It stands for British Military Fitness and in a naive moment of ‘I’m not really sure what I’m letting myself in for here’, I signed up, or paid up, for six months all in one credit card payment. I know it isn’t anything like signing up for a miltary career, but in terms of my unfitness level it does feel like a big deal. A huge deal infact.
I had been to the doctor’s surgery a week or so beforehand and was weighed and measured and told I was obese. I cried all afternoon. It wasn’t really anything I didn’t already know, but those surgery scales are very cruel and the nurse was professionally matter of fact. No solace here then and I grieved for all the chocolate cheesecakes I was going to miss eating.
Fear motivated me. Nothing like a health scare to make me fear all those hideous diseases associated with obesity. Diabetes. Heart disease. Mobility problems. Breathlessness. Stroke etc etc. I don’t want to be ill because of self neglect and obesity is a form of self neglect.
The first session was a free trial. It seemed to pass quickly even though at first I couldn’t even run. The instructor was tall skinny and gentle in a tough camouflage combat trousers kind of way. He gave me loads of encouragement. That was what my fat ego needed and lots of it.
There were lots of quick instructions. My body and brain felt like they had never actually met each other. Crikey! What uncoordinated and unrefined and totally slow movement for a fully grown adult. I felt small. Childlike. Like I was learning to walk all over again.
The instructor warned me of the afterburn. The bit tomorrow morning when there will be pain. Nothing could have prepared me. I could barely walk. My thighs burned with pain. Oh! So this is what the afterburn feels like. Shit! You can keep it. I was in agony for two days where even sitting down to pee was an event! Thankfully not a public one. The humiliation was all my own.
It was after this session that I paid to join. I’m even paying them for the pain. Agh! Idiot. But no. It is the fear of becoming ill that drives me forward. The fear of becoming ill because of obesity is greater than the fear of the afterburn or the fear of the loud quick incomprehensible instructions from the blokes in camouflage trousers.
It isn’t all hell. No, not at all. Let me tell you what sold it to me; that night after the first session, after I had bathed and dragged my sorry fat ass to bed, something incredible happened. My whole body relaxed. I mean really relaxed, like whatever my body had been holding onto just relaxed, and as my muscles relaxed and I melted into the mattress, sleep took over. A childhood carefree sleep, like when I was a little girl and exhausted from playing and running and skipping and climbing and moving my body in the way children do. It was the best nights sleep I had had since……childhood.