There’s a countdown on my phone that tells me how many days until our wedding. I know that the pictures from that day will be on display in our home for a long time, so I want to look my best, which right now, means I need to lose weight. I’m a member of a gym that offers a free personal training session so after speaking to Adam, a six-foot tall bicep, we arranged a time and decided to work out my legs.
Without going into detail (you can find a billion other places online for that), if you lift weights you tear your muscles microscopically. Your body uses recources (calories, etc.) to repair the tears, which means those resources can’t be stored as fat. So lift weights to lose weights. And, because legs have more muscle than arms, I can give them more micro-tears, I wanted to learn how to train my legs.
We squatted. We added weight. We squatted. Then we exercised our hamstrings. Adam, would count my reps and saay things like “Only four more,” when there was only four more. Sometimes he’d say “Strong,” like it was a subliminal message. This sounds like I’m making fun of him, or of people that use personal trainers, but actually I thought he was good.
We were doing leg presses when something in my neck popped and my head started pounding like I had a hangover. I tried to leg press one more time but my eyes nearly burst out my skull so I stopped. Adam told me to rest and he set up another exercise.
The pain didn’t go away. I drank water, I stretched, but there was this intense pressure from the bottom of my neck to about half way up the back of my head.
We worked out my calves for a couple of minutes before I had to quit. I was going to pass out, or throw up, or bleed from the ears, or all three. I come here regularly and didn’t want to embarrass myself.
Today my legs hurt, which means Adam did his job. The squats have made it ache when I sit, and the hamstring excersises have made it hard to stand, so whether I sit or stand, I’m in pain. I am choosing to think that is a good thing.
I don’t know what the situation will be like in Mexico, whether I’ll have access to a gym, or have time to workout, or be able to afford a membership. I think I will, but it’s one of many many things that are too far away, through the fog of plans, hopes, ideas, and reality for me to see it clearly.
I came home and had a bath and held an ice pack to my neck. I lay in bed with the ice pack until I was dry and then got up and had some healthy food Cesia had made fo us. It was lentils and onion and tomato all cooked up together. It was good.
If I can’t go to the gym in Mexico then I’m hoping the sun will encourage me to spend more time outside, and jog.
This whole thing is shallow. I could just be more comfortable with myself, and not worry about what I look like, or what others will think. I also realise that Cesia hasn’t said I need to lose weight. But I guess I am shallow, or self critical. I’m not self loathing, but I know I have some work to do, a few miles to go, a few pounds to lift and shed.
My legs hurt.
Wish me luck.
At work yesterday I booked two days off. At the moment I only work two days a week, I have done more, six days a week for months, but right now I only do two.
We expected it to be busy because of the Grand National, an EDL march, a football match, and the fact that the sun was out meant that a lot of people would be travelling. For some reason it was dead.
James and I spent the shift listening to music and hanging out. We talked about me leaving and I figured out that, for me to have enough time to do what I need to before I go I should hand in my notice on the 26th April. Two weeks after that I’ll work my last shift. Two weeks after that I’ll leave the country.
I’ve been working here for about three years. I moved out of my parents’ and into Birmingham. I had some money saved up, enough to pay for a tiny room and a few tins of baked beans, but I needed a job. After a couple of months of applications and not hearing anything back, I took the first job I was offered. It was a night job, working alone, cleaning, and making food, a little customer service was involved.
Two years later I had a flat, some money saved up, and near suicidal depression. Night shifts, among other things, were killing me. In winter I wouldn’t see the sun for weeks. I couldn’t sleep. I asked to switch to days.
In the day I could talk to people. I started exercising and eating healthier foods. I stopped drinking a bottle of wine every morning. I don’t think I was alcoholic, I think I was bored.
If you’ve ever dealt with depression in any serious way you’ll know that there are books of insights and statistics about it. Then there are hours of debates worth having about those books. I’m not going to do that here. Suffice to say that medication helped and so did Netflix, and so did exercise, and so did talking to people. Not therapists; my therapist was useless, but talking about my day with Cesia, or a friend or family member helped me unwind or put things in perspective or something. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.
I went to the gym earlier today and the sun is shining so I’ll go for a walk later. I’ll have Cesia with me and we’ll talk about our days and our plans. I’ll probably try to speak Spanish. I’m lucky to be able to say that depression is only a memory.
In a few weeks I get to say goodbye to the job that nearly killed me. I’m excited to go to Mexico but I’m realising I’m excited to leave England too. Excited to say goodbye to my job and my city and the weather that is, at best, unreliable. All of those are minor details compared to what I’m going towards; a new country, and new culture, a new language. A wife and in-laws and maybe the start of a career. The sun is shining outside my window, but it’s shining brighter in Mexico.