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07 Jan Written by 

My Fitness Quest: Week 3

A working mother's dieting and exercise journey

Here we go again. Another day at the gym. Barely have I made it after an exhausting morning running after cranky toddlers, arguing with belligerent teenagers, trying (and failing…) to concentrate on my morning prayer. Trying to stay sane. I am already exhausted, and my day has hardly started.

Beside me on the next treadmill as I huff and puff, stands my arch-nemesis. A skinny older woman with more children than I (who by the way, are perfectly cute with clean cute clothes as my daughter Nnelly would say, and also…really, this is true…win all the Star prize awards). How does she make it look so easy? She is looking very put together. She is wearing a matching hot pink jersey and trouser combo with clean socks. I instinctively pull my ‘jump up’ trousers down and try to hide the fact that I haven’t washed my socks in maybe, ummm…two months. Although she is taking a 6 mile jog, her iPod is in her ears, hair is neatly pulled back in a pony tail and clearly not smelling of either cooking oil or stale coffee.

All my life, I have always wanted to be 2 sizes smaller, 4 inches taller and just well …pulled together. So began my fitness quest.

All together, I am sure that I have jogged from the end of the world and back. I have done every diet in the book, from Atkins to cabbage soup, to South Beach, to Maple Syrup to Berry Cleanse…name it, I have tried it! Everything I eat seems to love me, and does not let go. Each year, the shops seem to be cutting sizes smaller and smaller. As I lie on my bed struggling to pull up my jeans of five years before, they always seem to be shrinking. I really don’t know what fabric they make these things from these days. So every year a whole new wardrobe unless one wants to look like a snake swallowing a lion.

And talking about that, I remember one night when as my husband and I prepared for a night out, I lay on my bed struggling with my favourite jeans (what qualifies as favourite is makes me look slim and, well, young), lying on the bed writhing and pulling, hubby (who happens to be naturally slim, tall and handsome so of course he cannot feel my pain) smirks and likens me to a snake struggling to swallow a hippo. I stopped midway and looked up quizzically.

“Why don’t you just buy the right size?” he wonders aloud.

“Why do women always do this? (How does he know this?) Why do you have to go through this?”

Stupid questions, as only a man would ask. Every woman knows the obsession we have with numbers. No double digits are ever cute as size 8 is the maximum American size cute. Imagine going into the True Religion store and asking for a size greater than 29? Shame will not allow me. I would rather buy a size too small or, well, just not go in.

Do you know that most good stores do not cater to people with a waist size bigger than 32 or 33? I live in fear of ending up in a chic store abroad…imagine the bitchy (skinny) salesperson. “Sorry, ma’am , we don’t do your size here, you might wanna try…” And she mentions a fat people’s store.

Not that I hate fat people, I just hate fat me! And I will die trying. I imagine myself pushing 70 and still trying. We have a long history, me and the Diet Monster.

Yet my dream size has eluded me. I have tried interval training, circuit training, slow steady cardio, jogging only, walking, boot camp, belly dancing, yoga, Tae bo, plain old starvation…to name a few.

Yet my dream size still eludes me.

So join me in my health and fitness quest. I promise you an interesting ride…but only if you promise not to laugh.

More in this category: « My Fitness Quest: Week 2
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