This week, Bare Necessities certified Bra Fit Expert Mette opens up about her on-again, off-again relationship with the gym. Weight-wise, she’s not where she wants to be, but if something’s got to give, it’s for sure not going to be time spent with her family—or her nightly glass of wine—and, at this moment, she’s 100 percent okay with that.
“I’ve had a slow metabolism since I was 13. Apparently, I started a trend, because we have no history of hypothyroid issues. My whole family is thin and can eat whatever they want without gaining weight. Not me.
When I was younger, I was more active, plus I was on medications to manage my thyroid. I’m 5’6”, and the sweet spot for me is right around 150 pounds.
The weight gain started around the time I was trying to conceive. I gained 10 or 15 pounds on the expectation that I would be having a child and could eat whatever I wanted. I thought the weight would just drop off when the baby came. It took a year of trying before I got pregnant with my son. I gained 55 pounds and was at 203 when I gave birth. It took a while for the weight to come off. I got pregnant again five years later. I gained 23 pounds with my daughter and was only five pounds off my pre-pregnancy weight after she was born.”
“The next year, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died eight weeks later, in 2010. I ate to the point where I would feel sick just so I could feel something. I developed sleep apnea due to the weight gain. That diagnosis turned my life around; before I got it, I was a walking, talking zombie.
I absolutely despise exercising. I’ve been off and on that wagon so many times. I keep a gym membership even though I would never go just so I wouldn’t lose my introductory rate.
It’s been seven years now, and I’ve been on this rollercoaster of knowing what I need to do and to eat that’s crashing right into my mom guilt: The kids get home at 3:30 PM and I get home at 6, so am I really going to take an hour to go to the gym, then cook dinner at 8? My husband’s schedule is very unpredictable, so to plan exercise is difficult because every night is different.
I love my job, but it’s very sedentary. I’ve gained 20 pounds in the two-and-a-half-years I’ve been here. I refused to go up a clothing size for so long; the other day, I bought the size I never wanted to buy.
I know a lot of women struggle with the same thing. Just accept who you are right now. Don’t think about what your size will be six months from now.”
“I met Kathy here at Bare Necessities about a year ago. She became my boss, and we became fast friends. She has also had weight issues, so we decided to share 30-minute personal training sessions. I’m too intimidated by classes—the people always seem like they’ve been going forever and they’re so good, I can’t keep up; I feel clumsy. It’s so easy to give up when you’re not feeling confident.
Our trainer, Kevin, was good with starting out not too punishingly—pain turns me off from ever going again. That appointment is what I need, it forces me to show up. I would say to myself, Kevin depends on me. Kathy depends on me. So Kathy and I slowly got into the habit of working out two nights a week after work.
Thirty minutes wasn’t terrible for my schedule, and we did it for seven months, but it turned into a money thing: Do the kids get braces, or do I keep going to the gym? I know exercise is great for me, but it was a no-brainer. It’s a lot of money!
Also, I never really lost any weight. Sure, my energy skyrocketed, and I felt stronger—it’s amazing to think how I went from exhausted on that first day to doing burpees and squats without running out of breath—but for some reason, it didn’t do enough for me. Had I seen more dramatic weight loss, I would’ve sold my soul to keep going.
On the weekends, Mama’s going to town. I love wine too much; I live for delicious food. We do eat healthily, so there’s that. The irony is that my husband lives at the gym. It actually ends up working against me because seeing how easy he makes it look makes me frustrated that I don’t find the same satisfaction in working out. I don’t get that runner’s high; the elliptical is just where I hang my clothes before eventually giving it away.
Changing your life is a big deal, and you have to be ready to work for it. My weight is always on my mind, but I’ll worry about it later. I’m not willing to give up the things I need to give up to achieve what I want to achieve. I’m not there right now, but it’s never too late. One day, I’ll make my life about me again. We set a great example for our kids in a lot of ways. If my big vice is enjoying wine and my family, I’m okay with that. I love myself, and I’m doing the best I can.”
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.