Mind The Gap

I loved Zara’s post about her new dance class. Fun cardio, is what she calls it. Goddamn, we all should have some fun cardio. I still pine for my old Body Jam class. Don’t get me wrong, I am rubbish dancer. Every class ended with me whining to my sister, and her very patiently walking through the steps, and me still cocking them up. But it was fun and ridiculous and difficult. It made you get sweaty but it made you feel sexy. And there were Beyonce songs!

My favourite tracks were always the Latin ones. Probably because I finally found a use for ample hips. And probably because the steps were easier than the hip hop songs. But mostly because the rhythms were so irresistible.

I thought of looking for a salsa class or similar, but the Scottish Companion isn’t really interested. That would be my fault, because I once told him salsa classes are where marriages go to die. At least that’s what happens on the telly. Has anyone seen Lantana? Or what about Rico and Vanessa in Six Feet Under? They went along to put the spark back into the marriage but turns out Vanessa was popping pills then Rico ended up with that lap dancer and it was all downhill from there.

Another reason I am wary of salsa classes is that you have to wear high heels. I have never worn high heels. Well I wore them once, on our wedding day. I clomped around like a footballer in drag. Luckily I only had to go from our hotel room to the taxi, then from taxi to Chapel, then down the aisle and back again. God bless Las Vegas and its moving walkways.

Elsewhere in Blogland, Nancy wrote a cracker of a post called The Truth About Weight Loss, and actually says a lot about the Truth About Maintenance.

Oh! And three cheers for Triathlete Sue!

The brain and the body are never in synch. The brain feels proud after a good workout, or when it has passed up a chocolate cake, or drunk all its water. The brain feels like it should be rewarded. So the brain goes running to the scale and feels crushed when the number hasn’t changed.

But the body is slow. It has a vague idea that it is being fed differently and made to move in new ways, but it gets confused and takes awhile to catch on. Huh? What are you doing to me? Wha’ happened?

There can be weeks or months of the brain getting impatient, stamping its feet and throwing plates at the wall. But then one fine day the body will catch up, and it feels like a whole bunch of things change overnight.

It’s probably coincidence and my being chronically unobservant, but this happened to me last week. After weeks of frustrating nothing, I seemed to notice oodles of changes all at once and proved yet again why Patience, Grasshopper is my mantra:

  • The new Australian trousers that sliced me in half in October can now be put on without undoing the zipper!
  • The boobs no longer fill the bra! My cup runneth under! (Memo to boobs: ENOUGH! I don’t want you any smaller)
  • My once skin-tight H&M tops are loose around the waist!
  • I increased my weights for Body Pump!
  • Strange tendons appeared in my feet. I was getting seriously creeped out by them, and started shrieking about "freaky bones", until SC explained they were tendons everyone has those. Indeed, my feet used to be seriously lardy, folks.

And most exciting of all, there is a gap between my thighs. When I stand up straight and press my knees together, there is a little gap between my thighs. There’s light shining through! You could put a person either side of me and they could peer right through and wave at each other. If they squint a little.

It may seem ridiculous to you, how much this thrills me. But even though my stomach has long stopped spilling down south, I have always had chunky thighs and was resigned to the idea that they would always be smushed together, crashing and clashing like pale, doughy cymbals. Behold the miracle of exercise!

The other night, after prattling on about The Gap all evening, I was drifting off to sleep when the Scottish Companion suddenly wriggled his hand between my legs.

"What are you doing?"

"I’m checking out your Gap!"


"You could drive a truck through that Gap!" I could hear him grinning.

"Listen, I’m not going to tell you these things if you’re going to mock!"

"I’m not mocking! It’s like the Arc de Triomphe!!

32 thoughts on “Mind The Gap

  1. It’s the little things I notive about my body as I lose weight that get me excited too! I recently discovered that my fings have started getting loose and I was all smiles all day long.

  2. I have been feeling up my newly discovered collarbones a lot recently. I can’t even imagine having a gap between my legs, especially when I wonder how much extra skin is going to be left there when all is said and done. Wow. Go you!

