end up in the police being called. Swimming costs money, dance, climbing, yoga cost money. Youtube vids are free but can take alot of sorting and again motivation.

I like my allotment and it is exercise but... it cost money and it's not even a council one as I've now been on the waiting list for one of them for 3 yrs! They do not have enough allotments >:( Everyone should have access to an allotment >:(

This post initially was supposed to be about the emphasises being on health and not actual weight loss and how size and weight are a loose corralation and not absolute. But it was high jacked by my nerves about swimming and self identity and stuff.

I have everything packed and ready and I know Jean is uber excited - I've gone with the larger swim suit with the idea that a boob popping out maybe is preferable to being uncomftable and not being able to swim. Only time will tell if I can remember how to actually swim and for that matter get out of the pool by myself at the end of the session.

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