Big old Content Warning at the top for body talk around fitness and being overweight. If that sort of thing isn’t for you, I hope you’ll scroll and find some of my other articles to enjoy.
If you do read on, it is also important to note that I am writing about me, and me only. When I talk about losing weight and getting myself fit again, I am talking very specifically about what I want for myself and not passing judgement on being overweight in any way. If I didn’t want new (and old) things in my life I would quite happily continue as I am. But I do want, and to enjoy them the way I want, I need to lose some weight and build up my fitness level. All of which is to say, please miss me with any fatphobia comments. I am fat, it’s great, but it doesn’t work with where I’m going; one of us has to go, me or the fat, and it isn’t going to be me. Okay, onward.
Being overweight is something I have struggled with for over two decades of my life. When I was coming up through school and into college and theatre school, I was quite fit. I used to play rugby, volleyball, and soccer, I curled, I was on my high school wrestling team, I studied judo. And then I was in Boy Scouts as well, which led to me doing tonnes of hiking, canoeing, dog sled running…thing you might not think of as a sport but definitely need a certain basic level of fitness to do well and enjoy. Of course I also enjoyed eating (as I’m sure my parent’s grocery bills could attest) but that was balanced out nicely by my active lifestyle. Apart from being a huge nerd, I was also the stereotypical jock who made a bag of groceries disappear every day.
Fast forward to me leaving Fort McMurray for the bright lights and big city of Edmonton! As much as the move was necessary if I was going to work in theatre, it resulted in me losing a lot of the activities and sports I had previously enjoyed. Partly due to environment and partly to lifestyle changes, I became way less active. And that trend continued over the next thirty years. About twenty years ago I would say I firmly entered a sedentary lifestyle which has held true until now.
Recently I’ve realized how much I am missing a lot of the things I used to do, mostly hiking and camping. I also want to attend more cons in other cities ( you know, when the world isn’t trying to kill us all and it’s safe to travel) and I know from experience how much of a pain it is for me to get around a big con at my current size. Literal pain, I blew out my knee playing rugby and, even though it healed long ago my current weight puts a strain on that joint that I definitely feel on Con Day 2. I’d also like to get into both LARP and cosplay a bit more, and both those pastimes require a level of activity I’m not currently able to sustain.
What got me thinking about this today was a response to a Twitter meme I posted asking folx to cast me as a fictional character. A friend responded with Thor, specifically the Marvel cinematic Thor. And that made me remember that at one point I was thinking of cosplaying as Thor for cons. And that led me back down the path of thinking about getting in shape for hiking and camping, among other things.
So as you might have guessed from the title, that is the long term challenge I have set for myself. One year from today I want to cosplay as Thor, hopefully at a convention. I want to be able to wander the con all day in costume without my knees or back giving me grief. And next summer I want to go visit some of our beautiful provincial and national parks, particularly the mountains. So there’s a mid- and long-term goal.
Leading up to both of those, of course, there will be several smaller goals to achieve. This isn’t going to happen overnight. I need to develop new habits around my activity level and eating (fish sticks, yes. And entire box of fish sticks at one sitting? Signs point to no). I love to cook so that’s a bonus. And my jo has let us know that we will be expected to work from home until at least the end of March. So that gives me four months and a bit to start work on some things and figure out where I am going with this before I have to adapt my new habits to things outside the home.
But I am excited to get started! Not only so I can enjoy not struggling to walk around the block. But for all the new crafting and stuff I get to explore. I have to build myself a Mjolnir, for instance, which is a non-trivial problem. But I am looking forward to the challenges to come, in a way I hadn’t really thought about in a while.
So you’ll likely see some posts about the things I am trying out and building on here over the next year. I’ll always post with a Content Warning at the top, so no one has to read it if they don’t want to. As I said before, my desire to get myself fit is a personal one for my purposes. I know folx struggle with body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and the like, and I always want to be mindful of that. Know that when I am talking about anything around food or fitness I am talking squarely about what works for me and not casting a broader net to also assume it would be good or welcome for anyone else.
So that’s it. I’ve made posts similar to this in the past. Obviously I didn’t follow through on those. But this is the first time where I have some of the tools I need to make a plan and stick to it. I hope you’ll enjoy following long as I work the plan.
And remember: When the only tool you have is a hammer, you might be Thor.