The Fat Belly Dancer Works Out: Weeks 8, 9 and 10

written by Andalee on October 3, 2013 in Healthy for life with no comments
Swimming for exercise

By TSgt Samuel Morse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Now is the time that my efforts are really starting to fade. I know I said I was committed to doing this for 12 weeks, but I’m just barely skating by. I need motivation!

This is what always happens to me when I start an exercise regime. I start off so excited and rip-raring to go and then I am just start to peter off. How do people do it? How do people make exercise a part of their daily or weekly routine?

Part of the problem is that I haven’t been feeling well lately. I’ve been dealing with a lot of fatigue. I come home from work and all I can do is lay down or sit on the couch. I even have a tough time making dinner, and I like to eat well-rounded meals.

For awhile I have been suspecting that I have fibromyalgia, although my doctor disagrees. Seeking a second opinion, I went to see a doctor who specializes in people with pain and fatigue disorders. He actually agreed with my doctor that I don’t have fibromyalgia. This is good news! However, the doctor agrees that I have hypersomnia and chronic widespread pain. There is no cure for this except for getting more sleep and regular exercise–and even those don’t always help. He suggested that for someone like myself, I should exercise 3 times a week for 40 minutes a day. He said that this amount of exercise should be about right and that I need to be careful not to over do it.

He also suggested that I take up swimming as my primary form of exercise. I am not sure how that will affect my belly dance practice, but it is something that I want to try. I will need to buy a new lap suit and to join an indoor pool. I belong to a neighborhood pool, but it just closed down for the season.

The good news is that I love swimming laps. It something I did fairly regularly for about 2 years in college when I lived on campus. I loved swimming laps. I never really learned the “official way” to swim, but I think I have a natural aptitude for it. I am a June baby who spent her early years in Florida, where I was always in a pool. If I had any desire to play sports, I probably would have been on the swim team. So this is all good stuff. I just need to make it happen.

The doctor also got me thinking about other times in my life where I was more active. It wasn’t as a child, apart from soccer for a year or two, I didn’t do much. But after college, I moved back down to Florida and I was only working part time. I used my extra time for exercise, partly out of boredom, but partly out of wanting to spend time outside. Florida has lovely weather and I was always going for swims, runs, and bike rides. It’s just what you do.

So I know it’s kind of a crappy excuse–that I don’t work out as much because I work full time and the weather isn’t as nice as it in Florida (although North Carolina is quite nice)–but you know what? Working full-time is hard. Coming home when it is dark outside after spending 8 hours inside in front of a computer sucks. I feel like I should just suck it up and deal with it, like so many people do, but it’s not me. I need a lot of sleep. I need shorter work days. And I need lots of sunshine, moderate weather and lifestyle that just makes it easier to be active.

I might be able to have that again one day, but that is doubtful (especially after I have children). I’d have to move and change careers. What am I to do in the interim? Well, keep doing what I am doing, I suppose; ┬ájust trying my best to fit in physical activity when I can. Just trying to find ways to build in exercise as my schedule and fatigue allow–and make sure that I am doing the kinds of exercise I enjoy, like belly dance and swimming. It may not be enough, but I am not really in a position to push it right now. Maybe I am full of excuses–but if you were to feel as tired and worn out as I am maybe you would understand.

Anyway, this all does loop back to the book, The Fat Chick Works Out! I haven’t entirely forgotten about it. Chapter 6 is all about getting the proper health care you need to be the best, healthiest you…which can be especially hard for us larger folks or those with chronic health conditions. So there! I’ve come full circle and back to the point of this whole blog series. I think…


About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.