Since Operation Barbie kicked off six weeks ago I have not lost any weight. At first I was really down on myself and then I realized that my life is richer, more full of meaning since I began OB, and I should take this opportunity to embrace the apparent challenge of looking like a frail, starving child by next week. Or I should imagine that in lieu of flub is the clearly identifiable shape of a muscle. A part of the human body that I’ve heard burns calories– even while you sleep. (Though clearly mine are broken.)
Seriously, though. I’ve been at it at 8:00AM twice a week for an honest 5 or 6 weeks, and the absurdity of it–while not lost on me–has become somewhat comforting. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who wake up and go to the gym first thing in the morning. Ironically, most of them are chunkers. (I have a theory about working out in the morning… you have this feeling of calorie invincibility. Donuts? Of course! I worked out this morning. Cake! Of course! I worked out this morning. So it remains that if you work out in the morning, you’re probably not doing yourself any favors.) I have a strict policy about making friends at the gym, so I don’t acknowledge any of these regulars, but their presence makes me feel good. We’re a team. I think making friends at the gym is a lot like making friends at the checkout counter of the grocery store. Just because you both happen to be there at the same time doesn’t mean you need to be friends. Given, I’ve word vomited a dinner invite or party tease, and I’ll be honest that I’ve lived to regret nearly every time. As a matter of fact, I spent almost two years trying to get rid of a friend that I accidentally made. She sat next to me in Lit class. I dont know what I was thinking. I’ve since extended this rule (for the most part) to include: work, adult education classes, and yoga. Basically I’ve stopped taking on new friends.
Anyway. The nice thing about the 8-9 personal training slot is that I get to play the skinny kid. You know how when you watch True Life: Kids at Fat Camp (or some similar show) there is always a girl who is 346 lbs, as opposed to everyone else’s 352 so she is automatically the “thin friend”– and therefore gets to be the ring leader, wearing a tankini and swimskirt instead of the huskie tee and gym shorts? I’m the girl in the tankini. While I try to maintain some perspective, I can’t help but wanting to do a little “how are those weight-free arm lifts treating you, sucka?” dance… but only sometimes.
I generally wake up for my 8AM appointment around 7:52. It gives me just enough time to walk swiftly to the gym (I pack my bag at night) and get started a pleasant 5-7 minutes late. Lindsay used to say something, and then I think she noticed the sheet prints on my cheek and realized I was clearly doing the best I could.
Waking up so late means there is no time for food. I simply hope that there is enough reserved flesh hanging out that it will start to eat itself for energy. It’s a flawed theory, mostly physiologically, but it’s served me pretty well so far… until this morning.
This morning I walked willingly into Lindsay’s Theatre of Workout Cruelty. Even the hot trainers couldn’t motivate me to complete the exercises without whimpering and puffing. At one point there was a kettle bell that almost ended up embedded in the back of Lindsay’s unsuspecting head. It was just too heavy and I couldn’t get any swing momentum.
By the end of the workout, I was using hand signals to imply that I wasn’t going to make it. I tried dramatically dropping to the floor, lying there motionless, but nothing was effective. She insisted I finish every lunge. (Please keep in mind that I spend the equivalent of most people’s mortgage to ALLOW her to do this to me. It’s VOLUNTARY.)
I started to get so hungry during my last set of medicine ball across the room lunges that I thought maybe I was going to start a scene. Usually I work out, shower, then head down to the cafe (oh yes, there is a cafe) and grab a banana and a power bar. I eat the banana on the train, and because it’s the orange line, a bunch of skeevy men watch me eat the banana with that “get it girl” look in their eyes. (Gag.)
This morning, however, I couldn’t even figure out how to walk. I knew I needed to get some food before I showered, but the cafe is all the way downstairs. It might as well have been at the airport on the receiving end of a flight to Australia. There was no way I was getting down there. There was no way I was getting to work. Actually, I was going to die at the gym. And not even on that cool squishy floor.
Eventually I made my way to the cafe (via stairs crafted by Satan), and bought my banana. I started to unpeel it, and then just held it there. (I’ve heard this happens in time of famine. The sheer shock of having food can be overwhelming, causing the brain to trip and not understand what to do with it.) I didn’t want to let it go. So I took it to the shower with me.
There I was. Naked, sitting on the in-shower bench with a banana propped against my shoulder, straining to crane my neck to bite it. I couldnt lift it to my lips. I didn’t no how I was going to shampoo. So I just sat there. Gnawing. After about 20 minutes I decided it was time to wash, so I scooted my bench under the soap dispenser and then reached up and pushed it. Letting the soap land wherever. I think there is still some in my unmentionables.
And next week, I’ll do it all again.
Caroline Beaulieu. By Mattel.