[Please avoid if references to calorie counting, restriction, or binge eating is a problem. This also goes for most of the links.]
Lately I’ve been reading two very different blogs for their exercise content.
One is Shaunta Grimes’ Tumblr, where she’s discussing her “100 Day Experiment” with Health At Every Size®. Shaunta had begun her weight-accepting journey years before, but still counted calories and tried not go above 1800. Unfortunately she’d end up binging periodically. During the 100 Day Experiement, Shaunta began eating at least what her body needs, getting enough sleep, and exercising in slowly increasing amounts. Shaunta began with exercising 10 minutes a day and has since added swimming & weight lifting. Shaunta is thrilled to have more energy, be sleeping better, have less edema, and be stronger. She also hasn’t been binging. She has lost a small amount of weight but remains above 350lbs.
The other is 300 Pounds Down. Holly, the author, had weight-loss surgery in 2011 at 417lbs. She’s lost 200lbs at the moment and intends to lose more (hence the name of the blog). Holly began exercising for 30 seconds, increasing 30 seconds a day, working up to walking 5 miles a day. An injury sidelined her walking, and then she began lifting weights with Crossfit.
Obviously these are two very different narratives. But: both women began exercising while weighing over 350lbs. (Kinda like me.) Both began very gradually and increased slowly but steadily. (Yup.) Both women are getting stronger — and delighting in that fact! (Yup…) Both have more energy. Both are happier. And both are encouraging me to continue my own exercise efforts.
I support bodily autonomy, including the right for each person to decide whether to exercise. I choose to exercise for my own selfish reasons. I support others in making their own choices. Both of these blogs have helped me to reflect on my own experiences with exercise and on my own victories, like “lifting 40lb boxes” and “better at carrying things upstairs”.
(And yes, I’m aware that Shaunta & Holly have very different blogs!!! Shaunta, like myself, is a HAES proponent; Holly has weight loss as a primary goal. Shaunta is deliberately eating more than she had before; Holly is deliberately eating much less & differently than before.)