The House of Dags

Lately I’ve been dreaming up schemes to increase my unplanned, incidental exercise. No matter how sweaty you get in your formal exercise sessions, there’s oh so many hours of snooze and sitting in front of a computer to counter that. Aside from extra walking and not using remote controls, I’m trying to cultivate a fidgeting habit. I’ve always been rather still and stoic like an Easter Island statue but it’s amazing how quickly you can learn to sort of bounce around the house, throwing light punches at people and just generally being wriggly and annoying.

I had plenty of heartwarming incidental exercise this afternoon, chasing around a very small and gorgeous pile of fur. We found a runaway PUPPY out on the street! We brought him back to our flat until we could track down the owners. So it was two hours of chasing round a wee fuzzy Spaniel named Fudge. You can behold the cuteness for yourself over here if you’re into that sort of thing.

She stole a carrot from our vegie box and ate it. A CARROT!

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There’s an interview with me today on Real Women’s Fitness, in which I sprout on about my weight loss adventures and philosophies. Thanks for having me over, RT!

. . .

I am still loving my little ladies gym. I joined last year on a ridiculously cheap special offer – £16 per month! Less than half price. That’s cheap even in Australian dollars! There’s not a huge amount of equipment there, but it’s tiny and quiet and there’s showers. So I go along three times a week and do my intervals then go wash my hair. With our shower-less house, it’s a thrill not to have to rinse your locks with a teacup now and then.

The clientele are great. Everyone is so completely daggy.  There’s no real fashion divas, it’s mostly floppy sweatpants and giant t-shirts. My early morning timeslot is a very social hour, full of retired ladies exchanging gossip about their ungrateful children and ailing parents as they swoosh along on the cross trainers. One does the bitching and the says "Oh aye" and nods sympathetically. Then they swap.

Everyone is friendly and says, "Hiya hen" in the changerooms and yaps on about the weather. This really startled me at first, as I was still clinging to the memory of my fancy gym in Edinburgh when everyone hurried along and kept to themselves. I love the lonely grunt of doing my weight training at home, but look forward to mingling with the ladies for my cardio. It’s like a Women’s Institute meeting except with dumbbells and steppers instead of scones and tea.

26 thoughts on “The House of Dags

  1. I love the sarcastic tone of old-lady yapping in Scotland. They’ve seen it all and are not impressed!

    I discovered a lovely old lady from Edinburgh at my gym, she arrived to swim as I was dressing to leave, and immediately adopted me as a no-nonsense compadre because I’m Scottish too. She’d point with her eyebrows at some beanpole-with-implants california girl choosing between 3 tiny thongs from her locker and conspiratorially whisper “how much underwear does she NEED? And none of it big enough to cover anything of importance!”

    Now I’ve switched to the afternoon workout I don’t get to see her any more.

  2. I may have told you this before – forgive me if so; I’m old – but do you know why Scottish people call women “hen”? The etymology is from the Anglo-Saxon “cwen”, which means woman. “Queen”, the Aberdeenshire “quine” (girl) and – yes, “hen” are all variations of this word. Sorry, but I think it’s really interesting!

    I too fidget and don’t find it helps unless – horror – I might be even fatter if I didn’t, perhaps.

    Don’t do yourself an injury on those roads. Your mum wouldn’t like it.

  3. That’s a cute dog. I’d have been tempted not to give him back.

    I reckon a good way to get incidental exercise is to be forgetful. That way every time you want something, you have to wander through the house looking for it.

  4. reading your blog makes me want to get up and head to the gym…or at least get my dancing or weight training workout done:) thanks for the motivation…me minus 10lb here I come!

  5. It sounds divine. Pitty you can’t find anything like that in this big ol’ plastic town I live in.

    Fudge is divine! The dog! Not too keen on the other stuff.

    Ahh the joys of babysitting. Love ’em then drop ’em back off when you’re done. LOL

  6. I used to attend a gym (my first!) where I was the only one breaking sweat, the other women stopping at regular intervals to go to the BAR in the corner for a G&T or a fag.
    At my current gym, I am the daggy one. Everyone else, regardless of size and shape, is in something beautiful. Not I. Some people are VERY aware of how beautiful they are.
    I am very aware of how bad my tracky bottoms are. I wear them with sweaty pride.
    No pets allowed, but trying to convince the boyfriend to let me have an indoor wormery for compost. He disapproves. This only makes me want a wormery more…

  7. Cute dog!

    Our dogs also love carrots. We give them whole carrots as a treat. They’re like chew sticks but with more fibre.

