The Naked Truth

I wore my activity belt into the gym today and as I walked in I saw my ‘name’ up on the board in lights.  Fame had arrived but in the most unexpected form.  Of course I haven’t used my real name but have opted for an unrecognisable nickname.  I say unrecognisable but your name only shows up when you enter the gym so it’s pretty obvious who is who!

From previous experience I knew to arrive at the spin studio in plenty of time.  Apparently some of the regulars are quite particular about ‘their’ bikes and reserve them with their water bottles as soon as they can and then wander off out of the studio.  It’s similar to how the Germans are renowned for reserving all the sunbeds on holiday.  Now reserving a sunbed in a lovely picturesque postcard setting, I can understand.  Reserving a sweaty stationary bike in a badly lit exercise studio?  Please.  Yes, please……do get a life you sad, sad people.

As the session started I felt different to how I normally feel.  Usually the instructor will say ‘increase resistance’ and I’ll mutter ‘**** off’ under my breath and do nothing.  Today, I could see my name on the screen and felt the need to push myself more, So in hindsight the belt is a pretty good idea.  Instead of me muttering obscenities at the instructor I found myself urging myself on instead:

‘Come on only another 100 calories’,

‘You can do this you silly cow’.

I was quite motivated and kept up with the pace.  Part of the way through it something odd happened as I felt I was having to stretch further for the handlebars.  I looked down and noticed that the seat had loosened and my saddle was at the correct position for Mr Tickly rather than the Little Miss Midget that I am. Whilst still pedalling I had to adjust my seat back into position but didn’t quite do it right and had to cope with the incorrect position for the rest of the class.  It must have looked like something out of a Mr Bean sketch.

The music in the class today was full of expletives, some of the lyrics went like this:

“Open that shit wide.  Let me see how big your mouth is”.  Of course I’d never heard it before and had to Google it.  Calvin Harris……..apparently. Well, I wont be adding that to my amazon wish-list.

I burned over 500 calories in that class today, despite the dubious music.  I was quite happy and walking back to the changing rooms when I noticed a lot of people waiting for Zumba.  I had been meaning to try it for weeks so I thought why not.  In total today I have done a spin session and a Zumba class.  I’m definitely getting my moneys worth from the gym!

Zumba was fun but it was quite provocative in places.  It was almost like I had entered the wrong session and at some point soon poles were going to appear and we were going to start the ‘real routine’.  I had trouble keeping up but I wasn’t on my own everyone seemed to be in the same boat, which was reassuring.  We must have all looked like the old people in the Specsavers advert who are expecting to play bingo but the instructor comes into the wrong room and tells them all to ‘shake what their momma gave them’!

As I heading to the showers there was a lady totally naked at the washbasins by the toilets.  She was using the mirror to apply her makeup.  A naked lady in the changing rooms is no big deal but she was not in the changing area, she was standing outside the toilet cubicles.  It’s weird how different we all are,  I would consider putting my pants on as being slightly more important than applying my mascara.  I had to edge past her to dry my hands and hoped the hand dryer wasn’t too uncomfortable for her, but I suppose it is a hot day today maybe the hand dryer provided her with some relief.  I am wondering now whether she had forgotten her towel and was hoping to get herself dry by purely relying on strangers to use the hand dryer beside her.  Well, it’s a comfort to know that I have been of some use today, that’s my good deed for the day done!  Let’s see what needy creatures I encounter tomorrow.

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Belt Up

Had another PT session today and I’m feeling more relaxed about going to the gym and less paranoid about my appearance.  Granted most of the people there are smaller than me but there are a handful who are very big indeed.  I even wore my new Lycra gym stuff and strutted in there as though I had been a member for years.  I still avoided the mirrors though.  Occassionally how we think we look and what we actually look like can be poles apart and the whole illusion can be shattered by one look in the mirror.  I was on a high and that was how I intended to stay.

As I left the house this morning I knew I was going to be weighed but more importantly, I knew I’d been good.  I had spent the weekend avoiding all the junk that my other half and the kids were eating.  Hummus and oatcakes had been my mealtime staples accompanied only by the odd sniff of KFC from my companions plates.  Not a solitary chip had passed my lips all weekend and I even managed to avoid the popcorn at the cinema.  This level of self control combined with 2 PT sessions, spin class, aqua aerobics and Pilates over the week, must have paid off?