  3. If you want to discover dance, I’ve fallen in love with Ceroc – a mix of latin and jive. And you don’t need high heels! Anything goes.
    As the saying went when I was a kid ” I double dare physical challenge you!”
    Yes there is a ceroc class in edinb. And you don’t need to take a partner if the boy decides he’s not up for it as you swap partners every few minutes.

  4. πŸ™‚ cheers you guys!

    PQ – woohoo for collarbones! πŸ™‚ I thought leg skin would be a problem too but a couple of years of squats and lunges and general leg-use with cardio has really helped. i think the key was starting on the weights early!

    Olivia – thanks very much for that suggestion! that does sound rather good!

  5. yaay for “seeing the light” Amen to all that exercise. I still get a thrill remembering when I first saw the light. I was hoping the light would have spread all the way to my knees by now -but there is still light LOL.

    Way to go grasshopper, great achievements.

  6. Woohoo for the gap. I get insanely happy over every little change then have to show my friends at the pub and they just don’t get it.

    I say, try tap dancing. Not only do you get to dance and sweat, you get to make LOTS of noise. And you get the cheese factor πŸ™‚

  7. “Another reason I am wary of salsa classes is that you have to wear high heels. I have never worn high heels.”

    You do not have to wear high heels for salsa class! I go every week and I wear dance sneakers. I wear dance sneakers to every social dance class (salsa, swing, waltz) and many other people wear them too. Many wear regular shoes also… mine have a spin spot on the heel & toe so you can still turn easily in them, and lacing that goes under the arch to give some adjustable arch support.

    Here’s a (an ugly) link to some dance sneakers:

    I don’t know of UK links, but some form of dance sneaker should be super easy to find, they are common dance gear.

    Or, look for a low heel dance shoe if you really don’t want to wear dance sneakers. Look on their shoes page under character shoes for an oxford type dance shoe.

    Something more traditional dance shoe like, but with a low heel (but expensive! why?)

  8. Go the Gap! I had to laugh as this is a saying I use often to a friend of mine. We went in Sydney’s City to Surf one year and had to keep finding gaps to run into as it was so crowded. So ‘Go the gap’ became a kind of forewarning that a gap was coming up. I can’t wait to have a gap all of my own.

    I fully understand where you are coming from in this post Shauna. My body is changing now due to huge amounts of rowing and running and I’m forever rubbing myself (or rather my muscles) up, to my husbands amusement.

    Do you have a goal weight and are we counting down the final 10kg yet? Please, please let me know. NJ

  9. It is amazing when the little things about weight loss become important as or more important than the numbers. It really means that we are no longer focussed on those horrible little numbers and more on the way our life has changed. Congrats on getting “the gap” and noticing all of the other changes !!!

  10. ‘It’s like the Arc de Triomphe!!’

    How right is SC – a triumph to get that far ….saviour the feeling and sight…things do change…I’m aiming for a ‘flatter tummy’. I wonder what icon I could label the tummy when it finally happens?

    Like nessajane, I too, feel my emerging muscles – just to check if it’s still real!

  11. heheh… Mum, you crack me up. I have a feeling he was being more smartarse than poet though.

    thanks for all the ideas/shoe tips, etc folk!

    and NJ, i’m shooting for 75kg so yep, it’s the finaaaal countdown… do do do doooo do do do doooo…

  12. Congratulations on achieving The Gap! That is a really exciting and significant milestone! I have long been obsessed with the idea of The Gap. It would be lovely to have thighs that did not chafe – pants would last much longer and it would be more comfy wearing skirts in summer.

    It was in fact, my realisation of a Lack of Gap that I could attribute to the birth of my weight-loss obsession that started me on the path to massiveness!

