Ever walked by a shop window or a big mirror, seen the reflection in the glass as you pass and wondered for a split second, “Who is that?” For once, I’d like to do it and think, “Who is that lovely, pulled-together, chic creature?” and then realize it’s me.
That exact scenario hasn’t happened yet.
Usually, what happens is I catch a glimpse in the glass and stifle a scream…or, at the very least I groan and quicken my pace. But during my mini-writing retreat the reflection in the glass was inescapable. I walked by a gigantic mirror in my hotel room between the sleeping area and the bathroom (hence the inescapable-ness); I then caught a glimpse of a grumpy looking stout woman in really bad clothing (in my defense, there was a draft in the room and I am a devout layerer.)
I stopped in mid-stride and did a double take. Holy shitballs, I exclaimed out loud. That’s what I look like. I peeled off my bulky wool sweater and still the image refused to slim down. I looked like a pear with pink and green mold growing on it. Not a pleasant vision.
When did this happen? How did this pear-shaped creature take over my usual svelte self? It dawned on me that I had perhaps taken the “fatten up to survive a Canadian winter” thing too far. Sadder still is the realization that we had a really mild winter…
The really bad clothing problem can be rectified but the shape of me – well that’s another problem altogether and given the state of my idling metabolism – it won’t be so easy to fix. There are several very serious obstacles standing in my way.
Obstacle #1: I am severely allergic to exercise. Just the thought of planned physical activity can throw my back out or bring on a migraine.
Obstacle #2: Exercise allergy notwithstanding, I have an unreasonable fear of fitness clubs. I hate the music, the overabundance of spandex and sweat, the judging (bullshit, you know it happens).
Obstacle #3: Severe lack of funds. Even if I could overcome #1 & #2, I can’t afford to join a gym. I do have an exercise bike in my basement…somewhere…
and finally, we come to Obstacle #4: Me. As we all know, #4 is the only one that really counts and the one who drives all the others. I see runners, joggers, and cyclists every day – I feel pangs of jealousy when I see them out there no matter what the weather. They are better than me. I run like a three-legged water buffalo. I’m scared to death to cycle on city streets and that leaves walking.
But will walking be enough? I think I will enlist my soccer star daughter as my personal trainer. She is trained by a fairly maniacal coach who is a believer that fitness wins the game. She can teach me some mat exercises, some core workouts, etc. The problem is, who is going to make me do it?
I know – that stout woman in the hotel mirror. I am finally at the point where I will do anything to avoid seeing her ever again.