I’m pleased to say it had worked and I have lost around an inch from my waist and around 3lb in weight.  I had only gained on one area of my body and that absurdly was my right arm, a gain of around 0.5cm, very bizarre how only one arm had increased in weight; what on earth could have caused that?

I also have a new device for the gym now, it’s an activity tracking belt which tells me (and everyone else in the gym) how hard I am working. The figures are displayed on a massive screen in the gym so that everyone can see how everyone else is working out.  I didn’t even want the belt but as I was leaving the gym last Friday my husband was at the desk chatting away.  I went up to him and he told me the ‘great news’ about this belt which will help to keep me ‘motivated’.  I think sometimes people don’t realise that I feel humiliated enough doing some of the exercises that my trainer makes me do.  Do I really need a belt that then tells the whole gym about my lack of fitness?  Hmm, let me think about that one – ‘NO!’

Tomorrow I am booked in for another spin class, this will be the first one where I have my belt on.  Normally I ignore the instructor when asked to increase the bikes resistance.  I say ‘ignore’ but it’s more like swearing at him under my breath.  Tomorrow it might be blatantly obvious that one person isn’t pushing themselves to the same level as everyone.  It’s going to be obvious then that the fat bird in the ill fitting Lycra is past it.

Spin Class Virgin

I ache all over, I am finding it difficult to walk, muscles that I was unaware of hurt. My husband has just asked me why I’m walking like John Wayne.  The reason for my postural problems is down to finishing my first week of training with a spin class.  Spin was unknown territory to me, it was something that happened in the darkened room on the opposite side of the gym. Periodically the darkened room would come to life and you could hear the music roar and then lights start to flash but you daren’t enter it.  It was like someone else was having a big party and you were only safe watching from afar.

However, on this occasion someone had invited me to do a spin class with them.  I told my Personal Trainer (PT) during my last session that I was going to be doing a spin class the following morning.  She looked at me, trying to conceal that look of bewilderment – but failing dismally. ‘Just don’t walk out’, was what she eventually said.  If I hadn’t already been concerned then I definitely was now.  How bad could it be if people walked out?  Would I be the fattest person on a bike?  Maybe it was intended for younger people and not ‘nearly forties’ like me. My determination to do the class was faltering and I was already coming up with excuses as to why I would cancel the following morning.

My training session continued and PT started telling me about the rules and regulations she had to adhere to as a personal trainer.  Apparently things are more relaxed now but (as she put it) ‘Back in the day rules were more strict’.  I looked at her and said ‘Back in the day?  You’re only about 10’.  She’s obviously older than 10 but how could someone so young describe anything ‘back in the day’?  What exactly was ‘back in the day’ for her? Was it when she used to watch CBeebies and play on her DS?  Back in the day for me was  when we only had three TV channels and were excited about Channel 4 starting.  Yes, sadly I can remember that era.  I never understand youngsters who make out they’re older than they actually are.  I remember being about 4 and saying to my mum how I had had the best day of my life.  She smiled at me and said I hadn’t even had a proper life yet, let alone experienced my ‘best day’.  We’re always in too much of a rush to move on, I couldn’t wait to be older and have more freedom and now I look back on my childhood days and think how carefree they were.

PT decided to do a random weight check, I was not expecting it.  Surely six days was too early to have any difference and that we should wait a bit.  PT was having none of it and insisted that I get on the scales.  I would have to confess that I had stuck to the lean proteins and veg but had snuck the odd pizza, Chinese and wine in as well.  Even after my confession, she still made me get on the scales (within the busy gym area) and told me not to look.  As I got off the scales, (I’m sure I heard them let out a sigh of relief), she told me I’d lost a pound.  Her hand went up in the air and momentarily I wondered what she was doing.  She was waiting for me to high-five her.  Not my thing at all, I haven’t high-fived since I was probably about five.  But what the hell, she was happy who was I to burst her bubble!  I met her hand and high-fived her like an awkward nerd trying to do some gangster handshake.  Don’t get me wrong I was happy I hadn’t gone up, but to celebrate a pound?  In the (almost) words of Peter Kay, ‘A pound?  I can shit a pound’.  However, every loss is a step in the right direction and for that I must be grateful.  I left the session a bit more determined.  If I could lose a pound whilst still binging, how much could I achieve if I actually stuck to the plan.

