Bend It Like

Fish is good for you, omega-3’s and all that. I’m always trying to eat more fish. Sardines, tuna, salmon, unnamed white stuff in crumbs from the depths of the freezer.

But every single time I eat fish, I am always surprised that it tastes… fishy. Like my goldfishesque brain forgets every single time that it’s going to taste like that. I’m expecting a certain flavour, something not as strong, more savoury. More like chicken. Why can’t it taste like chicken?

Every single bloody time it’s a shock to me. Does anyone else have this problem?

So I have started Body Balance classes again. I did one class, back in October 2000 when I first joined the gym. I was around 140 kilos at the time. I toddled up in my too-tight size 26 track pants and a baggy t-shirt. BB is has moves from yoga, tai chi, pilates and other body/mind palaver, set to music and designed for all levels of fitness. But it was too much for me. I just couldn’t do any of the moves. Couldn’t stretch or bend or whatever. I remember looking over at the mirrors at the side of the room. All I could see was me, a beached whale in an ocean of stick insects. I remember looking from my chins to my chest, there was just all this flesh, and whatever happened to my neck? And this great lifesaver of blubber around my middle, the thighs so wide. I stayed for the whole class but just struggled not to cry the whole time.

Afterwards I cried and cried in the car and my sister tried to confort me but I was in this horrible state. I just wanted to tear at my flesh and rip my hair out. Just confronted with my body like that, those mirrors, my inability to move – I couldn’t believe this was me, this is what I had become. It was as if I hadn’t noticed before.

When we got home I stared in the mirror again and I got so angry that I was just pounding my reflection with my fists and swearing and sobbing. Bloody hell. I can feel that anger again so easily, how I felt that day and so many days like it, just blind rage and disappointment and hopelessness.

After that I let my gym membership rot for a good six months, gained almost 20 kilos, before finally getting my arse into gear. It still scares me to think how much hate and anger I had, entirely directed onto myself. Eek.

Three years later back in Body Balance class, I am bloody uncoordinated as ever. But I could do all the moves, more or less. I’ll get better over time. I came from the class feeling so mellow and relaxed, it was that beautiful high like after a dirty big orgasm, or a particularly good dessert. Hehe. This time I am going to stick with it, and will be able to bend like a pretzel if it kills me.

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