How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time


Gym junkie

How I love sweating in the gym. Getting totally hot is sensational. I feel so inspired when I perspire. It gives me hope that I might get into that little black dress, or sexy bikini, in the summer. 

However on days after I have blown my diet, I lose hope that I will be able to move down a size from my extra large tracksuits pants and tank top. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill or bike to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can.

In my youth, I hated sport. I lived quite a sedentary lifestyle, until I discovered aerobics at university in my early twenties. Then I took a total break from exercise after I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 27. The large amount of medication caused me to reach my heaviest weight ever, and I felt like a large sack of potatoes.

My family had to push me to go to the gym. But once I started to take it seriously, I discovered that I no longer had to wear large sacks. At the very least, I stopped packing on the weight. The gym would keep my wild food indulgences under control. It would give me comfort and security.   

The gym can be exciting. I can really feel myself spinning. How I would love to look like a perfect whippet or racehorse. I arrive confidently, thinking and feeling myself slim.  

There is more than just a glimmer of a hope and, yes, definitely light at the end of the tunnel. In many ways I feel like I have already won the race and the battle of the bulge just by turning up. But on other days I struggle to wake up on time for my personal trainer and go slowly and sluggishly through all the motions. 

As I head to the scales, my personal trainer is my motivator. With all the exercises and machines, I no longer feel so bent. I work to improve my posture and muscle definition. I think of myself with the perfect form and want to stay in this oasis forever. But on other days, I don’t want to go near the gym. It’s a real love hate relationship. 

I know deep down that the gym is my only way of losing weight. As I reach exhilaration on the bike or running machine, I feel totally sensational. Perspiration rolls down my body in cool waves. I can now dare to go to the beach and fit into all my thin clothes. The music also keeps me going. Here I keep trying to be a gym junkie rather than a food junkie.

The gym also releases all the wicked demons and pent up energy burning deep inside me. It is almost like a spiritual awakening or catharsis. 

I also feel carried by my personal trainer – whom I see, rain, hail or shine – and whom my parents very generously help me to pay for. Having to front up to him, and the scales, keeps me much more in control of what I eat. I feel like I am trying to fine tune a very special car. 

Going to the gym, I keep praying for my dream body. I also don’t feel quite so roly poly as I do a sexy pole dance and give my body more than just a fighting chance, with a little bit of boxing.

Even though the road to losing weight often feels full of potholes, the gym generally steers me in the right direction. As I do the special exercises for my pot belly, I feel I am slowly getting rid of all my fat stores.

I also no longer feel my body being so put down – especially when I was at school, even before the medication induced weight gain. Now I feel one everyone else at the gym.

Isabella FelsIsabella Fels is a Melbourne poet and writer. She has been published in various publications including Positive Words, Mental Illness Voice, The Big Issue and The Record.

Gym junkie image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Isabella Fels, overeating, obesity, schizophrenia, gym, exercise



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Existing comments

Thanks for that little piece of inspiration, Isabella. I'm sure that I'm sitting up a little bit straighter now.
Russell | 11 March 2015

It's great that you have become an actor in that theatre of grunt!

It can, as you say, be an almost ecstatic state achieved in exercise. For me that comes from lifting as much as I can, but to each her own.

Enjoy what you can do, not what the scales say!
Penelope | 11 March 2015

Great article, Isabella. I identify!! Keep going. Sounds like you're doing well. :)
Megan Waters | 13 March 2015

What an inspiring article!! 'Never give up' has to be the motto for everyone into exercise. Having read this, I'll have an extra spring in my step as I attempt to complete the Run for the Kids this coming Sunday.
Vin | 20 March 2015

Isabella you have a lot of stamina and endurance to keep up with your busy gym schedule. You should be very proud and pleased with yourself for hanging in there and not giving in and fighting for a healthy cause,that is your own positive sense of self.
Niall Carroll | 06 June 2015


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