Go Take A Walk
For a while, the ease disturbed me. I figured it was because I didn't think I was actually doing anything - you know, moving around, but accomplishing nothing fitness-wise. I was actually relieved to have soreness in my muscles after that first class - that sensation was at least familiar to me. Soon, though, after each class got easier and easier, it hit me that I was still a little perturbed about why this exercise thing was so easy.
So you know I'm mental, right? Exercise being easy is not something that most people fret about. It's usually a cause for celebration, or a signal that one is, perhaps, physically fit (gasp!), no? Well, it really bothered me because for years, exercise has been impossible for me. Not just hard or difficult, but impossible. There was joint pain, horrible grinding from my bones when I climbed so much as a flight of stairs, and serious shortness of breath from walking any faster than a mosey. My blood pressure would skyrocket from exercise-induced hypertension - you should have been at my cardiac stress test! I freaked out the cardiologist.
Yet, still, at every turn, I was lectured by health professionals, friends, and family about the benefits of exercise. "Just take a walk," I was told. Sure, folks, just take a walk. Fuck you! They had no idea of the pain that followed a walk - the Advil afterwards, the 2-day recovery from muscle pain, the worry that I'd have a stroke from raising my blood pressure from walking a mile. Just take a walk? Just fuck off, asshole.
So why the bother now? Why am I peevish about exercise being easy when it was once impossible? I should be celebrating, right? Well, I think it's one of those angers against society that just has nowhere to go, so I'm sending it out to the blogosphere - the great internet void, as it were. I'm angry, void. I'm seething with it, and I'm not at my most articulate.
See, I'm on the other end of that equation now - exercise just isn't that taxing and I no longer literally fear for my life. See, I still have 20 pounds to lose before my BMI is "normal." My amount of extra weight is kind of average nowadays, and exercise is easy. If this had always been my perspective, then I wouldn't have a problem with hearing the advice that I used to - Just Take A Walk. If this had always been my perspective, I would be cheering the imbecile professional trainers that counsel the morbidly obese to just move more and eat less and they'll soon be at their target weight. If I had never suffered through the mortification of not being able to climb 2 flights of steps last year when my classroom was on the fifth floor of the school building, I would have no problem recommending that obese people just "take the stairs" instead of relying on the elevator. If I had never been Super Morbidly Obese, I would be like the majority of ignorant fitness hacks out there, mindlessly droning "YOU CAN DO IT!" when I really didn't know that the Super Morbidly Obese sometimes Just Can't Do It. I wouldn't be so bothered by NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss and all of the other huge weight loss corporations that prey on the desperation of the obese, promising miraculous weight loss while using beautiful slender people in their advertising that only had 20-30 pounds to lose when joining the program.
I just wouldn't know, like so many others just don't know.
All at once, I'm grateful for the perspective, and pissed off at the ignorance of the general population over what the Super Morbidly Obese endure daily. Sometimes I still feel like a spy for the SMO, going incognito and passing for normal. I'm glad of the perspective, though.
And the next time that someone tells me that losing weight is easy? I'm going to tell them to go Take A Walk.
I think you all know what I mean by that.