Week four: exercising (nearly) every day – and the Cancer Research ‘Obesity’ campaign

Made it to week four!! I didn’t actually set a time limit on this challenge of exercising (pretty much) every day, but a month seems like a good achievement. This week I had two days of no exercise – whoops! – due to busy-ness / general inertia. I did miss it though, so will try and do better in week five!

This was my week:

Monday: Five mile hike

Tuesday: Four mile hike

Wednesday: Six mile hike

Thursday: Four mile hike

Friday: Nothing – day of trains and heat and yuck

Saturday: 25 minute morning yoga video

Sunday: Nothing – felt too queasy to do yoga in the morning, and too depressed by Sunday night back-to-work blues to do anything in the evening (although probably it would have helped if I had!)

All the walking was really lovely, lots of thinking time which I’m really missing now I’m back at work at my desk! It did make an ongoing shin splint on my left leg worse though – need to book some physio to try and make an improvement to that.

It’s been difficult to get back into the yoga after a week off, especially as the weather has been quite warm in London, and my living room is basically a greenhouse – huge windows that get the morning light, which is lovely except it gets incredibly hot, even with the blinds drawn! It can be tough to persuade yourself that you should do some plank poses and downward-facing dog instead of just slobbing on the sofa. Maybe as the weather warms up I’ll need to change the routine and start going to the (air-conditioned) gym, or go swimming – although before I can do the latter I’ll have to go shopping, as a trying-on session yesterday made me realise none of my swimming costumes fit anymore.

It is amazing how much value we place on being able to fit into a piece of fabric. My body has changed a lot over the last couple of years, and during that time I have thrown out many pieces of clothing. I’m not sure exactly why it’s changed, as my diet hasn’t altered much – I think mostly it’s to do with being a woman hitting her early thirties, and just one of those things. It has also been a pattern since I had the contraceptive implant inserted, leading me to optimistically BLAME THE TECHNOLOGY, but realistically I’m not sure it’s been really radical enough to be that.

I’m still very slim by most people’s standards, and not yet the target of the horrendous new cancer research campaign equating obesity with smoking and doing some truly terrifying adverts announcing that. I hate the adverts, and from what I’ve read, the science is nowhere near as straightforward as obesity = cancer, and even if it is, how does enormous billboards making people feel like crap help? Everyone knows that being shamed for being overweight only makes you reach for the cookies more! Ridiculous. The judgement we pile onto people for being a certain weight and looking a certain way is exactly the same judgement that I give myself when I put on a swimming costume and discover it no longer fits. Why can’t we encourage people to feel good about themselves? The better you feel, the more likely you are to exercise and make good choices for yourself. If you feel like crap, like I did yesterday, you do not go to the gym. It’s awful how much of a failure I feel just because my shape has changed slightly. It’s such an ingrained, knee-jerk reaction: putting on weight = bad, useless, unattractive, unworthy, not good enough. I really wish these campaigns from big companies with a lot of influence wouldn’t make it worse for everyone.

Any recommendations for swimsuits, let me know! I’ll probably go for a one-piece, for the simple reason that they’re by far the easiest to get on and off. I hate twisting in and out of bikini tops and nearly dislocating a shoulder taking off a tankini! Give me a one-piece for the win.

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