Based in Frome, somerset, #fitMess is a blog by Joanna Beale. Her posts draw on her work as a personal trainer, as well as her own personal past experience of significant obesity.  Her general focus is overall wellness and body positivity.

Taking a breath

A lot of people smoke. A lot of people try to give up smoking. A lot of people succeed; some do not. Some keep trying, some do not. The point of this post is to try to help you if you're struggling. 

You are not a bad person if you're a smoker and you have not failed at life of you've not yet succeeded at giving up. But for fuck's sake, please fucking keep trying. Keep trying like your fucking life depends on it. You know it's not good for you, but it's harrrrd. Yeah, well, lots of things are hard. You might put on weight? You actually think a few pounds is worse than dying a fucking horrifically slow, prolonged, smoking-related death? Do you really believe that your existence in society is going to be more enjoyable as a thin person relying on a machine to breathe? 

Have you ever had a moment when you haven't been able to catch your breath? It's terrifying. Knowing the air is there but not being able to breathe it. Now imagine watching your child in that situation, or your sibling, partner, mother or father. Think about how it would make you feel not to be able to help them in any way. Think about the things you'd want to say to them and then please just say them to your fucking self. You can give up, but you're going to need to try. 

This is a picture of my mum.

She's in severe acute respiratory failure. a machine is helping her breathe. That sounds ok, doesn't it? It means there are tubes from just above her hips on both sides, inserted up her arteries into her chest, connected to a machine, taking over the work of her lungs. There's a feeding tube down her throat. There is a bank of syringes automatically delivering all the medicine keeping her alive, at the maximum dosages. There is a cocktail of sedatives keeping her in a medically induced coma in the hope that her body will get the rest it needs to recover. What isn't in the picture is the new machine that's now cleaning her blood as her kidneys began to fail. More tubes carry the waste from her body. She cannot be moved. She cannot speak. She cannot breathe for herself. There are more lucid moments when it is clear she hears and she understands, and they are the moments when you feel your heart break. Every time I leave the bedside I wonder if it will be the last time I see her. I reread her last text message about how she'll be in touch when she has news, knowing I'm now the one contacting everyone to update them. All of these lives, waiting, frightened to hear the worst. Everyone grasping at hopes, trying to interpret anything at all as a Good Sign.

So, when you tell me how hard it is to give up, let's take a moment to actually fucking examine what is so difficult in this equation. When you tell me you can't face putting on 5lbs, why don't you come watch my mum in intensive care losing weight every fucking day. When you worry you'll be in a bad temper, let's examine how challenging a bit of a strop is, compared with spending hours, days, weeks with no movement, no speech, and worst of all, no prognosis.

I fucking know you can give up smoking. I'd really like you to do it today.  

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Fragile moments

Blink