    But I have noticed since then that even some slim people do not have gaps. Cindy Crawford for example, doesn’t seem to have a gap (or much of one). She’s just one I remember, but I know I have seen a few other thin modelly / celebrity people sans-Gap. I guess some people’s crotches are a bit narrower and they carry any body fat they get in that area.
    If I look back at pictures of myself when I was growing up, at the time I started obsessing about being a fatty-boom-bah (eg: http://light.delicious.com.au/gallery/v/Growing+Up/7-12/), I was not at all what I would now consider fat (although I don’t know how I’d measure out by the standards of the obesity epidemic police these days) – but you can see those chunky thighs would never see a ray of light between them. While all around me in PE classes, gangly athletic girls in their bottle green Binkis flashed their Gaps tauntingly.
    I’d consider myself very very lucky, and very proud, to get back to a weight where I am carrying the same proportion of body fat as I did then, chunky thighs or not. But I am thinking I probably won’t get a gap no matter how much weight I lose. But I’ll still do plenty of lunges, squats and leg lifts just in case. They sure can’t hurt any.

  13. damn straight, jo. my gap is more of a peephole bu t it’s a GAP and i can see light and that’s more than enough for me πŸ˜‰

  14. Every woman knows about and secretly wishes for the gap. It’s a hard thing to accomplish so you should be proud. It’s apparent the SC is!

  15. I’m so impressed. I’ve noticed that when I stand in my update picture pose, my thighs don’t quite touch which is very yay!

    After I read your post I tried to see what happened I when I pressed my knees together. Ummmm, yeah. Not quite there.

    Rock on!

  16. Congrats on your GAP!

    I remember having The Gap when I was about 10. I don’t think I’ll have it again – I have (to paraphrase Hemingway) Thighs like White Elephants. My former sister-in-law says I look like a speed skater. I think it’s all that cycling.

  17. I still don’t have a gap. But what I really wanted to say is that the last bit was the sweetest thing ever. It truly made me mushy inside. How darling he is!

  18. Well, we continue to be Weight Twins, but I have no gap in sight. Alas. Possibly the fact that I’m 3 inches shorter than you has something do to with it.

    But that is SERIOUSLY COOL. I mean, wow. Reduced to inarticulacy.

    If you want some non-scary shoes to dance in, try Dancewear at the west-ish end of Rose St. They’ve got a wide selection of shoes for various budgets and heel heights.

  19. you have a gap? Wow, you go girl! I can totally relate to how exciting that must be. I have fat thighs too and have resigned myself to that fact.

  20. “I clomped around like a footballer in drag.”
    “crashing and clashing like pale, doughy cymbals”

    DG, I swear I get my ab workout in by reading your entries. I love laughing and cheering along with you.

    Perhaps you and Gareth can shine a flashlight through your gap and make shadow animals on the wall. There must be more uses for it than just looking pretty, right? Although that must feel damn good in itself!

  21. heya chicken! i am soooo happy that you are seeing results for all your hard work and I love your mantra! Seriously! You r so right – sometimes our bodies are so fricken stupid! I had this funny thought that maybe our stupid bodies are directly linked to how stupid our brains are. So, for example, Paris Hilton is pretty damned stupid right? Maybe she ate heaps of food and her body is sooo stupid that it won’t catch up until 2015 and suddenly she’ll wake up a porker?? He he! Don’t I just wish!!!!

    beck and I r going to get a photo for you and bagpipes! Just give us a few days!

  22. Hey, another Kinokuniya traveller πŸ™‚ The identity thing is a bit full on but I think it’s because we have spent so much time on ourseleves during this journey, that I know for me, it’s freaking me out a little. I think I just need some time out from myself, if that makes sense?

    LOL at the thighs. I love my new gap! It’s been so hot in Sydney and I don’t get any chaffing anymore, whoot!

    I have some serious catching up to do with your blog…

  23. Fantasic – I agree with you re the body catching up and you noticing lots of changes all of a sudden. Do you realise that soon there will be a very momentus moment? As your weight drops, your total loss rises so soon you will have lost as much as you weight! Wow, now that is amazing.

  24. I’ve been whizzing through your archives and I THRILLED to be at the point where I can comment. Even if I am two years late.

    Oh my God Hurrah for the gap! I had a teensy weensy one when I was 16. Currently my thighs do to chub-rub. Working hard to get rid of that. Yeah!

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