Hello, gym.

As you may have guessed from my clever title, I’ve joined the gym. Well, rejoined.

The gym is scary, intimidating and sweaty. Much like my PCOS and sleepy thyroid. Over the last year, my final year in college, my symptoms have been such a drain. A daily drain. During third year, I tackled my IBS, headaches and flushes with copious amounts of immodium, motilium, rennies, any painkiller small enough to swallow and a dark bedroom. As the year passed by me, I began to notice the detrimental impact these habits have had on my mental health. Bringing immodium to a festival is smart. Refusing to leave the house without taking it is not.

I take stock of my life all the time. Everyone does. We think about our lives and we make plans. My final year was full of plans, but deep down I knew I physically wasn’t able for them. I took a hard look at my situation and made the most natural decision; it’s time to look after my health. Every time I joined Weight Watchers, the gym, started going for walks or just watched my portion sizes, it was purely for vanity. Yes, I knew my health would improve, but it was never the motivation behind my change. My failed changes.

My sparse blogging has opened my eyes to the amazing community of ‘plus size’/’size inclusive’ women writing about their experiences online. I started blogging out of fashion frustration. It’s difficult to find clothes at my height/size. I wanted to accept my size and be strong enough to say no to the constant pressure to lose weight. That is exactly what has happened. Only the outcome is a little different than I originally expected.

I’ve said it to my parents and friends countless times: I can deal with my size. I have accepted my body. I don’t wake up and think I’m horrible. I have bad days, but they are few and far between. However, I cannot and will not live with these symptoms anymore. I feel unreliable because I am unreliable. I am tired of missing out on life.

My symptoms irritate me daily. I miss out daily. I feel unwell daily. Instead of actually doing something every day to combat them, I took immodium and skipped meals. There will always be this niggling part of me that wants to lose weight, but it was never enough to motivate me. Now, I’m going to the gym and thinking about the headache I’m not going to have later and the upset stomach that won’t be keeping me at home this weekend.

So, today marks half way through week three and I’m sure I’ve lost a few pounds. That’s great. It all helps. The best part is knowing after less than three weeks of exercise I haven’t had a migraine, my flushes have already reduced and my stomach, well, it’s rebelling against the exercise, but we’ll get there.

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