The Scales of Delusion

The problem with holidays is not so much the holiday itself but when you’re back home and desperately clinging to that lovely Holiday Feeling.

In other words, being lazy and eating like a pork.

I spoke too soon in last Wednesday’s entry. I had the week off work so after Amsterdam all I did was write, sleep, read, watch telly and eat toast. No exercise. Not many vegetables.

On Friday I went to Edinburgh and decided to take myself out to lunch. I’ve never done that before and it seemed like a glamourous sort of thing to do. I paced around peering into cafes looking for the perfect spot, but in the end I just went for a gigantic Hawaiian beef burger and a chocolate thickshake from Wannaburger, because I’ve been there a million times and knew it would be good. I only ate two-thirds of the burger, which astounded me coz normally I would cram in that beefy bacony pineapplely cheesy goodness until my jeans exploded. Way to go, listening to my stomach!

Then on Saturday night Dr G and I drove out to Anstruther and ate fish and chips by the sea. It was dark and rainy. Ahh, the dying dregs of a Scottish summer.

They had a sign in the window, "Did you know that our fish and chips have less fat and calories than a Whopper Meal from Burger King?"

Now how’s that for a marketing angle? Fish and Chips – Not Quite As Bad For You As Fast Food!

. . .

So I wouldn’t say I’ve completely gone off the rails, I’ve just had a slight… diversion. But I’m feeling mega-blobby and need to refocus, dammit. I desperately want to blast off these last ten pounds. This won’t happen while parked on the couch!

I went to the Girl Gym last night. For the first time since my induction, a month ago. Fark! I had been doing Cathe DVDs at home now and then, but the overall theme has been: Slackarsedness.

So I got on the bike then did upper body weights. It was so strange to do exercise with mirrors! Normally I’m at home performing for the bed, wardrobe and pot plants. We don’t have a full-length in our flat and there wasn’t any at my old gym. I actually did a cartoon double-take while using the tricep press-down machine thingy coz I didn’t recognise my own butt and hips. They were a lot smaller than I thought. My stomach has shrunk too! But another five kilos or so and it would be much less pokey-outy! All the more incentive to get movin’.

(Incidentally, I barely recognised my posture either! It really has improved. Finally. No more rounded shoulders! The physio would be proud.)

The Girl Gym is bloody hilarious and surreal. Every other gym I’ve seen on a Monday night was heaving with sweaty bodies, everyone flushed with early-week resolve… but last night I didn’t see a single pink cheek. I was the only one in the room not reading a magazine, no exaggeration. The other ladies seemed to be in a very leisurely mood. There was even a woman reading while using the leg press machine! I’d never seen someone read while doing weights before. She got so absorbed in Hello magazine that she didn’t even pretend to do the exercise after awhile, she just sat there flipping through the pages.

Maybe it’s not always like that, but I don’t mind. There’s no fighting over machines or dumbells, in fact I only saw one pair of dumbells used in the hour I was there, those dinky wee pink plastic ones. Best of all, since noone was sweating noone needed the change rooms, so I had a leisurely shower and washed my hair. We only have a bath in our wee flat, so it so nice not to rinse out shampoo with a teacup. Happy days!

Most brilliant of all at this gym are its Scales of Delusion. They said I weighed a good five kilos lighter than I do on my home scale and every other scale I know! Methinks they are designed to trick patrons into believing that reading a six-month old copy of Cosmopoliation while cycling two miles per hour has serious health benefits, so they’ll keep coming back. So last night I stepped on and off them about seventeen times, just marvelling at seeing the dial at 75 kilos. Holy crap, I wish that was for real.

Overall I liked the Girl Gym experience. It was nice to have a special House of Exercise to go to. Having a water bottle and a locker key and a miniature bottle of shampoo all makes me feel focused. At the very least, I’ll keep going for the showers!

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27 thoughts on “The Scales of Delusion

  1. You’d love my old University Gym here in California. Girls wearing Juicy Coture workout gear, with blowdried ponytails and full makeup. Not many of the females I saw looked like they were even breaking a sweat. Lots of tiny 1lb weights and half hearted cycling. I got seriously funny looks for being pink and sweaty and out of puff. How UN-COOL of me!

  2. We should join flats. I’ve got a shower but no bath!

    Defo need to get a ‘serious’ date in the diary for some extreme gyming.

  3. The fish’n’chip comment made me laugh.

    Our ‘lovely’ chippie (underneath the ‘gorgeous’ Hammersmith flyover) serves their fish’n’chips in a bag which proudly declares:
    FISH’N’CHIPS: THE HEALTHIEST MEAL FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

    I kid you not. The first time we bought chips there we pissed ourselves laughing. Now we go there whenever we want to kid ourselves we’re eating a healthy meal when we really know we’re just eating a heap of grease, carbohydrate and salt!

  4. Are you going to complain to the gym management that the scales are weighing light?? Heeeeeeel!! I bet nobody has done that before…..ever…..anywhere on the planet!

    I loved the fish and chips comment too, especially since Burger King is well-known for having just about the most fat-drenched fries of all the fast food joints.

    But I must say I like the way that fish and chip shop owner thinks. What a lovely surprise to find out that fish and chips are practically a health food!

