The Routine

IMG_20171007_174725.jpgI pull out two blue cardboard boxes from my medicine cabinet and blink at my reflection in the mirror. This is it. The routine is near completion. Once I do this I am past the point of no return. Last chance to flake out of training, but I see my thin neck and smile. That’s why I can’t skip this.

As I grew out, I took my big pants to the seamstress. “The hems,” I told her, “- they’re too high.”

But, in reality, my thighs were too thick. My pants bunched up from crotch to knee. I should probably have just bought new ones, but there was a tiny part of me that was still in denial. I’m not fat.

I slide the first contact over my right eye. Always the right one first. I wonder why. Is it because I’m right-handed? Or is it because I always have the right contact box on top of the left? Hard to know. Why am I thinking about this anyway? Just get on with the routine. I blink three times, willing the contact into place.

“It’s my PCOS. I read about it. It causes weight gain,” I told a dietician. “There’s the IBS too.”

No, silly. It’s because you eat crap. Just admit it. But I couldn’t. Not out loud. If I were to admit it, I wouldn’t be allowed cakes, chocolates, or cookies. How could I possibly live without my double fudge chocolate chip cookies?

I press the next contact on over my left eye and blink. I can’t turn back now. These little contacts cost too much to waste them. Now I have to go to boot camp.

In the past six months, the routine has been the same. Come home from work, get dressed, put on my contacts (because I hate sweat dripping onto my glasses), lace up my ankle strap, and slide my shoes on. Once done, the act of getting into the car and driving to the park has already been decided.

“You don’t have to hate food that’s good for you,” the health coach said. “We’ll find the plan that’s just right for you.”

I doubted it, but I paid money so I wasn’t going to be accused of not trying. I will come to their training sessions and eat the meal plans they suggested. What have I got to lose?

I slide my running shoes over my feet and leave for boot camp. The ritual complete for the third time this week. With pride, I strut out of the house with a gym towel over my shoulder. I have beat the lazy-beast for another day, and I’m much happier for it.

I returned to the seamstress. “My pants need hemming again. I lost all this weight.”


31 thoughts on “The Routine

  1. I really like the way you contrasted the internal monologue with the dialogues that occur in your world. It worked well to give a rounded picture of you and your process. I always find that writing about weight and weight loss is such a tricky thing — expressing one’s discomfort with the things one’s body cannot do that it could once, without making others feel bad about their bodies of the same size and shape is a skill.


  2. I loved your post for the conversation within and with the seamstress. It’s like that one thing we talk about all the time and then what we need is focus and will to take up physics activities and be healthier. Weight loss then becomes a side effect.


  3. I really loved this because it’s just painfully honest. It’s really easy to empathize, as I think we all tell lies – to others and ourselves.

    I really liked that you switched, back and forth, between the immediate narrative and external occurrences. However, I found the blue text a little distracting. I wonder if there’s another way to do it. (But it could just be a personal preference)

    Thanks for giving the rest of us hope that the lazy beast can be defeated!


    • Thanks so much! We all have our little beasts that keep us down, I believe, but sometimes, we can overcome them. I do wish I hadn’t gone with the different colour texts, though. It was an experiment that didn’t pay off. Thanks for the feedback! At least I know for next time. 😀


  4. Melony, nice work with the prompt! It really is difficult to write about one’s struggles with weight without making others feel ashamed. You did well not crossing that line here and focusing on your self, your feelings.


    • Thanks, DL! I would love to, but I also don’t want to be too preachy either. Weight loss is such a personal journey, what works for one doesn’t work for all. Still, I’m very happy to be hovering around 60kg now. I have no plans to lose anymore. 🙂


  5. I’ll admit, I was worried at first because it’s so hard to strike the right balance in a weight loss post, a balance that allows you to celebrate your victories without accidentally making others feel bad. You walked this tightrope very well.


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