We all know exercise is fantastic to control our blood sugars, increase insulin sensitivity etc. which is why I joined the gym in the first place. I thought that seeing money come out of my account every two weeks would motivate my stingy ass to pump some iron. I was running every second day and keeping my BGLs mostly in range, but I thought I could improve.
It HAS been good, I’ve lost 10 kgs since joining (through body pump and spin I’m pretty sure!) and gained a lot of muscle and tone…but I just can’t do it anymore. After my contract runs out in a month I’m done.
I go to a women-only gym, not because I want to avoid men or like the colour pink, but because it was the closest gym to me and had hair straighteners in the changing rooms. I think this was my first mistake though, because it seems as though everyone there – instructors and clients alike – place a huge emphasis on going to the gym to get conventionally “hot”. The place is plastered with posters of size 8 models dressed in Lorna Jane, with bold slogans blasting “GET FOXY!” or “BIKINI BODY CHALLENGE!”.
Do you want to know how I get a bikini body? I put a bikini on my body. My size 14, thunder thighs, 10E, junk in the trunk body. Fuq da h8ers.
Additionally, the emphasis on diet is really getting to me. I spend every single day of my life counting food – that’s how I treat my diabetes, that’s just how I roll. I’d rather ignore all those numbers as soon as I bolus, but the gym makes food and numbers omnipresent. Instructors talk about how “bad” certain foods are, how many calories we’re burning, and I usually end a class feeling deflated, fat, and super guilty about the pasta I had for lunch before the gym. Why should foods be bad? (Why are bad foods always so extremely delicious? Surely calling sticky date pudding “bad” is a bit of an oxymoron?!) It’s like my Catholic guilt, but instead of feeling guilty about my moral sins I’m feeling guilty about my dietary sins. WHY should I feel guilty about a delicious homemade plate of lasagne?
Essentially, I’m sick of instructors telling me that food is only there to be burnt off.
I’m at the gym to be healthy. I may not conform to society’s version of what healthy should look like, but my doctor says I’m healthy and that’s good enough for me. I have a great a1c, fabulous cholesterol and perfect blood pressure. I don’t want instructors telling me how to get rid of my flabby arms or massive thighs because you know what? That ain’t going to change. When I was 16, weighed 10kgs less than I do now and danced 10-15 hours a week, I still had huge thighs and an arse the size of a bus.
I don’t like my gym telling me that I’m not healthy just because of my size. My body fat percentage is higher than average, my BMI puts me in the morbidly obese range. On paper I look like the worst diabetic in the world. But in reality – I’m fine. I spent months in recovery trying to stop seeing food as numbers and as the enemy, and although diabetes knocked that around a bit, I’ve still made headway on that. I don’t want the gym undermining my efforts!
I have nurses, doctors and endos talking to me about my body constantly. I don’t need my gym telling me I need to ‘lose more, do more, BE more!’ when the people that know what they’re talking about think I’m fabulous.