Thursday, January 25, 2007

Like a drop in the ocean

Nowadays no one calls an apple an apple – it’s a pink lady, a Fuji, a Jonathan, a Golden delicious, a Granny Smith. Similarly, this lovely city is dotted with gyms but heaven's, let’s not call it a xxxx gym, it might be offended at such a simple title. Instead let’s call it a health club, fitness centre, exercise room, sports centre, sports club, leisure centre and my all-time favourite, The Health Hall.

Anyway I joined one of these aforementioned health/ sports/ leisure clubs/ halls/ centres 24 weeks ago yesterday and it has been such smooth sailing. NOT.

I’m beginning to wonder why I ever bothered. I had some luminous notion in my head that the higher the fee the greater the potency of the paid for machines. And once again I was wrong wrong wrong.

Week nine
It’s one week before our holiday to India. You would think that I would be motivated to go 4 days this week considering that next week I shall be eating my own weight in chaat and kebabs and rasagolla’s. Instead I have cleverly convinced myself that there is no point killing myself in the early autumnal morning chill as my body needs to calm down and get used to not doing much beside eat - legitimate preparation for India, you know. Besides which the one day I do go this week I find that both Bug-eyed Boy (BEB) and Desi dud (DD) have disappeared and that using the cross trainer with nothing but the BBC news to keep me occupied is just not good enough. And as if that was not boring enough I have also lost not an ounce. There is nothing to be excited about.

Week thirteen
India seems a distant memory. And thanks to the highly motivational cost of paying for fluffly towels and young locker room attendents, I woke up a minute before my alarm and walked it to the gym at some unearthly hour. This morning, for my experess entertainment it would seem, there is a desi aunty (DA) in the gym and she is wearing the loudest pink in the world. From dark head to stubbly toe. A fluorescent pink that is acceptable only as a flash of chewing gum in a teenager’s mouth - a tracksuit with matching bandana, wrist bands and ankle socks. All in pink. All in Velour. And her feet tucked in the brightest white shoes that money can buy. Like they have been through an intensive dental floss colgate whiteness programme. And she apparently has not been on a wonderful induction and been introduced to the various areas within our grand health hub. This is obvious in an instant to the trained eye (mine) as she has decided to do her stretches in front of the bank of eliptical machines instead of in the stretching area (which is nothing but a collection of floor mats in the corner). I have no idea what was on the news as I could barely keep my eyes off the pink goddess. As I cross-walk on the elliptical machine she conducts her stretches loudly, aiming for the loud breathing to get her metabolism and that of all gym goers going. With each bend she groans quite loudly and then standing upright she exhales with a huge sigh. The bank of machines with us fitness types (hahaha!) on it just watch in amazement, rpms getting lower as we switch concentration to this pink puffball. About 20 stretches later she turns towards us, notices everyone looking straight at her, gives us a big smile and says “I’ll soon fit in low rise jeans” before turning on her heel and trampling off down the stairs. I’m ever so glad I guilt-ed myself into going. I think I’m back on track with 4 days a week. And I have lost 300 grams. No. Seriously. Only 300 darn grams. Maybe I can eat a packet of crisps today.

Week eighteen
Sadly there is nothing to new or exciting, like a life changing body shape for a before and after DVD that is so popular on shopping TV!, to report except that we are having a mild winter and this means that getting out of bed this early is not the chore I imagined it. And yet I feel like slamming my phone against the freshly painted walls each time I hear the alarm go. The only amusement this week has been watching a very expensive Personal Trainer take his own photograph with his cellphone in the mirror in the stretching area while his client rowed for his life. His Blackberry equivalent then beeped and apparently it was the picture he had just taken and his comment to the sweaty rowing guy was “Ooh, my mum will like this picture”. Thank god rowing guy had his hands on the handle because he sure looked like he could murder someone. Later as I quietly did some stretching to relieve my aching muscles I noticed rowing guy had moved on to push-ups. I think he was about to collapse because I could hear the trainer having a conversation with another colleague about his plans for the weekend and had clean forgotten about him and any counting of reps. Such is life eh? In my own sad news I have lost another 600 gms. Another 100gms and that shall be 1kg. How pathetic can it all get?!

