Friday, May 16, 2008

Wii would like to play . . .

Okay so this really cool blog, Three Kid Circus (that's a link, btw) is having a contest. All you have to do? Tell your most embarrasing, humiliating, fitness purchase stories. Yeah. That's all. Humilitate yourself in front of the three 86,240 people that read my blog every day. Yeah. Kinda like Dr. Phil only in a blog. And without the "How's that workin' for ya?" zingers. And in return? She's giving away a Wii console and that Wii Fit thing. Like THAT's going to work after 49-and-nine-twelfths years of couch potato-dom. But hey, I need another dust collector motivator to exercise, and this one really looks torturous fun.

Anyway, here is my Most Embarrasing Fitness Story. It's not really a "purchase" per say, but we did purchase the gym membership, so here goes.

A couple of years ago, Bill and I decided it would be really painful cool to join a gym. So we did. And we purchased some sessions with a personal trainer. He was like 12 years old. And he wanted to do all these fitness measurements and crap. And I told him not no but HELL no you are not measuring my body fat; I know I'm fat and that's all you need to know. He said that it is good to benchmark so you know when you're making progress. Uh, no. I don't think so. You are NOT touching me with those caliper-things. Oh no. Step away from the calipers, and no one gets hurt. This is one of those guys who has like .6% body fat and has never had a weight problem in his life. One of those people who tells you "Just don't eat so much" when you ask for advice on how to lose weight. The kind who needs to be taken out and shot. With chocolate.

Anyway, I digress.

I am rather overweight. I am also rather tall, so I can hide my overweight to a certain degree (like to the degree that everyone knows I'm fat but are still shocked when I tell them exactly how overweight I am). But when you're naked? There's absolutely no hiding anything. Every cookie, every little Twinkie, every Hershey's chocolate bar is out there for all to see. And naked you are in a gym locker room.

So being naked in a gym locker room is like being transported 30-something years into the past. All the old panic bubbbled over as I stepped into that sweat-sock, steamy-sweaty-moldy smelling place. I shook my head at myself, telling myself that everyone is WAY-Y-Y-Y-Y more mature than high school, and that this locker room will be totally different than the hellhole of mockery that high school was. Even though I wasn't fat then. At all. But I was a geek, a dork, a band nerd. And somehow the smells were evocative of that self-esteem-debiliatating time in my life. Can you relate?!?

So anyway, when you first arrive at the gym and show your ID, and get the "look" from the anorexic 20-something bitch young lady that says, "it's about time you got your fat ass into a gym." And she puts your car keys onto a hook, and hands you a key to a locker.

I don't know if it is purposeful cruelty, but why, oh why in the name of all things holy do they give you a locker that is right next to someone else, and there are 425 empty lockers all across the room? And the person they give you a locker next to? Is like Miss Universe or something. So you're changing into your workout clothes, and you get that look from her, too -- that "its about time you got your fat ass into the gym" look. So you go work out, and come back in sweating and panting, and everyone else in the locker room is looking at you as you take off your clothes for the shower. Suddenly you feel like E.F. Hutton as the room comes to a complete standstill. OMG could it be true?!? Can anyone REALLY have that much belly flap??

And that was the first day! It was then that I remembered why I hate gyms. But that truly is not the most embarrasing thing to happen from the purchase of this gym membership.

It all came to a head one bright summer day. My husband and I had worked out, and then were going to change into our bathing suits and take a quick dip in the pool. He went into the men's locker room, and I into the torture chamber women's locker room. Keep in mind that this was mid-summer, and the gym has swimming lessons for kids. And generally? The moms have the kids with them in the locker room, both male and female, and while there is supposed to be an age limit for taking opposite sex kids into the locker rooms there were definitely some kids in there who were pushing it.

At any rate, as I was changing into my swimsuit, a little girl about four or five years old just sat there and stared at me the whole time. I am talking full-on, wide-eyed, disbelieving stare. She didn't take her eyes off my hot fat bod for one second while I changed. Nor did her mother, who noticed she was staring, try to stop her from staring. But the lack of teaching manners to children by parents these days is another post entirely. So, as I was pulling up (yanking, really) the straps on my bathing suit, she ran over to her mom (who was, naturally, disgustingly fit and thin) and whispered VERY LOUDLY, "Mommy, that lady's FAT!"

Well, duhhhhh. Not like she is telling me anything new. It was the snickers from nearby ladies that really got me. Oh yeah, isn't she cute; yeah it's cute as long as she's not saying it about YOU. I almost died of embarrassment on the spot.

I never went back to the gym again.

And that is my most embarrassing fitness story.


Jenny said...

Oh man! The sad thing here is that it would be considered rude for us to retort - Yeah, well, you're ugly and your momma didn't teach you manners!

But it would be fun. :) Thanks so much for entering my contest!

Karen said...

My husband and I, many years ago, went to a gym to sign up and were put off by the disdainful attitude of the people running the place. The last people welcome at a gym are those that need it the most!

Anyway, as a fellow middle-aged fat woman, I sympathize with the indignity.

The reason I do yoga is that it's the only kind of exercise I actually enjoy. I positively loathe anything aerobic. Still, you don't see me showing up to yoga classes. I hike my ample booty up into Downward Dog in the privacy of my own home, thank you very much!

Since I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, I've been making a real effort to eat healthy -- and I've lost 30 pounds over the last year and a half. But I could have never done it if I focused on weight loss alone -- I only step on the scale once in a while. Fortunately, I like veggies, and can survive on salsds and stir frys. I've cut way down on meat, and eat more whole grains.

But I do indulge in the good stuff sometimes . . . What's life if you can't have chocolate? (Just don't tell my doctor. :-))

If you're going to get into shape, you have to do it in a way that doesn't make you miserable, or it just won't work.

I should make it clear that the loss of 30 pounds has not made me fashionably slim -- that's a practical impossibility, I think. I'm just less fat, which is better for my health which is probably all I can ask for at this stage of my life.

As for the mouthy five-year-old -- sometimes little kids just are making an observation and don't realize how bad it sounds. Worse is the behavior of the surrounding adults, who ought to know better.

Keep your chin(s)up! :-)

Love, Karen B.