Fragile not agile

Thursday, May 16, 2013 Permalink

I should be at Zumba at the moment. Instead I’m sitting at my desk, writing this post. You may recall that I fell over at last week’s class… something I’ve never done in all of my years of gymming. As I said in the previous post – in which I shared an attractive pic of my slightly-swollen ankle – I suspect it was a combination of overly-grippy shoes and carpet AND the fact I’m carrying more weight than I’d like and hadn’t done a class for a couple of months.

Less than a week before the Zumba class I stepped in a pothole on a grassy footpath and fell over. Both times I felt my ankle give way (underneath my girth, perhaps!).

Not quite a year ago, in response to a blog post by Big Girl Bombshell, I wrote that ‘I felt good’. I was just starting to grapple with the not-dieting concept and when I read that old post now I am surprised that I’d also noticed the bingeing disappear (or at least diminish). Because I’ve skimmed ahead a few chapters (in the book that is my life) I know that didn’t last. I became stressed about possibly gaining weight and tried again to ‘diet’. But… I searched through my old posts yesterday to find that one because I remembered writing about how I felt, rather than how I looked.

So, although I had a stack of weight to lose, I felt mentally healthy, but… what occurs to me is that I also felt physically healthy. I felt fit. I felt sure-footed. And I felt agile.

That – sadly – is no longer the case.

On the weekend I went to watch a beach volleyball competition. More depressing than the girls in their teensy swimsuits and amazing physiques was the fact that I didn’t feel sure-footed. I’ve always been coordinated. It’s not a skill or talent, just something that’s come naturally. But, I found myself gingerly walking up the steps of the temporarily-erected grandstand and nervously stepping around other spectators. I felt as if I could fall over at any minute.

It was shocking.

The old me would have easily stepped over the seats rather than shuffle down the stairs. But not this me.

Thankfully my ankle is not terribly problematic. I’m fine to walk, but I decided against Zumba today because I can’t actually rotate it properly.

I mentioned last week (before the not-s0-fatal fall) that I wanted to focus on my fitness. (Alliteration accidental!!! 🙂 )


And that resolution has become intensified. Cos…  if I ask myself how I feel now; I’d have to say I feel flabby and unfit. I feel 45*. I feel heavy-footed, uncoordinated and fragile.

So, I’ve taken Amino Z (company offering online health supplements and personal training) up on its offer to do some one-on-one online personal training for a month. Last night I received my suggested meal plan** and training plan. And… I’m stoked because my trainer (Paul) listened to what I wanted and my training program is VERY doable. He’s given me some strength work (I sent him a picture of my apartment complex’s little gym) and allowed me to decide what cardio I will do.

And, I must confess, I’m kinda excited. Weight aside, I’m going to be leaping over those grandstand seats in no time at all!

I strongly believe someone can be overweight (even quite so) and still be fit. What are your thoughts?
What does being ‘unfit’ mean to you?

* The fact that I AM 45 is entirely beside the point!
** I explained that I didn’t want to ‘diet’ so the meal plan seems really flexible and I see it as more of a guide. (And it includes plenty of carbohydrates!)



  • Lyndal
    May 16, 2013

    You do indeed look happy!!!
    I’ll be reading your online PT follow ups (I’m assuming you will be writing about your experiences! Or hoping… a little of both) with interest – I love my weekly PT sessions, but I’m wondering if the cost is sustainable should my cirucmstances change.

    • Debbish
      May 16, 2013

      Thanks Lyndal… yes I really think my eyes are smiling in this pic!

      I’ve just done my day 1 workout. It wasn’t overwhelmingly difficult but I suspect I’ll feel it tomorrow.

  • Char
    May 16, 2013

    My eldest son is an exercise physiologist and not long ago he gave me a little talking to. He told me that I was at ‘that age’ where it was important to do strength work to help with balance and agility. I think he’s worried that I’ll fall over, break a hip and become a burden to him. But he’s absolutely right. I want to leap into old age and know that my body isn’t going to crumple when I land.

    I totally believe that you can be overweight and fit. Just as I believe that you can be slim and unfit. And I love the new glasses – and that photo. You look good 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 17, 2013

      I used to make sure my weekly workouts included a combination of cardio and strength. I love pump classes the best, but unless I join a gym don’t really have access to them at the moment.

      PS. I’m a bit sore from the few strength exercises I did yesterday (squats, leg extensions, chest press, push ups and some bicep curls). I added the bicep curls but it is mainly my upper body which is feeling it today. Shows how long it is since I worked it!

  • Lucy @lucylookout
    May 17, 2013

    I hate getting sports injuries, especially as they are the limiting step when you actually want to train! Glad you’ve managed to take the initiative and gotten some guidance and a training plan as i think that must really be the way to go! DEFINITELY agree that we can be overweight but fit, and even in comparison to skinny minnies who look tiny but spend all their time eating fast food – I like to call it ‘skinny fat’… For me unfit means feeling terrible when attempting to run for the bus. If I feel breathless and sweaty but generally ok and not like I’m going to run out of oxygen then I feel like I’m doing well 🙂 Good luck with your plan!

    • Debbish
      May 17, 2013

      Oh Lucy, I can relate to your comment about running for the bus. When I was in my old job and before I got fitter I had to climb about 50 stairs at the train station and I was always puffed when I got to the top. When I started exercising (this time two years ago) I noticed that I’d stopped dreading the stairs and was only slightly out of breath rather than gasping for dear life!


  • Liz
    May 17, 2013

    Hi Deb,
    Like Char, I’m beginning to become more about function – any improvements you make in fitness no matter what size you fit are all good things. I’m training someone who is 49kg and can barely make it out the front door.

    • Debbish
      May 18, 2013

      Yes… I do agree. I know that those times I’ve been exercising and felt fit (though bigger) I’ve felt healthier.

    • Debbish
      May 18, 2013

      PS. It may just be me, but it feels like society is more accepting of unfit 49kg people than fit 120kg people. Sadly.

  • Satu
    May 17, 2013

    I strongly believe that being overweight doesn’t prevent anyone from getting fit. 🙂

    I think I’ve always been surefooted and agile but the longer I strength train the more I notice what I’ve lost during the years (and I didn’t even notice it). My balance and my movement control is improving all the time and I’m able to do things I used to do easily in my early 20’s when I used to dance ballet.

    I’ve been trying to talk my mother to start exercising. She’s 66 and is sorely in need of strength training and improving her balance!

    And I LOVE your picture and your new glasses 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 18, 2013

      Thanks Satu. I used to talk to my mum about doing strength work. She does a fair bit of stuff (including weight-bearing exercise) but no upper body stuff. However, she goes to yoga which I think helps keep her supple – despite her knee and hip issues.

      I suspect years of pilates also helped me feel strong. Even before I started exercising again I was having 2 pilates lessons (mostly 1-on-1) each week for years. So, although ‘unfit’, I felt strong and solid.


  • Julia
    June 1, 2013

    You do have happy eyes in that photo!

    • Debbish
      June 1, 2013

      Hee hee… I agree Julia. It’s rare that I can objectively look at something of me like that, but it’s the first thing I noticed and I loved how much they were smiling!

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