I’m going to take swimming lessons!
In the last two years I have re-learned to run and re-learned to ride a bike, so now it’s time to face my ultimate fear and re-learn to swim.
Swimming is associated with so many traumatic memories and body image issues, not to mention the fact that I have always completely sucked at it! But I am just in a Fear Facing mood right now, so I want to conquer this one once and for all.
Also, winter is sneaking up again so I want a new exercise that will keep me motivated but won’t be murder on my knees. My father-in-law contacted his friend who’s a swimming teacher and she’s up for teaching me, so tonight I’m going to call her and then I’ll go forth and buy some swimmers and then I’ll get my chalky white arse back into the drink.
Consider this my public declaration of intent. Feel free to hunt me down and thrash me with a branch if I don’t follow it through.
Before long I will have the complete set of Triathlon skillz down pat! Of course, it would have to be a very special Triathlon for the Chronically Hopeless:
SWIM – Frenzied dog paddle across the council pool.
BIKE – Ten minutes in a straight, flat line because I’m still scared of hills and corners.
RUN – Actually can we make that a walk, since my knees are cactus? A slow, shuffling walk.
Och, you gotta start somewhere.
Just to explain my current arse-kicking frame of mind. I had yet another revelation on Friday. In brief: I am chicken shit!
This was brought on by the whole Television Thing. When I was initially approached about the Sky News story I completely freaked out and said No! I had nightmare visions of my big mug on the telly and panicked. What if they made me climb into my fat jeans? What if I looked hideously fat and everyone laughed? What if what if what if?
I got off the phone and told my colleagues about it. They were amazed that I’d said no, saying it would have been a nice opportunity. But I came up with a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t do it, concluding with, "I’m too fat to be on television."
An hour or so later it all sank in and I thought, "Oh god, what have I done? That would have been a fab opportunity. You. Bloody. Moron!"
In the end, thanks to the lovely Emma Robertson (journalist extraordinaire who wrote The Scotsman article last week), I managed to get back in contact with Sky on Friday morning. They wanted to do the story straight away! FARK! Thanks to my faffing about the day before, there was no time to angst over wardrobe choices. Luckily I have the best colleagues in the world. Not only did my boss let me nick off for a couple of hours, my mate Alex drove me to the shops so I could get a top that didn’t have lunch stains on it, then drove me into town. What a legend. At the last minute I ran to the chemist and got some nail-polish remover and rubbed off two weeks of crusty, chipped nail polish, which was just as well since they did some close-up shots of me typing! Note to self: Be less slobby!
It was all over so quickly. I was so nervous I thought I’d throw up, but the Sky people were lovely. They just plonked me onto chair, asked me a few questions, had me do the pretend typing then I was all done! Cool.
On the way back to work I kept thinking about how much I have changed since the fat fighting started, but also how much I haven’t changed. My reaction to the whole media madness last week proved how in many ways, I am still holding on to my fat. I am still letting it hold me back, even though so much of it is physically gone. I am still using it as an excuse not to push myself. I am still scared.
I don’t want to be like this any more. I am tired of doubting myself and being timid. I know I have made real, albeit slow progress towards accepting that I’ve changed and declaring some ambitions (such as the book project). But sometimes I still feel like an Apologetic Fat Girl, afraid of making a noise and taking up space.
On Friday night I decided to write an entry for my other blog and finally "out" Dietgirl. I had a good cry as I wrote. It took me two more days to work up the nerve to post it. I barely slept all weekend, knowing I’d kept a massive external and internal transformation a total secret from some really brilliant friends around the world, for really demented reasons. But when I finally did it, it was like the last big cloud had been lifted.
So now I feel like I am finally being honest, to my friends and to myself. More accepting. No more hiding. It’s time to push forward and work harder. To live a little less in my head. To stop clinging to the old excuses and not be such a chicken.
And that’s when I figured I may as well learn how to swim again, while I’m on a roll!