I am wild crazy partying fool, living life on the edge. This is why I spent my Saturday evening at the gym. Woo yeah! My sister came with me this time. We plugged our headphones into the machines and huffed and puffed along and watched the drivel that passes for Saturday night television.
The gym was practically empty so I had one of the treadmills where you can see yourself in the mirror. Well you can see your head and shoulders, and your legs, but your middle is concealed by the front of the treadmill. That suited me fine as my middle is the bit of my bod I find least pleasant to look at. Hehe.
It was strange being there, back on them cardio machines after all these years. When my sister and I started our weight loss campaigns way back in 2001 we’d head off to the gym at 7 o’clock most weeknights, as soon as Big Brother was finished. At first I could only walk 10 minutes on the treadmill then I’d plop down on the stationery bike and pedal for another ten minutes as I read Vogue or Cosmo so I could erode my self esteem while eroded my thighs.
I remember the first time I got on the elliptical machine, I was down to about 130 kilos (286lb) by then. I could barely manage five minutes. Puff puff puff. I looked across at the mirrors and saw my face glowing tomato red, my giant trackpants struggling to contain my voluminous arse. I just have this perfect picture in my mind of how I looked at that moment, more so how I felt. It was pure bloody hatred combined with overwhelming overwhelmed-ness about the enormity of trying to become less enormous. Yes, I know, me speak good English.
Anyway, I compared that memory to how I felt about what I saw now. I was thankful for the concealed stomach area but I was happy with what I saw. My face has a nice glow of sweat without being that special Call The Ambulance shade of red. Sure, it’s a body that could benefit from further weight loss and exercise, but I was more excited by the fact I was at the gym and making it RUN. Sure it was five minutes but I never, ever thought in a million years I could get this body to do that at all, let alone do it and enjoy it. I felt so proud, so fucking happy to be alive and active and not at home alone with 2 litres of ice cream and a spoon.
One thing I did notice, however, is that I run like a dickhead. I don’t know where my feet were going but it wasn’t one in front of the other in an orderly fashion, I was all over the shop! I took the opportunity to focus on my form, keeping my shoulders back and getting a decent stride going. Running on the treadmill isn’t ideal but I am glad I did it so I could see what I was doing. Now when I’m next out on the mean streets I can look less of a turkey. Maybe.