I went to the spin class the following morning convincing myself that it was only 45 minutes of my life and that the room was pretty dark, no one would notice me.  The class was pretty heavy going but I just stuck to a level that I could cope with, so when he said turn up the resistance, I smiled and ignored him.  In my head I was thinking, ‘sod off if you think I’m turning that knob anymore’.  The music was pretty cool and helped to keep you motivated.  I completed the whole class, much to my amazement, but struggled with the stretches after.  There was no way my stumpy legs were going to reach the handlebars for a stretch.  Some people are just to flexible for their own good!

After spin, we went to the sauna where me and my friend had a nice gossip.  We rounded our morning off with a lovely lunch, I think I’d earned it………but that pound has probably crept back on!

Being thin without committing social suicide

This week was supposed to be my ‘change it all around’ week.  Yesterday we had ‘spritzer-gate’ and today I’m meeting an old mate for lunch and then on Friday I’m out again. I don’t want to give the impression that I have some fantastic social life and I’m out all the time.  Far from it, but gatherings tend to be like buses, some weeks I haven’t got anything planned and then other weeks everything is happening at the same time.  During the last fortnight we’ve had multiple birthday celebrations and now we have fathers day coming up.

It makes me wonder whether you can lose weight and maintain a social life.  We all know about how you can go out and opt for the healthier options, choose mixers instead of wine, grilled instead of fried but how many of us actually do that?  Or maybe everyone else does and it’s just me who thinks ‘sod it, I’m out now…bring on the carbs!’

Maybe I should try the ‘being a hermit’ thing.  Are hermits thin?  If they are, that might be a plan.  Just me, my laptop, water and dust for sustenance. I’ll be thin and releasing a DVD about it before you know it.

Swim, Sauna, Spritzer

It started off so well this morning but I sort of messed up with a couple of spritzers for lunch! I couldn’t face another go at the cardio machines so soon, so decided to book a Zumba session.  Alas, due to a last minute meeting scheduled I had to cancel Zumba and went for a swim instead.

You have to bear in mind that being overweight means you are very self conscious in a swimsuit and so I sort of ‘snuck’ into the pool.  Head down, avoiding all eye contact and in I went.  I still haven’t had a tour of the gym so didn’t quite know what else was available but whilst swimming I noticed the sauna in the corner, now that was more like it!  As a  couple of the guys left the sauna I seized my chance to go in.  When I opened the door there were three massive guys sitting in there.  They looked at me and for a split second I thought I wasn’t allowed in there.  I smiled and asked if it was men’s only and they laughed and said ‘no’, that helped to abolish the semi-nude awkwardness and I felt a bit more at ease.  I could have sat in that sauna all morning, it was so relaxing.  I chatted to a couple of the guys who started telling me the pitfalls of the gym and other general chit chat.

I knew that time was racing on and I still had to go to my meeting, but as I passed the Jacuzzi it was empty.  It would have been rude not to have had a little sit down.  A whole Jacuzzi to myself was fabulous and it took a lot of willpower to get out but head down and avoiding eye contact off I went.  As I was entering the showers I bumped into a friend of mine who has been a member there for a while.  She’s a lovely lady that’s very athletic and extremely slim.  Next to her I am going to look like that ‘fat friend’ that everyone had at school.  In every friendship at school you almost always had:

The fat one, the thin one.

The bright one, the stupid one.

The loud one, the quiet one.

Unless that was just in my school and I went to a school with weirdo’s?   Anyhow, back to my point, I don’t want to be the fat one!  Why can’t I be the thin one for a change?  I’ll tell you why, because straight after the gym I had my meeting and then I went for a pub lunch.  The ‘thin one’ wouldn’t do this.  The ‘thin one’ wouldn’t have gone home and had a salad.  I had a pie and two spritzers.   That is why, my friends……..I am the Fat One.

