HOPE…

I am the biggest person in the gym.
I am 5’4 and well over 350+ lbs. I work out in a gym that is jammed packed with washer board stomachs, well- toned thighs and muscular broad backs. Every morning I lay on the side of my bed and repeat over and over, “Get up. Go get it. You can do it.” Often times I’m hunched over because my legs lock up on me. I make my way towards the bathroom and continue the intimate pep talk with my body.
“Let’s go knees.”
“Wake up heart.”
I suffer from chronic pain in both knees which also began to shift and spread to my hips and lower back. My orthopedic doctor told me that weight loss and knee replacement surgeries are the only thing that would save me.
“Why live in pain? Weight loss surgery is quick and effective. I think you should consider it.”
And for a little while I did. I sat through the consultations, listened and learned during the group meetings and cried my eyes out on the way home. All the while that little voice in the back of my head silently whispered, “There’s another option but you are going to have to work your ass off for it!”

I decided four months ago that I would listen to that little voice that is now booming. I promised myself that I was going to give everything I had to adjust the way I ate and how I moved.(I’m still struggling with the nutritional aspect). I decided that I would give zero fucks about what anyone thought when I walked into any gym or hobbled my ass around an outdoor track. I decided that I would walk with my head held high and push past my own doubt, past my own fears, past all of the stories that I drilled into my own head. We are our greatest enemies because those stories were all lies.
Not one person has cracked a joke or laughed, in fact on the day’s I go missing they often come up and ask, “Where have you been?”
My legs have not snapped in half. They’re actually getting stronger!
I have not fainted or flew off of the treadmill like a bat out of hell. I’m able to walk, talk and hold a conversation. I can walk around the block without having to worry about stopping. I can walk my dog without needing to take a break. I can walk up a hill and down the steps! My knees may never be at 100% but I have gained so much confidence in knowing that I am fighting for a better me.
The physical pain at times can be overbearing but I have learned how to stretch, recover and keep pushing.
Humiliation has now manifested into HOPE!

I am the biggest person in the gym and I am pretty damn proud of it.

**Four months ago I could barely walk 10 minutes without collapsing. I broke my overall record today…75 minutes. How about that! 🙂

About The Author

Hope McGill grew up in New York City’s famed neighborhood of Harlem. She began writing at the age of sixteen, but her love of literature began as a child. Reading has always been a means of escape for her. Curling up with a good book helped her to explore the world and meet fascinating people. As she grew older, her appetite for reading grew immensely and the books became more diverse. She began to read books such as, J. California Cooper’s, Life Is Short but Wide, Treasure E Blue’s, Harlem Girl Lost, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, as well as the classic, Manchild In The Promised Land by Claude Brown.