Week twenty three
This is the last day of week 23 and this is the end of a 5 week run of 4-5 days each week. My body has grown so used to the 45 minute work-out that I barely break a sweat. I need a re-programming session with a fitness coach. ‘Re-programme’ with a fitness coach is the free way of getting a schedule of things to do without paying a fitness trainer £60 and hour to follow you around with a clipboard and pen barking like an army sergeant (and talking simultaeously on his phone and Blackberry paid for with his fat fee). So coach M and I are talking about the strenuous nature of the Stairmaster, that mighty machine that does nothing but recreate the stairs, and I am thinking "but wouldn’t it just make sense for me to walk up the seven floors to our flat each day?". And then the flashbulb in empty head clicks on – they created the Stairmaster because I would never ever do something as ridiculous as walk up the stairs unless I absolutely had to. So I agree to walk the Stairmaster for 5 minutes. While I struggle to look graceful walking up the moving rubberized stairs who do you think comes into sight but BEB. Looking as bug eyed as before. And he has a new Tattoo on his right arm – of an angel! Dude what were you thinking? That it would cross out the effects of that skull and cross bones on your lanky left arm? That your mum would be proud now that it was a jodi (set) of Tattoo’s instead of one lonely one? And now BEB is running manically on the treadmill. For a whole 2 minutes. Till his eyes actually pop-out of his sockets. Before giving up and sitting down to admire his new tattoo. And slurp some water from the bottle attached to his freshly tattoo-ed arm. I hate to say it but this guy needs the re-programme more than me. All this strenuous cardio had made him look utterly emaciated; surely his goal must be to bulk up. For now he just looks like a walking billboard for the starving and a Tattoo parlour. Even the great entertainment has failed to move any weight off me. I'm doomed to be fat and yet surprisingly very very healthy for ever.....

I have listened to lots of contradictory information about cabbage soup and every new agey diet going and ignored it all. As a result of not doing any real dieting I have lost only a few hundred grams of weight and that too is purely due to keeping doggedly at the machines. And carrying around my gym gear everyday is surely building some muscle in my shoulders and arms. And my back is building character with all the pain it must bear. V constantly tells me how thin I have become but I suspect this is mainly a ruse for me to reciprocate it and tell him how thin he has become (which he has – how do boys do it?). Not another person has noticed an inch of weightloss or trimness. Yet I can do 45 minutes of high intensty eliptical or treadmill or swim 40 laps without collapsing under the weight of my own sweat. It is all because I am an ocean of being, a freak of nature and THERE IS NO WEIGHTLOSS.

I shouldn’t complain. It did take me near on 17 straight years from 13 to 30 put on the weight, layer by fat-I-don’t-care layer. I do not believe why I imagined that 23 short weeks would do the trick. Or at least part of it. I shall persist regardless.

At the moment I have no hope in hell of looking any better on my next beach holiday in 12 weeks. But frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn as my heart shall be healthy as a horse by then. I shall gallop across the sandy beach with a load on my back. I shall then win the most interesting holiday photographs competition 2007.


  1. After paying for a year at our local healthclub / gym / whatever, we decided not to renew it. Someone has to drag me on the road and let a canine chase me to the gym. Otherwise, it is very difficult.

    Now, we have bought a stepper and using it at home burning few hundred calories a day. Not sure whether or how much weight we might have shed.

  2. ROTFL at the pink velour aunty, BEB and the holiday picture.

    I wish I could do 45 mins on a treadmill...heck, I'll settle for 15!

  3. Anonymous1:42 AM

    good for you!!! keep it up!!! as for me...with the new job...i MAYBE get to gum @ 8:30pm...wait 20 mins for a machine...becos the place is crawling with people...and then exercise for 45mins(cut down from 1.25hrs) and get back home around 9:45pm!!! 40in2006

  4. Anonymous7:50 AM

    Wow! Where is the holiday going to be?

  5. God bless you! You've had a super fitness routine going for nearly 6 months now! Imagine how much fitter you've been getting!
    *bows down*

  6. ha- great post!
    well good foryou, you seem to be fairly dedicated!:)
    ai am completely hopeless at this- dont even get down to suing he gym in my condo!

  7. Live and let live! Don't hate on desi aunty wearing the hot pink. Why so judgemental 30in2005? :-)

  8. Chakra: All the best with that. We traded the other way home cycle to a gym.

    Nee: Yes, but the 45 minutes is not much use if no weight is being shed!!

    40in2006: Aah well, you are a thinnie anyway now so it's just a matter of maintenance.

    MumbaiGirl: Aha, that shall have to remain a secret for some more time to come - unless you call me!

    Shub: Well fitter and yet fatter - I don't know how much god is blessing me in this case?!

    Shakester: I love that your miss-type ended up with 'suing' the gym. Maybe I should think of suing mine for somplete lack of weightloss...

    Sinusoidally: I comlpetely agree with the let and let live rule. And no one is hating DA with her hot pink outfit - merely interjecting that she is my motivation to be there - if she can do it so can I! As for being judgemental sorry if you found that to be the case - all I was trying to do was make something light out of a serious run for losing some weight! This fat person has to laugh her way through life and the fat people jokes you know you know?!;-)

  9. Anonymous6:17 AM

    I will call you! I am making tentative travel plans too. May be away for a long time.

  10. hey u r motivating me.. i will be motivated to abandon my gym plans....

  11. ha! me and my typos

  12. Mumbaigirl: better to email me as I am going to be away all of next week and no mobile phone. Plans firmed up yet?

    ITW: You mean motivated NOT to abandon your gym plans, I hope?!

    Shakester: It was such an apt typo that I could not resist!