  5. Hi! I ran across your blog and loved it- you’re a hilarious writer. I wish I could join that gym you speak of – maybe it wouldn’t make me feel so guilty for stopping in the middle of a workout to give my 100% attention to the TV. Oh, and the leg press machine is actually very comfy for that as well. Ü Good luck with everything!!

  6. Hi! I ran across your blog and loved it- you’re a hilarious writer. I wish I could join that gym you speak of – maybe it wouldn’t make me feel so guilty for stopping in the middle of a workout to give my 100% attention to the TV. Oh, and the leg press machine is actually very comfy for that as well. Ü Good luck with everything!!

  7. By “pot plants” you mean “houseplants in containers”, right? Or is your wee flat much more multi-purpose than any of us ever suspected?

    I lose literally half a pound during my workouts – that’s how much sweat I’m flinging into the universe. I don’t think I’d fit into girl gym!

  8. i like the sound of your gym scales, i would LOVE to get on those… it reminds me of my sisters bathroom scales, they always said i was 105kg even though the WW put me at 112+, and yes, i did start just getting on her scales and not others, i lived in denial for a good 6 months! 😉

    you’re so close now, but dont’ hit the panic button, you’ll get there in time

  9. Girl gym would hate me – I love to sweat at the gym and I’d be dripping all over their equipment. Still it’d be great to not have to fight for dumbells!

    The thing that gets me is people reading mags on the treadmill – and NOT falling off. I could never do that.

  10. I’m a total sweat-flinger so Girl Gym would probably excommunicate me! There’s a totally posh gym here in town that I can get a free 1 year membership to and I won’t because that’s the gym where everyone goes to be “seen.” I’m not into the meat-market crowd! I’ll take my utilitarian, sweaty gym with the treadmills that are half broken-down any day!

  11. I belong to the old chook group who pretend we’re working out on the steppers and gossip up the back. Actually we’re on our way to circuit or step class and have time to kill. I wish my gym would get some more up to date mags. I came across an old issue of Tattler and thought what an up your a*rse magazine that is.

    Enjoy your new gym.

  12. I go to a girl gym over here in Oz and I don’t care what people think when I start drenching everyone around me while I’m running on the treadmill.

    I paid my money so I’ve gotta get my money’s worth I say!!

    They have Body Attack classes too and I dare anyone to tell me that they don’t sweat while doing it!! Smells like a brothel afterwards, all sweat and cheap perfume!!

  13. I just don’t GET the whole reading-while-exercising thing. How can you work hard while trying to focus on tiny wee words?

  14. HaHa, last time I read on my treadmill, I fell off, all the girls in my womens only gym, peed themselves!!!

  15. That’s too funny – girl gyms drive me nutty for all the reasons you listed above. Well except the showers. I do love that they supplied shampoos and deoderants and stuff. LoL LoL LoL

  16. The only machines I can read on are the exercise bikes – I used to get the two free newspapers that happened to be on offer outside the gym and sit there and read them because I got so bored otherwise.

    The crosstrainers, thankfully, have TVs in front of them. Hee.

    I’ve seen very few girly-girls at my gym – most women, even if they’re taking it easy on the weights, do get flushed and sweaty – but I was asked recently if I could swap crosstrainers halfway through my workout so these two girls could talk to each other.

  17. marla baby! i meant houseplants in pots, yes. we call em pot plants in australia and i have had many a strange look over here when i said pot plants 🙂

  18. At the gym here in france nobody is lifting a finger, just lounging and reading mags…and thats the blokes! The women wear full make up in the stretch class, I had to leave it all felt too 70s. When we lived in Germany the gym was very modern and everybody worked hard but after was a hoot, everyone sat at the cafe having a beer and a smoke…I love the Germans.

  19. hi there diet girl,

    have been reading your blog for a while now and want you to know that you rock. your journey and honesty has been rivetting and inspiring.

    my husband and I recently joined a new gym and unlike the girl gym you have described, i have discovered a whole new level of suffering. i am feeling a little tender after my first boxercise last night.

    speaking of Anstruther, the Cellar restaurant is a must. my husband and I got married in St Andrew’s last year (we are Aussie, go figure) and we dined at the Cellar on the big day. a tad exy but well worth the splurge.

    keep up the good work. and remember, what’s a pane au chocolat between friends?

    Sarah x

  20. The things a (super) girl won’t suffer through for a good shower, hey?
    You’re such a good read, dg, have you been getting too much of your ‘pot’ plants?
    LMAO at girls’ gyms – the one I went to in Qld had a spa with bird songs and waterfall noises in the background…
    Hayley

  21. PS – gotta laugh at the scales, is that like going into a ‘fat girl’ clothes shop and finding that you are actually a size 16 instead of a 20?

  22. At my old gym there were a lot of girls in nice, shiny, new spandex walking around, very slowly mind you so as not to break a sweat, trying to attract attention. I hated that place so much I never bothered to go. The new gym has a much friendlier, family feel and most everyone goes there to sweat. Sometimes people look like they rolled right out of bed. I like that. No pressure to be all glammed up but people do sweat so when I’m pouring after an hour on the treadmill I feel like I fit right in.