Why I’m quitting the gym

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.


8 thoughts on “Why I’m quitting the gym

  1. I think you’re making the right choice. The Gym is such a mental torture chamber at times. For me I found it hard too. The action of the gym was fine but the calorie numbers and the messages and the attitudes of people there were just too much. I often went hypo after the gym and felt I was just eating the calories I’d burned off and I couldn’t see that hey actually my arms were still more toned because of what I had done. Now I do more walking and wii fit and xbox connect games for fitness and it is fun and a hell of a lot easier on the brain. XD

  2. I agree with you so much on the points made. Having people constantly in your face about weight and what the “perfect” body should look like can leave a lot of people feeling defeated. Add in the concerns we diabetics already have about food and I can see this being very detrimental. This is why I work out at home. 🙂 Stay strong and I gotta say, I love your blog.

  3. Georgie your control over your diabetes is admirable. My dad has type 2 and was recently admitted into hospital for cellulosis,his days of being able to walk more than 15 minutes are numbered and his ‘good foot’ has black spots of the bottom of it.
    Its so difficult aeeing someone you love go through all this difficulty just because they refused to get ontop of their weight, stop smoking or drinking when they were diagnosed.
    So i think you are amazing and real example for other diabetics out there.
    Lou mapes

  4. If you ever feel the urge to go back to a gym, check out the one at uni. I haven’t been there in a while, but last time I was there it was purely people working very seriously with weights and machines. No food messages anywhere! 🙂
    Love your idea of how to get a bikini body. Awesome! 🙂
    Exercise to be healthy and feel good. There’s no other reason! Love your work, gorgeous!

  5. I totally agree with you too. I’m a Type 1 D. I recently joined the gym, but I also work out at home. I do it because I enjoy it and I want to be healthy and feel good too. It definitely helps with my sugar management. If I miss a day or two I don’t kick myself I just get back up and do it when I can. I’m happy with my size and my overall D control. There are so many fun ways to be active with out being tied to gym fees or being judged for the way you look. Keep being you hun. Do what’s right for you xx

  6. Georgie, you write with such finesse, purpose and clarity. Not to mention what I’ve deemed “Georgie-isms” (little quirks that appear every so often in your writing).

    While I can’t begin to understand life with diabetes, I have been on medication for a diagnosed condition for the last 5 years and understand how medication can ravage your body. Loving your body and yourself irrespective of size is of the utmost importance. You have expressed so eloquently the thoughts that I’ve yet to articulate and the difficulties faced by women who don’t fit into the size 8-10 mould.

    Also, if you do venture onto my wordpress blog, forgive the angst that spills from the pages. I seldom write about politics (even thought it is a passion), write occasionally about relationships but more specifically about love.

    I wish you all the best in your wordpress ventures x

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