In the fast paced world of got-to-do-everything-now” and “got-to-do-everything-right” I have been a slacker… I have been raising my kids full time for the longest time, and dare I say love it… but let’s face I haven’t you been achieving all those lofty goals of se7en hours sleep a night, 2 litres of water, daily journaling, not to mention finding your inner peace and well exercise has flown out the door. Not that I like that. I enjoy being fit – but to be honest it is really hard to get out the door when you are raising eight kids. Not that I am raising them alone, but let’s be honest the other half of the parenting team is at work earning the cash to run our proverbial ship. So I am home alone most of the time with eight kids, that’s the reality. We have finally gotten to an age where everyone is up and able to go a fare distance on a walk… but remember these are little people and there is a lot more stop than go!!! So exercise is really hard to come by. And if I do commit to going out before the father person leaves for work then breakfast is a disaster and at the end of the day – lets redefine suicide hour if the mother person is not home.
Time is not the Factor
So it looks like time is the scary factor that draws me away from good and consistent exercise… but it isn’t. I would happily turn our routine into chaos to get some fitness in, especially as the routine will re-adjust quickly enough. Of course, I have no confidence in this old body of mine… which is crazy really. My body got me through eight pregnancies well, and extended nursing. But still I have no confidence in what my body can or can’t do. I know I can’t do sit-ups, there are no stomach muscles at all – it is not about mind-over-matter, though I always thought it was (!), there is just no connection between my brain and some of my unwilling muscles. It looks like trust could be a problem, I don’t really know what my body can achieve, exercise-wise anymore…
Ability is not the Factor
You all know how awful I am at shopping and years ago I wrote about how hard it was to find a bathing costume to fit my then pregnant body – well I am still wearing the same costume. What can I say, it is hard to find good gear. It doesn’t help that the last time I went swimming at gym there was a mom next to me with her five and six year old boys, (why oh why do they get to be in the ladies change room – I have no idea… frankly if they are old enough to be in school then they are old enough to dress themselves and ought not be in the ladies change room) but when the young lad said, “Mom please don’t make me change next to the fat lady…” well that was the end of my swimming career.
Confidence is not the Factor
But never fear I know I must exercise and while I no longer want to achieve great things and the reality is I will never play tennis at Wimbledon or most likely do a triathlon again (don’t laugh in my head I would love too) the reality is that where do you find the gear. This is what I don’t get… if all the overweight people in the world, and there are lots of them… and I am one of them… and the message is get some exercise, get out there, just do it… Then why is there no gear available to them. This smacks of a similar clothing conspiracy that I wrote about earlier, where folk don’t want to dress their daughters scandalously – but the clothing industry doesn’t provide sweet and fun clothes for young girls (that’s a whole ‘nother story). My point is, eight kids later and years of nursing – my body deserves an award for getting through that and at least a daily dose of exercise – but where do you find the gear?
So right – no swimming and I definitely don’t think I want to do a class at gym – I no longer have stomach muscles to mention and there is always that terrifying mat work… not to mention there is the wobble factor. I need some really fine foundation wear. I took myself off to a large and leading sport store armed with cash… honestly I felt like Julia Roberts on her shopping spree in Pretty Women (not a good feeling). I have the money folks and I would love to shop… but the only gym gear in store would just and I mean only just, fit my twelve year old. Let’s not totally freak out that there is nothing to wear, I took a look at the staff to see what they were wearing… As one does. Normal sized gals in sporty kit, serving in a sport store: Let’s be rational where do they buy their clothes? They don’t shop in their own store, colour me so surprised. In fact they really battle to find gear and if they find something that fits they grab it, wherever they are. So there you go, regular size gals are not shopping in South African sport stores… in fact in their own words: “These clothes are for the athletic girls.”
Hello, so women who are larger than size 12 say, cannot be athletic. Would the clothing industry take a look at the size and shape of the real live women that are taking part in Sport’s events. These women loyally pound the pavement getting in shape and they may not be super athletes, but they are athletic.
Getting back to folk that are larger than regular… I tried to be undaunted, I phoned one of those super-size stores – you know the ones, where even a sock costs more than a down-payment on a house (yikes – clearly exercise is only for the wealthy – that is the message I am getting). I phoned and asked if they have my size (not that I know my exact size, but certainly larger than the regular store size 12) only to hear, “I don’t think they make sturdy underwear in that size.” Hello, let me say it again – I nursed eight kids through toddlerdom, I have a cleavage that I keep well hidden under baggy t-shirts, but definitely there is no chance of me doing a “couch to 5k program” without some really firm support. I am certainly not going blame my body, or myself for a retail indystry that isn’t serving the market it claims to serve. I know what I need, the mystery is just how to get it.
Frankly, my body has done me well through many ups and downs and ins and outs (literally) and I am not about to say – my body is a total failure – just because I can not find the right size or supportive gear. Honestly I don’t want spend a fortune on athletic gear. I have discovered that a leading grocery store that has an associated clothing store does have gym gear in my size – it is marketed as yoga gear… which means as long as I don’t run, jump or chase a child, everything will be fine. Slow movements folk… slow… slower still. So in my year for getting back into some sort of marginal shape… I am sleeping better, I am eating better, I am drinking water… and taking a break and getting a more or less daily amble. But that folks is as energetic as it is going to get… And until I find real gear for real people at real prices… I am stuck in the rut of a daily amble.