From Couch to Cardio

This morning I had my first full training session.  We did ‘interval cardio training’ – see, I know the lingo and everything 😉  I’m not a runner and haven’t really ran since school.  It all stopped when my body shape changed and I was too self conscious of running.  However, this morning with my wobbly bits firmly restrained (it took a lot of Lycra) I actually ran on the treadmill.  I probably looked a right idiot doing it but I am proud of the fact that I actually managed it.  Ok, I’m no Zola Budd (or Paula Radcliffe for you youngsters) but it’s the first step of a very tall ladder.  When you’re petite like me, every ladder is humungous!

“Good things come in small packages”, was a saying that I used to use all the time.  I stopped saying it when I realised that I wasn’t so much of a ‘small package’ anymore.  I’d become more of a removals van than a package 😦  What I have to focus on is that I didn’t gain the weight overnight; so I’m not going to lose it overnight either.

After the treadmill, cross trainer and rowing machine my trainer moved me onto some toning work.  Up until today I had never heard of a ‘slam ball’ but I did quite a few exercises with it and I’m hoping it will help with bingo wings.  For someone who’s actually never played bingo, my arms look like I’ve been shouting ‘house’ for years.

One woman was running on the treadmill and she looked so comfortable on it.  I felt like a bag of potatoes on a conveyor belt in Tesco; where as she was so streamlined and at ease.  It’s people like that that make me feel slightly embarrassed by what I’ve become.  As a child I was skinny and my mum would have a battle on her hands trying to feed me.  I was always criticised for being ‘too thin’, now I’ve gone the other way and I’m ‘too fat’.  It’s not all my own doing as I have had thyroid problems but I cant blame it all on that.  I’m a comfort eater so when tragedy strikes I reach for the treats and this last year has been rougher than a badgers arse.

The days of not eating enough are well and truly over!  My home cooked meals are very healthy but the problem lies with the numerous takeaways and bottles of vino.  However, yesterday was my last binge day and everything is now going to get back on track.  I feel really motivated today, which for a Monday is pretty good!

The only weigh is down!

I went to my Personal Trainer session who happens to be both half my age as well as half my size 😦  She was very kind with her comments and didn’t even flinch when she took my measurements.  I was a bit concerned about having my measurements taken but she tried her best to put me at ease.  As far as body shapes go I have traditionally been an apple rather than a pear but as time has progressed I seem to have turned from an apple to a water melon!  I wasn’t as embarrassed as I thought I would be, as I know my current situation is dire but the only ‘weigh is down’.  I have ten PT sessions booked between now and the beginning of the summer so I have high hopes of some significant body changes.

This weekend is my last weekend of over-indulgence.  There’s no point in the exercise if I’m not going to control my calories.  So, let me raise my glass of Zinfadel and wish you a good weekend.  Everything changes from Monday!

Goodbye bellinis and hello Birmingham

Back from holiday and I have moved from sipping Bellinis on the beach to eating breakfast cereal in Birmingham. The holiday was good but I was eager to get back so that my countdown to 40 could officially begin. One of my birthday presents was gym membership, make of that what you will but yes, my husband bought me gym membership. To be fair to him I had been suggesting that I join the gym and now he’s sorted it for me. I went into the gym yesterday, which seemed to be full of Lycra clad size zero women.  What exactly are they doing in the gym?   You don’t need to be in gyms, I thought, you need to be in cake shops. I suppose they looked at me and thought why hasn’t this woman come in here earlier, who lets themselves get so bad….. I was booked in for a Zumba class, well at least that’s what I thought.  I got there and was told Zumba was yesterday and today it was FitBall. All of a sudden women were rushing to get a gigantic ball almost like the birthing balls that I loathed during labour. Some of these balls were so massive that at my petite 5 foot 1.5 inch frame the whole prospect of doing this class was filling me with dread. However I’m not going to be fabulous at 40 by shying away from a gym class.  I’m pleased to say I made it through the half hour and got to know my ball very well, however next time I’ll opt for the Zumba.  I have a personal trainer session booked this afternoon so I’m hoping for more guidance on how to shift two stone whilst being able to eat more than dust.