A Fat Girl In The Gym...

Ask Your Doctor if Getting Off Your Fat *** is Right for You.

The mess on the counter stared at me, screaming to be cleaned up. Piles of cheeses. Opened boxes of crackers. A bag of chips. Typically butter frying some variation of bread that fortified melty cheddar and gooey spicy pepper jack. I knew the right thing to do was stop devouring every fattening morsel in sight and clean the mess, but I never did. The binge was more important. The full feeling that warmed my belly. The taste of salty meets spicy; sweet meets sour. Washing it all down with a pungent micro-brewed beer pleasuring my tongue with hints of chocolate and wheat.

There were countless futile endeavors to terminate Fat from the list of adjectives describing myself. Never attempts that involved reduction of calories or confiscation of binge-inducing foods, but ventures that embraced television ads for sports clubs where skinny blond girls danced around aerobics classes.

Desperate as a teenager to saunter bikini-clad, rather than waddle tent-clad, onto the beach without cellulite trapping clumps of sweat-drenched sand between my thighs, I signed up for a gym membership. Surrounding myself with fit individuals showcasing their spandex wrapped muscles and firmly fitting sports bras would inspire me to tone and shrink. My legs would transform from bulging sandbags into baseball bats sprouting from my hips. Goodbye pear figure. Goodbye pillow-shaped appendages. Hello chiseled shanks.

Being a gym virgin, the first day at the local YMCA was beyond overwhelming. Outfitting my cumbersome weeble-wobble body in unflattering running togs, I lumbered into the huge, bleak assemblage of complex fat-annihilating equipment, unsure where in the procession of intimidating machines to begin. Surveying patrons on oddly shaped muscle building contrivances, I realized how unprepared I was for my figure refurbishment endeavor. Properly utilizing the Nautilus contraptions appeared more complicated than operating a backhoe.

Gazing at the swarming lusty physiques, I found not one person who looked approachable enough to ask for help. Feigning tug of war with my headphones, I slowly plodded to a treadmill, curious to know how something as rudimentary as walking could become so overly complicated, requiring thousands of miniature flickering light bulbs and buttons offering limitless asinine options. Mountain? Weight loss? Fat burn? Of course weight loss and fat burn. Who the hell went to the gym for weight gain and fat build? The only button missing was all of the above which was what I needed. Quick start. That was the only instruction I understood. I quick started and inventoried the crowd. With each step I forcefully tugged at the fabric eaten by my cottage cheese covered thighs, attempting to once again cover my flaccid stumps as they chaffed together like two sticks attempting to create fire.

After several months of Quick Starting and tug of war with my shorts that were perpetually eaten by my thighs, I quit the YMCA, convinced I could walk at a snail's pace around my own neighborhood for much less cash and embarrassment.

As years went by, I terminated many relationships with gyms much like relationships with men. Inevitably a completely fatuous, ignominious and irrevocable goof prematurely cut the tie. Habitually I entered the gym overly paranoid and self-conscious that I had a camel-toe, chub rub, body odor or an offensive object flickering from my nose. Typically I obsessed whether my gravity-defiant nipples or muffin top were protruding through my myriad levels of ineffective sports attire. I committed so much effort and time obsessing over multiple humiliating things that might happen, I was unprepared for the numerous mortifying things that did happen.

The circumference of my biceps was slightly larger than most people’s thighs, so it was a rare emergency when all clothes were beyond funked that I wore tank tops in public to rid of the six inches of flab dripping from my armpit. The one dire circumstance when forced to wear the brazen sleeveless attire was the fateful day my recently recruited Sylvester Stallone bodied, George Clooney faced trainer with titanic muscles and flirty smile introduced my callow arms to the much-needed bench press.

