When your metabolism catches up with you
When I was younger, I was always one of those skinny bitches who could eat whatever I wanted without putting on a pound. Better still, I never had to give my weight a thought. I never knew what to say when the conversation at school turned to diets as we applied our chic frosted lip gloss in the toilets.
Don’t hate me. I’m about to get my comeuppance.
I flitted out of my small pond and away to higher education and quickly fell victim of the dreaded Uni Weight. An unfair affliction that causes unsuspecting freshers to balloon just as they’re making their debut in the big wide world.
Now that I was skint and buying my own dinner, surely I should look malnourished?
Student life is fattening
Unfortunately, I liked my food too much to let poverty make me skip meals, and the nights out didn’t help. Vodka soda lime may have like zero calories, but alcohol is bloaty. So is sleeping all day. My ever-elusive cheekbones were becoming even more of a distant dream.
Looking back at pictures of my 18th became depressing – were my arms ever that twig-like? Taking up valuable space in my head, my ever expanding body was becoming an issue; so eventually I decided it was time to take action.
How to get sexy again? I don’t believe in denying myself the pleasures in life so dieting was off the table. Not being one for extra-curricular activities, I also couldn’t see myself bouncing about on a basketball court with a bunch of girls called Henrietta.
My first ever gym session
I was really against getting a gym membership. Going to a building that is purpose built for exercise just didn’t make sense to me. The world is my playground and all that – except it’s cold outside and I’m scared of jogging in case I run in time to my music and end up kind of jigging along the street. Admitting defeat, I borrowed my friend’s gym card and sheepishly ventured in to the great unknown. I was actually nervous. What was I supposed to wear?
Walking in to the cardio room (only found out it was called that later) in my Lycra leotard and leg warmers (not really) was terrifying. So was figuring out the machines. I sneaked a peak at the Duracell bunny next to me and her cross trainer was ten settings higher than mine. How was she not having a seizure?
The hardest part was resisting the urge to look at everyone. The gym is like a pervert’s paradise. Some of the girls in that place were like show ponies. And the beefcakes! They take themselves so seriously. I kept having to repress my giggles like a little kid. A weedy guy fell off his treadmill and I nearly died.
So there I am cross-training away with my big read head. When I’d arrived at the gym I’d had this big dilemma when I realised I didn’t have anywhere to stow my stuff (jacket, purse, adrenaline shot… ) but they have handy lockers in the changing rooms – a happy discovery. So I had this locker key and I didn’t really know what to do with it. I dropped it into the machine. Arghhhhhh panic. I had to go fetch a beef cake wearing an authoritative outfit to help me fish it out while all the healthy people watched. Thank god he managed to reach it, ’cause I was inwardly freaking out in case he asked for my membership number so they could contact me when they found the key. I was there under an assumed identity!
Aside from feeling like I was going to throw up from physical exertion (my body was in shock), it went okay. I’d heard exercise suppresses appetite and I actually wasn’t that hungry at dinner time. I also had the best sleep that night. It’s just a shame it took my face an hour to go back to its normal colour.
This was the start of my ‘fitness journey’, a journey that I spent mainly lounging in the backseat eating snacks with a few stops at McDonalds when the going got tough or the hangover too ravenous. It wasn’t until I finished uni and got a 9-5 that I began to realise that no human actually needs 3000 calories a day to function, and that looking after yourself is actually quite nice.
Did the 5am feasts at uni get to your waistline? Share the fattest thing you ever ate during essay week in the comments. Make me hungry.