I recent started back to the gym. In order to get this going, my locally-owned gym, Fit For the King, allowed me to join by volunteering in their childcare there. I have to devote two hours a week to a dedicated childcare slot, and in return I get full-access to this awesome gym and its classes! Single Mom WIN!

You see, I had been to this gym years ago, when I was still in active abuse. I volunteered and worked out like a fiend, losing over 100 lbs. At first, when my body was larger, my then-husband thought that was cute and resourceful. As the weight started shedding off, as I went during lunch and afterwork on weekdays and in the AM on Saturdays, he started to get annoyed and jealous. “Who are you trying to get sexy for???” he would demand. Um, ME? Actually, I was trying to get healthy for myself, but that’s where I knew better than to “talk back.” It’s when I ignore my needs and stop exercising, because I am so busy taking care of others, that I gain my weight back.

After a while, he had an issue with me “volunteering.” I couldn’t really justify the monthly payment for it, so after constantly rescheduling and switching out my shifts, at his behest, I had to give it up. The volunteer coordinator was getting perturbed with me and my switching, asking me to stick to something or leave. I left, defeated and sad. I tried to keep up on my own, but he always made sure I had LOTS of things to do, aside from dinner, homework, kids’ baths, etc. I still would go on evening walks, around my own neighborhood, but he would shadow me in my own car, keeping his distance. Honestly, just where the heck did he think I was going and whom did he think I was meeting??? It’s a mile and half around my block, which I walked at 3 MPH. I was astonished that he thought that I wouldn’t notice my own car was tailing me every evening, at whatever time I left on my walk. REALLY??? Eventually, I just gave up. It was a pointless battle.

Needless to say, I did have another health scare and joined the Planet Fitness gym, losing 85 lbs, getting back down to my appropriate weight. I really couldn’t justify the cost, but it is literally right next to my house, so I didn’t have a choice. I also couldn’t afford NOT to go. I started getting up at 4 AM, when he did for his job, so I could go workout and not interfere with his or my kids’ schedules. I was lectured that “last time [I] neglected [my] duties” and would NOT do that again, under any circumstances. He would leave for work and I’d go to the gym. Unbeknownst to me, my then-husband had a friend (aka “flying monkey”) posted in the parking lot, with binoculars, watching me, reporting to my Abuser when I went in, that I did indeed exercise, and when I left. I caught him a few months into this “assignment.” I threatened to call the police and never saw him again. I did NOT confront my husband, but he knew, because he watched me when he could. The gym manager eventually did catch me as I was leaving from the tanning bed one afternoon, after work. She told me her concerns for me, as my Abuser was calling the gym asking about if I had clocked in and told them it was his RIGHT to know, because I was his wife and and known “cheater.” Needless to say, I was mortified! I was so grateful that she was worried about my safety!

So, I am back at FFTK, grateful to be here! I teared up as I signed my paperwork. This is important that I get my health back into check and keep it there. If I have to work, in order to workout, to make that possible, I will do so willingly. It’s THAT important! Also, it is on MY terms this time, and NO ONE else’s!

Love and light! Be well!