The Fat Chick Fitness Challenge

“I wasn’t always fat, but I have always been unfit.”

These ten words heralded my first feeble attempt at blogging. I reread it recently to discover- between cringing and shrieking at the computer- that it contained enough rough, unpolished diamonds to squeeze out a post.

I wrote this blog under the moniker Eddie- my dad’s nickname for me. My idea was to write a hopefully hilarious post each day summarising my attempts to get fit. It would keep me motivated and accountable. I’d be writing again. It would get me away from Funny or Die when work was quiet. It would be, in short, a fucking good idea.

It crashed and burned quite quickly.

I ran out of funny ways to say, ‘and then I ran out of breath’.

As I describe what transpires, one should note that I was about fifteen kilos heavier than I am now, dreadfully unfit, and with a lot of fucked-up ideas about food and dieting. It was written when I was pushing myself to the brink and everyone in my life was copping the sharp end of my tongue. I was studying and working both full time. My marriage was in trouble. Graves Disease had turned my thyroid gland renegade, so even my own body had turned against me.*Sob* I had been hospitalised for complications that arose from this. Basically, life was a gigantic shit storm and it seemed like sunshine would never return.

I know. We should all feel sorry for the whiny, self indulgent, little white girl.

To try and regain some control, I found myself a hard ass dietician/ personal trainer who I nicknamed Cobra. Together, we meandered hand-in-hand down the labyrinthian path to physical fitness.

“My attempt to get fit is not unlike me trying to teach my dog the Thriller dance: cute to behold, but ultimately time consuming and futile…”

My first post included my start weight and measurements.

Fuck. A. Duck.

I ask myself: Why, CC, why?

I can’t imagine what drove me to do something so masochistic. I put the centimetre circumference of my fat ass up in cyberspace. Thank God the webpage got no traffic. I may be lighter, but I still do, and always will, have a big, round bum.

I set a goal weight and fitness goal- both ambitious. Very ambitious, actually. I will opt to walk through fire over stepping on the scales, but I’m sure that I am still heavier than that goal weight. By a lot. *Sob*

Cobra’s first challenge was a 30 minute walk/ run. It didn’t go well. My dog wound up dragging me home like a Marayong Malamute. I crawled up the stairs, fell into the shower and:

“I couldn’t get the right temperature. I wanted tepid refreshment. I got intermittent bursts of hot and cold water until I gave up and hysterically screamed at the shower head: ‘God damn you. Have you just run? No, you haven’t. You’re just a fucking shower head. Fuck you! You can’t run. You don’t even have fucking consciousness. Asshole. So why, WHY, are you fucking with me? I won’t take it. I am enlightened. Enlightened, you hear? Fuck. FUCK. FUCK!! Cunt monkey.'”

The following day I was predictably sore. I tried doing the “standard level of fitness” exercises Cobra had prescribed. I collapsed, cried and kicked the pool table when I couldn’t do ten push ups.

The next post started with: “I think I’ve broken something…”

In the one after that, I tried to jump rope. I compared myself to My Little Pony on crack, then mused about using my pink skipping rope to hang myself from the garage rafters instead. This was followed by the detailed description of a dream where I was eating a chocolate sundae alone on a life raft, adrift at sea. Hmmm.

Shortly after this I got drunk. Very drunk. You see, when you put ‘massive restriction of food’ into a blender with ‘bottle of vodka’ and add a dash of ‘bored at home’, you come up with an “I’d like to apologise to my neighbours” smoothie.

I woke up on the couch with leaves in my hair. Stumbling into the kitchen found a broken house plant, and an Eddie-sized hole in the wall behind it.

“I must have blacked out after the tenth vodka gimlet. HubbyBear returned home at 3am to find me comatose on the couch, covered with enough greenery to look like I was trying to hunt Predator. Buffy the Vampire Slayer blared in the background. When HB tried to rouse me, I barked like a dog, proclaimed, ‘warriors sleep in the field’, and promptly began snoring again.”

The next few posts are incredibly boring. But the blog picks up again with a post titled Two Guys, a Girl, and a Fitness Challenge.

HubbyBear surprised me one afternoon. You see, watching me limp through life with burning quad muscles had inspired him. He looked up the Ryan Reynold’s Blade Trinity workout plan; bought himself $230 worth of protein powder, creatine, muscle juice, vitamins, supplements, and protein bars and embarked on his own fitness challenge. So we could bond over it.

$230.

Uh-huh.

Mine was cheaper.

Just saying.

I’m reasonably competitive, and we egged each other on. Our other problems meant we embraced our goals with manic zeal, and in doing so, discovered a questionable way to reconnect. The post culminated with me charging into our room, post workout, leaping on the bed, and jumping up and down like a four year old:

“Morning, baby! I just went for a run, or a run walk, hmm, maybe I can call it a ralk. Are you awake? Are you going to work out today? Are you going to do the Ryan Reynolds chest program? You know, I was reading an article on Ryan Reynolds’ diet for Blade 3 and apparently Ryan Reynolds combines lean protein with good fats and Ryan Reynolds’ trainer suggests that the creatine should be consumed…”

Okay, so the conversation is grossly exaggerated, but I did charge in and jump on the bed as the poor bastard tried to sleep.

The next blog post was titled Dozy Eddie the Half-Time Fitness Freak, and inexplicably contains:

“I think I could pick my husband’s dick out of a line up of every other dick in the world.”

No, I’m not sure either.

I finish up my blogging expedition by complaining about sprint training.

Wow.

Get the laureate ready.

I gave up The Fat Chick Fitness Challenge shortly after.

I drowned in Baskin Robbins.

Luckily, in the years that have passed and the grey hairs that have multiplied, I have learnt to exist in the middle rather than in extremes. Vodka is no longer a valid dinner food, and I haven’t used the words Ryan and Reynolds together in a sentence for a very long time. I am no longer obsessed, which is a relief- if only to my quads.

Now, my motivation to exercise is not aesthetic. Emotion and food are no longer interchangeable and I generally like the skin I’m in now, flaws and all. I am grateful to have a body that works well most of the time, and I try to respect it. I have seen some heartbreaking stuff in my time as a nurse, working in a spinal rehab ward put things into perspective. I have grown fond of my big, round bum, because it supports two legs that carry me briskly to and from each ridiculous situation that I find myself in.

This blog is self deprecating, and I will happily take the piss out of myself and the stupid shit I do, but reading between the lines of that blog was a bit disturbing. I was in a fucked-up mindset back then. I may be labouring under a delusion here, but I tend to think of myself now as a content, quirky mess; instead of something awful that needs to change. Turning thirty does have its benefits. You start to give up on who you think you should be and start accepting who you are, big, round bum and all.

And if I ever join a travelling circus, I think I’ll call myself Dozy Eddie the Half-Time Fitness Freak. It has a ring to it, don’t you think?

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