I’m still the exact same weight as when I started. Not one ounce less. But four completed weeks on, I am still motivated enough to get up at 5.30am and move my behind to the Gym. Early morning is the best time for people watching and the cardio machine floor is the perfect vantage point to do this from.
Two desi guys are regulars at the Gym during the unearthly hour that I am mutilating the machines. Their swagger and general demeanor suggests that they think of themselves as dudes (in a cool way) – I think of them more as duds than dudes and for the purposes of this post I shall refer to them as Desi Dud (DD) and Bug Eyed Boy (BEB).
Desi Dud is short (by the standard of men and even short old me) and apparently prides himself on wearing nothing unbranded. His single minded motto: If you market it loudly enough I shall wear it. Reebok shorts, Nike T-shirt, K-Swiss Trainers, Puma socks, NBA headband & wristbands, Timberland cap, I-pod strapped onto his arm – on any given day you can see him in at least 6 branded things, swaggering around the gym like a walking billboard for a sports store. He does not seem to do very much except walk around, pause in front of different weight/ resistance machines, take of his cap to unattractively tousle his hair, attempt a set, give up, wipe his brow and move on to the next one. From where I walk the treadmill I can see him looking confused and slightly irritated, as if the sweat and machines are conspiring to ruin his carefully put together outfit.
Bug Eyed Boy is tall, lanky and naturally, bug-eyed. He wears sleeveless vest-like Ts to highlight the hideous tattoo of a skull and dragons that adorn his very thin left arm. His right arm is permanently attached to a water bottle from which he noisily slurps water. He walks for about five minutes on a treadmill and then stops to hang off the machine and pant as if he has just completed a marathon. He then slurps some more water and goes off to have a wander. Comes back in a bit and walks another five minutes. By the end of this ‘extremely’ strenuous workout BEB has become almost cartoon like in dimension, eyes popping out of his skull in a yo-yo like manner. Then he gives up and disappears out of view. Probably to re-adjust his eyes back in their sockets.
Oh, and his mother must be so proud of that Tattoo.
I am still the same weight as when I started. It has taken 5 weeks to get myself booked into an induction with someone from the fitness desk. For all I know everything I’ve been doing from week one to five is completely incorrect. This would explain why I have not lost one fluid ounce of weight.
Fitness Aunty (FA) is all muscle. She probably works out about 6 hours a day seeing as the other part of her job is quite boring - as standing behind a desk and looking like you are filling in forms can be. She clarified that I wanted to lose weight (Duh!) and then proceeded to give me a long lecture about food groups, carbohydrates and low GI diets. All in a very s-l-o-w monotone. Like, if I’m fat I must also be deaf.
FA then proceeded to lecture me on the ‘merits’ of working out while taking me on a tour of all the machines I have been using for five weeks. Hello, is this is why I pay an exorbitant amount each month – to be told what I already know? That too five weeks late.
Then we reached the dreaded elliptical cross trainer 95xi she makes me train for 10 straight minutes to ‘warm up’. This is just what I needed, to be trapped on a machine while being talked at by FA. She continues in her monotonous vein, all about how its not how much weight you lose but how much muscle you gain. She told me not to be disheartened by not having lost any weight yet. “All your fat is turning into muscle”, she simpers. This makes me more healthy. So instead of rolls of fat I shall now be the proud owner of rolls of muscle. Surely there is something wrong with this statement. I give up. And instead concentrate on the TV screen in front of me which is showing a beleaguered Tony Blair smiling and waving at some poor hapless crowds. Imagine. Even this is preferable. Soon this will be over and I can go home.
After demonstrating the use of various machine and some floor exercises FA tells me to come back in 6 weeks and to use a tape measure as a guide to how effecitve the gym is, not weighing scales. It completely goes over her head when I say I want to weigh less, not turn into muscle woman. Declaring that our time is over she shows me where my card (another perk of expensive gym is a drawer with alphabetized cards) with my routine written up. As I’ve already been doing this routine for five weeks, I wonder if this is for her benefit?
Saw BEB wiping his sweaty arms after just 5 minutes on the treadmill. Bug eyes popping out and victorious smile on his face (5 minutes is akin to climbing Everest for this charlie) he was dabbing his tattoo lovingly before striding off to refill his water bottle. A sight to make sore eyes.
In the lift up to the Gym on Monday morning I was struggling to banish sleep from my eyes. DD and some Girl get into the lift right behind me. Ever the brand master, DD is carrying the world’s largest sports bag, emblazoned with Slazenger on every side. DD proceeds to ask Girl why he never saw her at the party organized by the gym. I can see Girl thinking (something like a cartoon balloon of thoughts), “because I have a life”. But she politely answers that she had another commitment. DD continues to press upon her how he flew back from a busy schedule in Tokyo to be there and it was a wonderful evening. In one fell swoop DD has attempted to tell her that he is busy, flying across the globe to the other side of the world and how cool he is for attending this party. We reach our floor and I can almost hear Girl exhale a sigh of relief. As she attempts to get out of his way he tells her she must come to the next Gym party as it was a ‘hoot’, amongst other adjectives. Girl smiles, weakly says “Yeah, cool” and disappears into the locker area. I bet you she turned around and left the gym without working out that day, just pausing to make sure she escaped unnoticed.
Tomorrow brings week seven to an end and I suspect that I have still not lost any weight. As the nights get longer and mornings get chillier it is harder to persuade myself to get out of bed. The hilarious characters that populate the Gym in the morning make it just a little easier and a lot funnier.