Fully entrenched in a mental hysteria over sandbag thighs sprawling over the bench and fleshy potbelly spilling over elastic shorts, I failed to notice my most obvious degrading physical defect. A stench of musty, sour odor wafted from beneath my tank top as I attempted to hoist the ten-pound plate-laden bar atop my head. When I glanced to the right, a massive patch of dark fur huddled in my armpit, inches from the beautiful face of my heavenly trainer. Disgusted and chagrined, I clumsily attempted to return the weight to its resting place above the odor emitting, hair infested arm caves. During my spastic reaction, the bar fell sideways and weights affixed to the left side loudly slammed to the floor. Unable to simultaneously balance and conceal my body fetor, I uncontrollably released the bar onto the floor. The entire gym stopped to view the cacophony. The manager ran over to observe the commotion and survey the damage.

The first year I moved to Washington DC, my roommates encouraged me to join the Washington Sports Club. My size four roommate swore by step aerobics and despite the fact that she ingested fewer than 300 calories per day compared to my 3,000, I was convinced after a few short weeks I too would have the body of a fourteen-year-old girl. The sea of skinny, coordinated women fluttered through the rigorous routine like a flock of birds, effortlessly dipping and swerving in beautifully orchestrated unison. I was the ostrich among the flamingoes. The vulture among the twirling blue jays. When the towering anorexic flock flew up, I slammed down. When they twirled right, I leapt left. It was awful.

A few weeks after commencing step aerobics, my ballerina sized roommate spoon fed me unwarranted confidence and prematurely upgraded us to the advanced step class. Eight minutes into the rigorous routine, I was panting and gulping water to stay alive. The feather-light waifs around me were effortlessly bouncing to the summit of their three foot high steps. With my thick, oak tree legs, I sluggardly thudded and tripped on my single step. Not able to coordinate with the ballet troop, I created my own uncomplicated routine, spinning and kicking along to the beat of nineties funk songs. Oblivious to the synchronized flamingoes surrounding me, I accidentally kicked and spun left when they spun and kicked right, crashing into a 115 pound thirty-something who landed painfully atop her eight step high prominence. The sticklike show-off promptly looked me up and down with a scowl and informed me the beginner’s class was more suitable for a girl my size.

Flustered, I instantly retired from step-aerobics and downgraded to solo stair master. Packs of skinny girls petrified me, and the gym was probably not the place to commence group activity with intimidating athletic women. With the stair stepper set to level three, I gradually lumbered along, examining the proper procedures for utilizing weight machines while pretending to read vapid non-fiction books that might impress my political-minded contemporaries.

The stair master and I were coexisting peacefully as weeks went on. I hid in the corner committing to memory the use of cottage-cheese-conquering machines while mentally reviewing potential calamities I needed to avoid. No fat girl falls. No camel toes. No irregularly pointed nipples. No hairy pits.

Until one fateful night in January when a tribulation that never made it to the mini movie theater in my head struck without advance notice. As I rotated my sandbags and feigned reading my book, I glanced up to an olive-skinned man mounting the stair master abutting mine. In the three foot wide gym, equipment was stacked like pancakes offering little room to maneuver and no room for accidents. Any time a male specimen boarded a machine within arm’s reach, I threw myself into a self-conscious conniption.

In order to gain a better perspective on the potential eye candy scaling the stair stepper, I transformed from non-fiction poser to news-watching poser. Speaking on CNN was our president, Bill Clinton, and aside me was none other than the president’s most well known staff member, the handsome, media crazed George Stephanopoulos, ascending the stair master like Hermes himself. I abruptly ceased churning and boorishly gawked. After using my towel to wipe the drool from my chin, I gulped my water, pretending a misdirected sip was the cause of my spittle.

Next I attempted to regain composure by kick-starting my leg churn, feigning engrossment with my non-fiction literature. Without warning the unread paperback flew to the floor, lodging itself directly between my machine and George’s, which was approximately two inches from my right foot. As I mentally debated how to handle the cringeworthy situation, the spit drenched towel also plummeted into the pile of my crap amassing at the feet of the president’s pundit.

