Craft

Getting fit, knitter style

Recently I realised I’d put on weight. Now, I’m not the body-shaming type, and this in itself would not be a problem. However, if you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog you might recall back in 2011 when I fell very sick with IIH and had to postpone going to Canada by three months while I recovered.

IIH (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) is when the cerebro-spinal fluid in my skull stops draining properly, and though they don’t know for sure what causes it, they’re pretty certain it has to do with weight. I can confirm that I lost a lot of weight at the time and kept it off for a long time, and I have suffered no further symptoms since. Realising that I’d gained so much weight without noticing startled me, because I really don’t want to have those huge blind spots in my vision again, and I really,Β really could do without ever having a lumbar puncture ever again.

Don’t click on that last link if you’re squeamish about spines and/or giant needles like I am.

As a result, I’m back at the gym. I bought myself a fitbit with my birthday money last month and have been more careful about what I eat, since I was starting to binge on chocolate again (god, I love chocolate). I’m not super strict about it but I really don’t want to get sick again so this is the best course of action.

What does any of this do with knitting, I hear you ask?

There’s a certain patience to being a knitter that I find translates well into working out. When I’m knitting I don’t always love what I’m doing, but I keep going. I continue stitch by stitch by stitch until I get to my goal (a finished object, most of the time!). With working out, I feel I engage the same part of my brain; I don’t want to be working out, exactly, but I keep going minute by minute by minute because I know the end goal will be worth it.

Have you ever felt anything like this? Do you engage similar parts of your personality – determination, stubbornness, creativity – to things outside of craft?

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18 thoughts on “Getting fit, knitter style

  1. Congrats on starting a new commitment to self! I hate going to the gym! I always feel like I am punishing myself because working out makes me feel like a failure or that I really don’t care about my body because I like to eat. I realized that I had to find something I love to do that I don’t feel as if I am actually exercising. I do yoga at a studio and I feel so accepted there and more accepting of my body and now I finally don’t force myself to exercise. Be well on your journey! I have lost 35 lbs since January πŸ™‚

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    1. Awesome, I’m so glad you found something that feels good to you. Yoga was one of the first things I did too but I never did it with other people, just in my front room. It’s so good though. Yeah, it’s a complicated emotional thing when you’re working out – especially if you feel you’re forcing yourself. I still have a knee-jerk reaction to people asking if I go to the gym to lose weight because I was bigger for a long time before I got sick and I spent a lot of energy training myself to love my body before I had to change it!

      Congratulations on the 35lbs, that’s a lot! πŸ˜€

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  2. As I know you are a reader and understand the meditative qualities of knitting, you might look at the book, “When the Chocolate Runs Out” by Lama Yeshe who more than enjoyed chocolate!

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  3. Good for you for being focused, I’m afraid I fall into the ‘easily demotivated’ camp, maybe I need your knitting perspective to keep me going πŸ™‚

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  4. I had to laugh when I first read this, we seem to be on similar paths at the moment with the tattoos and now trying to get fitter πŸ™‚ I’ve been actively trying since the beginning of June and have lost 23kg so far, thanks to Jamie Oliver’s super foods and forty minutes of exercise a day. I have never thought about it before but yeah I can see the need to plough on regardless in both aspects. I certainly use a lot of determination and creative license when I plan activities for my guide unit. Good luck with your fitness regime πŸ™‚

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    1. Wow, congratulations, you’re doing amazing! I don’t know how much I weigh so don’t know how much I’ve lost, but I’ve shrunk two inches on my hips since I started working out, taking into account that I was bloated at the time of first measurement (so probably I’ve lost more like 1.5 inches total).

      It’s funny how we seem to be walking similar paths lately. πŸ™‚

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  5. I love this little post, and you’re question so thoughtful. Knitting really does have many life lessons but I have never put the mindset it cultivates together with exercise. Very nice and good luck to you! I hope you do get to make it to Canada one day!

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