Internal Affairs

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.

23 thoughts on “Internal Affairs

  1. I have recently become horribly addicted to the $5 latte, and was getting them made with skim milk… and I became violently ill 3 times in two weeks before I made the connection. Since cutting out the skim milk I’ve been fine (although I switched to soy lattes, so it may be an all over dairy issue, but I eat cheese and ice cream with no troubles). Anyway, I would guess that skim milk is your cculprit!

  2. A few weeks ago I got sick like that. There’s a virus going around here that lasts for about 24 hours. My whole family got it. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  3. So funny! I supposed the instructor would go to a special locker room too, the one with the loincloth boys. Well, perhaps she is happy in the room with the mere mortals, where she can gaze at all the raw material for her classes. I call that “job security”! Also, maybe you should enter your upchucking story here:

  4. I don’t like to see ANYONE outside their realm. The aerobics instructor belongs on her little stage with her microphone taped mysteriously to her scantily clad body, the dentist belongs hovering over my open mouth, closed eyes and death-gripped chair arms and the doctor belongs behind a clipboard saying hmmmmm. No one should appear anywhere else where I’m about to be naked, or even when I’m fully clothed. Those people are partitioned off and cannot appear elsewhere in my life without causing serious disorientation.

  5. You poor thing. I remember one such an incident around 5 years ago when I had an instant reaction to a reheated chicken and pasta dish at work. I worked at a precut timber yard with all men and I had to walk about half a km over rounded stones in high boots to get to the toilet which was in an unused abandoned warehouse. There I stayed for what seemed like an eternity spewing and pooing my ring out!! I sympathise!!

  6. HAHAHA! I loved Debra’s comment! I agree.

    Isn’t it funny, I NEVER undressed in front of anyone, including my mother since I was about 4. It’s just me. There isnt shame, I just don’t like the feeling of being exposed in front of people. I wonder if that will change when I lose weight?

    You poor sausage. Being sick is yuck…. could you be up the duff? *grin*

  7. Oh, DG, I laughed yet felt so bad for you. Sorry for laughing! Really! Glad you’re feeling better now.

    And I’m with you on weird locker-room behaviour. Some people are just far too comfortable in their nakedness for their own (and my!) own good. Shudder.

  8. ooh beckie you naughty girl! If bagpipes and dg got up the duff they would have the cutest little chanters in the world ; P

    I was going to suggest the “you hold my towel, then I’ll hold yours” thing which is loved by fat girls in change rooms the world over, but you discovered the chin hold and that is just as effective!

    (Plus, when a sister holds your towel there is always that concern that maybe she will take revenge for you cutting her ponytail off when you were four, by taking the towel away at the crucial moment!)

  9. LOL i cant stop giggling about the changing room, even reading Nicole’s post with a big smile on my face heee Im just wondering how you guys go to the sauna? I suppose there are also women only nights but usually everyones all together naked walking through the change rooms to the sauna men & women. Or maybe im just crazy 😉

  10. Ha, ha your post makes me laugh. I can so relate to the changing room in the gym. I hate my flabby white ugly thighs and rolly stomach, so when I go to the gym straight after work and have to get changed I pull my trackies up underneath a skirt then whip off my top etc. Showering I have a big towel tucked around and pull knickers on etc under it. I am really self conscious and will never be comfortable with my body, even though I have lost tons of weight.

  11. You are too hilarious, I love it!!

    At my last visit to the public pools (mid last year I think) I actually complained to the staff about the children in the womens changing rooms – I had to strip off with two boys aged about 6-7 croched on the bench opposite me watching me through the partition!! Most unnerving!! Their mother was on the other side of the room happily getting dressed without caring that her two pervert sons were ogling all the other women in the room – gross!

  12. Urgh! Maybe she gets off on knowing what sort of personal hell her buff presence puts people through – so they’ll keep coming back to the class!

  13. Oh I hate vomiting. I have a huge phobia about vomiting in public. You poor thing. Still, I’d have weighed in after the chuck and taken advantage of it.

    Arrghh – we have to share the change room with the instructors at my gym. The worst though is if you get the wrong lockers (and I made sure I don’t any more) you get reflected in the mirrors where all the girls are doing their hair and makeup. Being naked in front of other naked people is one thing but being naked in front of clothed and groomed people is just wrong!

  14. Oh I don’t know. I think grey and purple are rather fetching 😀

    I am doing the whole strip in an open change room at the moment after swimming lessons. And yes, the room is full of children. Even mine. Who point at me when my pants are down and loudly exclaim “Mummy – where is your penis?”

    *sigh* I just tell them we have had that discussion before and if they want another pack of Ovaltinies they are not to ask me that again.

    Hope your stomach is feeling better 🙂

  15. Hilarious entry 😀

    But having minor difficulties to totally relate to the changing room episode; I guess the sauna culture does make a difference since here in Finland I´d say most people are quite comfy stripping in front of whoever people, at least the same gender. Of course it´s personal and I can´t speak for everyone. Still practically no one can avoid the naked sauna behaviour as a little child so I think it makes it easier to take the clothes off to be raised that way 🙂

    Luckily that´s not the situation everywhere, we would miss a helluva fun post! 😀

  16. Ooooh got so carried away by the other subject that I forgot to be sorry for your stomachy problems, THOSE I can relate to perfectly detailedy well! My stomach´s always been the “heel of Akhilles” for me (do you have that saying?! meaning the (only) weak point) and I´ve been through all the possible down sides including putting the hose into your stomach through your mouth to find out what´s wrong and about a dozen stomach flus. Phew thumbs up for not having one in a looooong time… ! Glad you´ve survived. <3

  17. I think everybody’s gettin’ sick right now. Pumpkin & Lentil soup sound sdelicious but I’m sure you’ll stay away from that for awhile. Feel better!

  18. I think everybody’s gettin’ sick right now. Pumpkin & Lentil soup sounds delicious but I’m sure you’ll stay away from that for awhile. Feel better!

  19. Your poor thing! I am SO there in the changing rooms with you girl; mismatched underwear and all! Mine tend to have ‘SUPER STRETCH’ printed all over it. o_0 And this is why I don’t have a gym membership and have amassed a mighty collection of Exercise DVDs.

    Take that, ye fit and tight instructors! Thou shall never again barge in our changing rooms again, else you will feel the wrath of the electronic box!

  20. Are you feeling better yet?

    There’s a definite north-south cultural divide on the amount of nudity that’s seemly in a changing room. I was rather startled when living in Oxford to find that people walked around sans swimsuit, instead of doing the towel-screened wriggling drill. (I’d encountered this abroad, but had put it down to uninhibited foreigners.) On the other hand, my boyfriend (English) was mildly outraged by the signs at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh saying “Please do not remove trunks in shower”.

    Recently they installed a sauna at my gym. People were sitting in there in varying states of towel-wrappedness, with the odd brave soul just lying on their towel. Now a wee sign’s gone up saying “Please wear appropriate attire in sauna”…

  21. Sorry you upchucked. 🙁

    And as for the “purple” labels on your undies, you can always claim colorblindess as the handicap that requires the color to be written on your clothing.

    Hmmm…I know how you love vomit tales, so here’s a quickie for ya. *snicker*

    My last vomit was on a mountain pass in Ireland. I added yet another shade of green to the landscape.

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