Mortified, I glanced at his handsome, authoritative face looking for any reaction. expressionless, he stared intently at his magazine, unconcerned for my dire situation. After pressing the pause button, I leaned down, as if attempting to perform oral sex on the man, and grabbed for the towel. It was centimeters from my fingertips. If I completely dismounted to grab the items, my face would plant itself immediately in George’s crotch. Barricaded by the wall and other equally cramped machines, I had no options but to continue my downward lurch. Overlooking the fact that my headphones tethered me to the CD player lodged in my machine, I plunged slightly toward the floor. As the flimsy paperback cover slipped through my sweaty fingers, my 180 pound body propelled toward George’s machine. In a frenzied attempt to balance, I threw my left hand on my stepper, accidentally swatting the cord to my headphones and launching my CD player from its compartment on the dashboard of the stair master. As George turned in unbridled disgust and exasperation to view the endless commotion, my CD player pegged him in the forehead.

He stopped churning. He stopped reading. His once expressionless stare transformed into a stern look of disbelief, disdain and disgust. I feared dozens of secret service officers would leap from treadmills and detain me in a prison of dumbbells. Quickly I apologized and ran, abandoning my sweat and saliva encrusted towel along with the neglected non-fiction prop. Later that week I resumed working out at the Dupont Circle club, successfully avoiding any future contact with Gorgeous George. Evidently I was more comfortable exercising in the midst of gay men than straight ones.

When living in San Francisco I joined a 24 Hour Fitness, frustrated with the lack of results from my lunchtime laps around the Embarcadero and committed to once again fit in sexy and tiny thong underwear sadly replaced with gargantuan granny panties colossal enough to function as a bra and panty combo. When stretched upward, the elastic atop the underwear reached well above my droopy boobs. In the locker room I hurriedly removed the big panties before amassing my spandex and running short combination. Forever gym paranoid, I envisioned large bulks of under-panty cotton protruding from my exercise shorts as they balled chub-rub style inside my crotch. Into the locker room I would slither, quickly remove large embarrassing undergarments and cover myself with my running togs. Sizable skivvies were swiftly stored in the gym bag from where I retrieved a towel and exited straightaway to commence torture.

Hastily I accomplished my locker room routine and selected turtle speed from the multiple treadmill options. Disinclined to read during my maladroit amble, I canvassed the crowd. Commotion near the magazine rack caught my attention. Several sippy-straw-legged gym superiors awaiting a group class precipitated an alleged club crisis as the animated spindly instructor aggressively flagged down the front desk girl. The employee apathetically arrived, noted the root of the tumult, violently shuddered and quickly disappeared with her hands held over her mouth. Posthaste she returned with a black trash bag and a giant picker-upper tool resembling the one convicts use to gather trash on the side of the highway.

The nauseated employee maneuvered the unwieldy giant tongs to firmly clamp the offensive item. Once the army of groaning, grimacing silicon shrews filed into the studio, the vile article became visible. A pair of purple flowered granny panties - unsexy enough to cause any man to lose an erection - dangled from the tool. I would have blinked, but my eyeballs popped out of my head and rolled onto the treadmill. My heart palpitated, and not from the turtle speed workout, from the fear that I would be publicly linked to the offensive garment. In my rush, I must have pulled the panties from my bag along with the towel, unknowingly dropping them as I filled my water bottle. As the repulsed desk clerk attempted to insert my crotch covers in the trash bag, my nervous fidgeting with music resulted in the freshly filled water bottle crashing loudly on the belt and slamming violently behind me. The drywall devastating mini-movie was filmed, only it wasn’t my *** stuck in the wall, it was my water bottle soaking it, along with the floor and the treadmill. With an inadequately affixed cap, water sloshed everywhere, forming a puddle on the floor inches from the plug.

With the panties still clipped in the tool, the clerk sprinted to my machine, pulled me off and unplugged the treadmill before an electrical short rendered the entire gym powerless. She foisted the picker-upper tool into my hand while she used my towel to blot the pond I created. Frozen with mortification and shame I stared at my feet as every patron in that building glared at my shelf butt over which the purple flowers perfectly fit.

From that day on, I resumed hopelessly walking circles around the Wharf, eyeballing the sea lions whose body type and ornery attitude both reflected my own. Sadly I retired my gym membership and the hope of ever being tone, fit or muscular.

From my blog: http://howtheyseeit.blogspot.com/
howiseeitis howiseeitis
Jul 19, 2010