    Sometimes I wish I was a dog. Someone feeds you and exercises you and you have no choice in the matter. No unplanned chocolate binges, no giving up halfway through your walkies cos you’re feeling a bit tired, no second helpings of dinner. It would be so easy to be slim! πŸ™‚

  8. I did aqua aerobics at my gym last night for the first time in about a year and it was so much fun. I had forgotten how good it is to frolic in the water.

    I love the showers too. We also have no shower in our flat (although our new flat will have one!) so it’s great.

  9. Hi dearest

    Went back to new gym to do weights this morning with my friend Jenny. It was liking finding part of myself again – the bit that misses the feeling of body exerting energy to pull, push etc the weights. All the things I learned at my last Excellent Gym came bursting back (breathe in, breathe out, tuck in tummy, straighten posture, anchor feet etc). Ah, I have missed it and will be going again. Leah (my PT at Excellent Gym) would have been proud of her pupil! And already I’m hooked and can’t wait to go again.

    So why did I wait so long – finding the right gym with ‘that something’ that says come in and join us…so glad it’s back. Have done Body Combat and the tail end of Body Balance this week…two early morning hour long walks around Goulburn and an extra hour of dancing with Bon Jovi playing loudly in background….I think I have way too much energy at moment….incidental movement – I’ll be adding to my routine too.

    Love you

    PS Will not tell B that you defected for a short time – he would not be impressed at all! Glad the pup had good visiting manners.

  10. Heheh, I read somewhere about how one should try fidgeting more to burn more calories throughout the day. It’s a good idea, but I’ve never been able to successfully implement it πŸ™‚

    I read your interview at RT and liked it quite a lot. I guess, in the back of my head, I already know all these little tips, but it helps to have them reinforced every once in a while.

  11. You gym sounds cute! Good on you for trying to find ways to increase your exercise, pity there ain’t more lost dogs! Hmmm, now what can I do… besides vacum the darn house yet again???

  12. I love daggy gyms, much less confronting than posh ones.

    Well done on conquering the hill too in your last post, and they never look as steep in photos as they are in real life I promise!

  13. That dog is gorgeous!!!! He looks bigger than my dig who is fully grown.
    I’m on the hunt for a new gym (read: cheaper) at the moment, we’re going to avoid the beautiful people, there is nothing worse than standing next to all the size 8s in your knickers

  14. I’ve totally read that about fidgeting and sigh inwardly – as much as I try and remember to fidget, at the end of the day I’m a lazy type who’d rather sit as still as possible!

  15. I’ve tried that too! (The fidgeting) I have no idea if it works or not, because I started reminding myself to tap my toes and whatnot at around the same time I started reminding myself to not eat the entire box of cookies at once, etc. But fidgeting’s not too hard, actually. It’s sort of fun! I randomly jitter my legs when I’m at the computer. It’s not obvious to other people and gives me this secret feeling of greatness, as if I’m actually exercising instead of just sitting in front of a screen as usual.

  16. When I lived in London I joined a gym only for the showers. Not kidding. I exercised too, of course, but at the time I was happy to just go running after having been a serious gym junkie for the previous 3 years and had suffered a minor gym-burn out. But the bath-thing – SERIOUSLY!! So my routine was 45 mins exercise, 45 mins hair-wash…:)

  17. The origin of the word ‘daggy’ is ‘dag’ which is something nasty that hangs off a sheep’s backside. It adds poignancy to the use of the word, I feel.

    I come from Newie in Oz which put the ‘b’ in bogan so my gym is great, full of daggy tee’s that have seen better days and gossiping people. Newie is one of those places where 6 degrees of seperation actually works, so everyone will eventually knows somebody in some way.

  18. If I didn’t have a shower in my house, I would just shave my head. Seriously.

    I tried to do that fidgeting thing too, but I can’t for more than a minute, it’s just not in my nature. My nature is to be at complete and total rest at all times. There might be something in that…

  19. Aw, Fudge is the cutest little pup. My long dead dog Cleo would eat anything except cucumber and grapes, bless her. I need some inspiration to go to my daggy gym. The only changing rooms for swimming are tiny cubicles around the pool so I get claustrophobic just thinking about going. And there are no showers for the gym – it truly is dag central.

  20. Cute little pup πŸ™‚

    Good thing your gym is so nice, helps with sticking to your routine…

    I am afraid to say I stopped my subscription in February and am now trying hard to get into exercising at home with my Yoga and TaeBo DVD’s. Have also taken up walking briskly, as much as possible, during the day. Helps raise the energy levels and it’s a good way of exercising w/o actually realising it πŸ˜†

  21. I’ll have you know, young lady, my pitbull LOVES vegetables. Now if I could just train the teenager…

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