First comes the heat and then come the hard bodied posers…immediately followed by the soft bodied haters and self-loathers. Which group do I fall into? The hard bodied, of course, you ugly lards! Not really. Without even knowing what I look like, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a softie. A softie who hates the summer time. Like it isn’t enough that being ugly makes you feel ugly, come the summer, it feels as though every single piece of you is up for scrutiny. Every roll, every second chin, every bingo wing, every crease where there shouldn’t be a crease, your front and your back boobs, from muffs to muffin tops… That shit is on show!! And it’s all warm and sweating. (Sexy.)
The stupid part is, we all know the summer is coming, so something can always be done to avoid this annual frumpy feeling. It’s not like, “Oooh, fancy it being warm at this time of year!” “What’s all this sunshine business? I wasn’t expecting that at all!” “30 degrees, you say? What’s that like, one corner of a rhomboid?” NO, it’s not! Saying that, living in the UK, it can come as a bit of a surprise, a hot summer, but, you know, there’s always a strong chance that we’ll get a day or two. Some of us just never learn and never prepare.
It wouldn’t be true to say I’ve lived a totally gym-free existence. I’ve been before. At least twice, actually! The first time I got cramp in my leg stepping ON the treadmill, the second time there was a free buffet lunch! (I really wish I was making this up. Shame on me.) I just feel like there are better things that I can do with my time than going to the gym. Like going to the pub… No. It’s great to be healthy, if that’s your motivation, but for me, the gym comes with too many levels of judgement, comparison and strangers with limited boundaries. So instead, I convince myself that it’s all just vanity anyway, which I have no time for, so hide myself away in winter coats and jumpers. Then, the next thing I know, it’s HOT and I’m ringing out the armpits of my t-shirt after walking ten feet to the bus stop, while my attractive neighbours wretch at the site of me and I regret every damn office Krispy Kreme I ever ate. RAGE! (I also need to move to an uglier part of town. You know how you get those ugly parts of town?)
I’ve previously tried to get over my gymphobia/people weirdness combo issue by working out at home. Initially, it had no effect whatsoever, then I switched the CD from slow jams to something a little more up-tempo and I was on my way. I was kind of getting it too, that exercise adrenalin thing. Sometimes you’d be buzzing after! Pumped! Psyched! More often than not, though, I was just fucking knackered and ready for bed! (At 7am). I did, however, keep it up for a while. And then something stupid happened. (Stupid? Me?) The more I worked out, the more justification I felt for eating that doughnut, or that cupcake or that whole tub of ice-cream…straight after chowing down a whole 12 inch pizza!! Urrrrgh! I was cancelling out all of my own good efforts so, really, what was the point?
The crux of the issue is, I love food too much. In fact, it’s the only context in which I can say the word “love” completely without effort, without cringing, tensing or breaking into a cold sweat. I love food! Sometimes, if I’m really enjoying eating something, I’ll do a little dance to the rhythm of my chewing and make up songs. It comforts me. It’s a treat after a shit day. It makes me feel warm and snuggly inside. It’s sweet sometimes. It fills a need. It is sustenance. It satisfies cravings. It’s there when you’re all alone. It’s something familiar when you’re feeling lost. It’s a tiny (cheese?) hand to wipe away the tears. It’s a dispassionate voice at the end of the phone. It’s someone you once loved and no longer recognise. It’s an anxious pang. It’s a feeling of loss. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s the confused desperation that occupies your mind. It’s the dark when all light fades. It’s the loathing of self that devours your waking thoughts. It’s the horror that haunts your dreams. It’s…
So…THE GYM? Third time’s a charm???
But, no, jokes aside. I reject the ideology of the body beautiful, and both love and embrace beauty in its many and varied forms. I’ll come to love myself too, eventually. For now, though, I’ll call it a slow courtship.