Never Ending Lethargy

My entire life I have been lacking in energy. Everything always seemed too much effort. However it is true that the more active you get, the more energy you get. Five months ago I lived an entirely sedentry lifestyle, and I did a lot of comfort eatring; if I don’t want to, I literally don’t have to walk more than 50 yards a day, as my transport to and from work is practically door to door. Sure, the comfort eating is something I’ve been doing since I was very young, and my entire life I have struggled with self-motivational and mood issues. When I was in school I loved certain sports, but because I lived so far away from the school there was no impetus to attend after school activities for the most part. To begin with my parents weren’t happy with me travelling home on my own in the evening, and then when I was old enough I was fixed as someone who didn’t do sports. Hell, I actively played truant because it was so embarassing to be last in a 100 metre sprint, or to be picked last for netball – a sport I was undeniably bad at. I never blamed the other kids.

What was I good at? I enjoyed Basketball, Trampoline, I was good at throwing the Javelin. I could throw much further than other girls my age – did I get much chance to do the javelin? No. I think I had a chance of throwing it all of 20 times in my entire 5 years at the school. The sports that were important at this school were team sports and athletics – not field sports, or Basketball. I loved rugby! My size was an asset! Did I get encouraged to join the girls rugby team? No.

And through it all I immersed myself in books, in online communities as they started to emerge as accessible. I played music but never practised enough to become accomplished. I went horse riding, and most of my energy went into mucking out and catching, and riding. I went to uni and expended my energy in dancing at clubs, but little else. I ate pizza, I gorged on chocolate. I really did stuff my face; whether because I was sad, or lonely, or just plain bored, I ate a lot and moved very little. When I started university I was approximately 13 stone, a weight which is at the bare limited of acceptability in the equine world. I stopped horse riding, and now seven years later I am a good 17.5 stone.

Four months ago, I realised I was walking like an old woman. No self confident stride, something that had developed when I was at sixth form. I had learned to stride out to keep up with my male friends, several people I knew at university commented on how great it was, although I never understood it at the time. Now? I strolled, I tottered. I took small, careful steps. Not quite aged, but getting there. Trying to be delicate, careful, lady like.

And then I look at my mother. She is in her mid fifties. She has extreme mental health issues that means she has been heavily medicated for most of my adult life. She has thyroid issues, a ton of medication, and those bad eating habits that she passed on to me – huge portions, comfort eating. Kids really do immitate such habits. She has had both her knees ‘replaced’, and one of them needs completely re-doing already. She had electro shock therapy as a teenager, and yet she was so driven when she was my age – she has taught herself so many musical instruments, with varying degrees of success. Guitar, flute, saxophone, recorder, penny whistle, clarinet, electric organ, keyboard. She is a bird watcher, a keen lover of the natural world, she runs a writers group for other women of a certain age in the village. She loved walking, she was a kayak/canoeist, sailor, windsurfer, she learned photography.

She has done some amazing things, and is an amazing woman despite her problems. She made the most out of her good health while she had it, and did some things that I can only dream of at the moment.

I am still lacking in energy. I still find it hard to do my work outs and classes, and then my full day of work, and then come home and be the one to do the laundry and the cleaning. I used to adore sex, but I felt so ashamed of my body for the last 2 years that it dwindled and dwindled. These four months of exercise are a reintroduction to my health and my body. I’m paying more attention to it, giving it the care it deserves, instead of the entire neglect that it received while we lived in the Netherlands. The energy is slow to come, but this increase in activity is spilling over into my attitude, my willingness to get up and get things done. I hope it stays this way, as it is making me a nicer, less demanding person to be around.


~ by Pewter on July 3, 2008.

One Response to “Never Ending Lethargy”

  1. Many of the things you have to say echo deeply with me. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by lethargy and I am puzzled by it, frankly. The comfort-eating and stress-eating only exacerbate the problem I find.

    I’m glad to read that you’re activity is impacting your life so positively! Just don’t lose sight of what you’re working for.

    By the way, thank you for all of your supportive comments.

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