The lovely Nicole was talking about women’s locker rooms and the antics folk get up to, like blowdrying their nether regions. Nice! It reminded me of my last trip to London when I accompanied by sister to her Nice Gym for a Body Pump class. After this past year of solo gymming, I’d forgotten how great it is to have someone to chat to, ie. someone with whom you can complain about the pain and make bitchy comments.
I’d also forgotten what my body looks like in gruelling motion, since of course there’s no mirrors at my own gym. I’d forgotten what bits stick out and what bits wobble. Hmmm. But I was also surprised by how much taller and slimmer I looked since the year before! My face was leaner, my legs had narrowed, and the hips had finally shrunk some. Holy crap!
But then I realised I’d just found one particularly Skinny Mirror. The bastards. Don’t you hate that!? Still, all the other "normal" mirrors showed a discernible, if not quite as dramatic, difference. Bah.
Anyway, my sister’s gym had quite the fancy shmancy change rooms. I’d forgotten all about gym change rooms. I always go straight home from mine, as the crowds of naked toddlers and mothers yelling, JUST PUT YOUR PANTS ON! make me feel panicky. So it had been a good twenty kilos ago since I had last undressed in these circumstances. All around me chicks were stripping off with great aplomb, slapping moisturizer onto tanned thighs, or happily fluffing their pubes with a towel. I took off my shoes and socks then froze.
It was then I realised with all my sprouting off about my newfound positive body image and happiness, I was still a trembling prude. My sister was done in a flash, wrapped in a towel and ready to hit the showers, but I had only just psyched myself up to take off my t-shirt.
"Don’t worry about it," sis reassured me, "No one cares!"
Well yes, true, yet I still felt reluctant to unveil my pasty flesh. I huddled in the corner with my head low and shoulders rounders, my traditional Fat Girl Hiding stance. But since there is no practical way of removing bra and undies while covering up with a towel at the same time, (how do you secure the towel? with your teeth?!) I just had strip and be done with it.
Once showered I felt a lot better. I padded back to the locker in a towel and paused only briefly to frown at my pudgy arms in the mirror. It’s a good body, it does what it’s supposed to, why be self-conscious?
But then as I started to dress, who should saunter in and sit down on the bench opposite me but the Body Pump instructor! She got a water bottle from her locker then just sat there, for what seemed like an eternity, sipping her water, all of ONE METRE directly behind my naked arse.
I looked at my sister. We held alarmed eyebrow conversations. What is she doing? I don’t know. Is she going to go soon? Doesn’t look like it. I don’t want to get changed now! Me either, and I ain’t no prude. She is RIGHT THERE near my butt! I know, it’s too weird!
It was just rather unsettling, being naked near ones fitness instructor. It’s not a position you expect to be in. I thought they’d go to a separate after class, a private temple to have their beautiful muscles kneaded by chiselled boys in loincloths. And of course I had brought the most hideous grey bra and bright purple Bonds Cotton Undies with the word PURPLE written all over them. Yes Instructor, I thought; not only am I flabby and uncoordinated, I have no dress sense!
In the end I held the towel around me by holding it on my chest with my chin, then did a sort of wriggle/slide motion to pull my undies on without the towel dropping. I knew I was being bloody ridiculous, but once you start these things you just have to see them through.
Afterwards I had a big plateful of scrambled eggs and bacon for brunch, which were devoured without a trace of self-consciousness. I just operate so much better with clothes on!
There was no Wednesday Weigh-In this week. I woke up feeling not quite right. Hideously bloated and blah. Perhaps it was the Pumpkin & Lentil soup I’d eaten the night before. Okay maybe it was the three bowls of Pumpkin & Lentil soup I’d eaten the night before. If you want to be picky.
I toddled off to work and proceeded as normal until after lunch when my stomach turned to lead. I was on the verge of unzipping my trousers right there at my desk, my stomach was THAT swollen and painful. Then after five trips to the bathroom in a half an hour, just sitting there with my enormous grumbling belly wondering if anything would ever happen, I told my boss I needed to go home.
All I had to do was walk ten minutes to the train station. I made it across the street before I had to turn back and run for the bathrooms. Twenty minutes later I ventured out again, got a third of the way before throwing up violently in some bushes. I did not trust my body to get to the station, let alone to not errupt during the train journey, or make the 20 minute walk home after that. So I shuffled back to work and told my colleagues mournfully, "I couldn’t make it!".
Until recently I’d bragged about how I’d not vomited since 1992. Then last October while in Brisbane, my record was shattered after a very very painful night on the tiles when my body reacted violently to a Hungry Jacks Value Meal. We’d flown into Brisbane very late and the HJ was the only thing open near our hotel. I saw the Double Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe (may not be exact title) up on the board and remembered that I used to like those back in the day. You know the days I’m talking about. The days when I’d eat two of them for a snack and not even flinch. It didn’t take long for my body to tell me those days were long gone!
Anyway, Wednesday was like that all over again. I’d never felt so wimpy and pathetic, there on my knees in front of an office loo. But my colleagues were nice about it. My boss took me to the first aid room then got one of my other colleagues to give me a ride home. I was so petrified I’d spew all over his car but luckily I held on through peak hour traffic. I spent the rest of the night feeling sorry for myself and hoping my stomach would deflate. Fun fun fun! So no weigh-in.