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Health & Fitness


Living large – striving for slim, part 2

So I’ve decided to do something with my weight, largely because I admitted defeat and stopped treating parking on the street outside of the time limit and running to get to my car before the Traffic Warden does, as a form of exercise.

I park up outside the gym, heave myself out of my car in my gym gear, looking something like the lovechild of the hungry caterpillar and a plump marshmallow, grab my water and banana and head on up the path to the gym. I get to the top of the path’s summit, which could only be described as a hillock but feels more like Mount Kilimanjaro, and already I’m wheezing like a 40-a-day smoker and sweating like a fat man who’s last in line for an all you can eat buffet. I’m already rethinking this decision but my feet propel me forward, probably in a desperate bid to ensure I lose weight so I’m able to see them and make sure I dress them in matching socks in future. Either way, I’m now inside the gym, where people can see me, with their actual eyes and nobody is recoiling in horror. In fact, I feel strangely comforted that my now fellow exercisers look normal and not like something out of the Eric Prydz music video for Call on Me. I’m feeling slightly better about myself as I wander through to the room where we will be doing fitness boot camp. The trainer comes over and introduces himself and asks what I would like to achieve out of the class. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had to say “I want to look fucking hot, naked” as he spends the rest of the class unable to fully look me in the eye.

We’re ushered to the shelves in the far corner of the room and each invited to pick a mat with a choice of hot pink, turquoise and a jade type colour. I’m the type of person that gets worried by choices like this especially when in new surroundings with people I don’t know. “Will I accidentally take a mat that everybody else knows belongs only to ‘Big Fat Brenda’?” “Will taking a pink mat immediately label me as a girly girl, who is unable to do weights?” “When I puke at the end of this session is this mat going to wash well?” “Will one of the mats have a tell-tale mark from the last person who died horribly during the class?”

Once we’ve all chosen some floor-space and set our mats out, we’re taken through a combination of exercises that aim to raise the heart rate and exercises that put the body into stress positions so our muscles work hard and in combination, burn the dreaded spare tyre. It’s around the second set of star jumps that I realise I’m now breathing like a 60-a-day smoker and around the first plank position that I find I’m stressing more about trying not to fart than trying to keep up with the rest of the class.

All of a sudden, we’re in the warm down part of the class, ready to finish in about 10 minutes. I’m amazed I’ve lasted a full 45 minutes being sweaty and more active than I’ve been since the local bakery had a sale, but most importantly, during that time I have also not updated my status on Facebook! I did check in at the gym first though, on Facebook, before I got out of the car because, as everyone knows, if you don’t check in, it doesn’t count. The lights are off and the trainer is talking us through certain yoga type poses, intended to stretch out our muscles and ‘cool down’. We’re on our mats, up on all fours, doing what is affectionately known as the ‘Beyoncé – All the Single Ladies’ position, moving the spine down, pushing it to the floor and then back up the ceiling in what I call Angry Cat. Again, I’m paying particular attention, to not farting due to my other mat dwelling classmates who are quite close by. It would be rude to fart in my first session; maybe when I know them better. Say session 5, perhaps.

We’re all done. The lights are back on with the last challenge of the class being to roll the mat back up and stow it back on the shelf in the same manner that we found them. I’ve managed all of this relatively issue free and without offending anyone and am feeling quite smug with myself, but whilst wandering down the path, nonchalantly eating my banana, I suddenly come face to face with the car park tarmac. You know you’ve taken an epic stumble when the woman behind you shrieks and comes running up muttering something about ambulances. Apparently, my two and a half back somersaults with two and half twists dive was hampered by the bush at the bottom of the path and a kerb I failed to see, severely affecting my take off. Fortunately my face was fine however, I had severely injured my ankle AND dropped my half eaten banana. Given the length of time I then spent rolling around half in agony and half laughing at the look on the woman’s face who followed me, the ten second rule no longer applied so I didn’t pick it up to finish it. Also, the lady behind me was still there and being seen to eat the banana would have been, I felt at this point, judged on the same scale as farting in class on the first day. I don’t know why I thought my exercise curse would have lifted. I bought a Wii a couple of years ago and managed to sprain my left arse cheek on the first day. Only I could injure myself after the class and on the way home, instead of during it.

I’m given a lift home, during which I call my boyfriend to inform him I’ve had an accident and that I’ll need help out of the car when I get to the house. I arrive at home, shortly after I make the call as the gym is handily, quite close to home, to find the boyfriend worried and anxious. I hop out the car and he carries me to the sofa (phwoar!) at which point he asks me how the car is. I tell him that it’s fine and still in the gym car park, which is when the penny drops and he admits he thought that when I said “accident” that I had crashed the car. When he realises it’s just my ankle that is the subject of the accident he stops panicking, offers to get me some ice for my ankle, then reappears with just a glass of Baileys on the rocks. I drink it, obviously, and send him back to the freezer for some frozen peas while I exercise my remote control arm and start to wonder how I’m going to shift my fat bits now…


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