MIDWAY : Shape up or be shunned

Joining a gym had never been on my agenda of things to do. So pictures of well-toned, zero-sized models or meeting my age women with Scarlet O’ Hara sized waists failed to entice me to these health hubs which I felt thinned your wallet more than you. But my increasing girth, thanks to my dipping rate of metabolism, turned out to be a cause of concern for my eight-year-old daughter. All efforts at biological reasoning about ageing, motherhood failed to placate her.

So there I was, standing jelly-kneed at the reception of a neigbourhood gym. The Worldspace radio blared and the sound of people puffing and panting beckoned me to the well-equipped gym below.

As I took a cursory glance around the gym, I felt like a total misfit. I forced myself to linger for a while before catching the attention of the sinewy trainer.

I noticed there were two distinct sets of people, ones with well toned bodies, rippling biceps and flat abs and others endowed with pumpkin shaped bodies oozing oodles of fat. The latter tended to boost my confidence. After all, mine was not such a sad case, I reassured myself.

But a visit to the nutritionist the next day undid my false perceptions about my shape. After going through a detailed account of everything I ate and drank during the day, he was supposed to advise me on my exercise regimen and food intake.

His eyes surveyed me from head to toe and I felt the disapproval in his eyes. “I can only see flab! Where’s the muscle in your body?” said he stroking his goatee. And I felt like crawling under his table to save myself from any further embarrassment. But he went on, “I can see you have been eating unhealthy food, and missing out on activity and exercise.” I nodded like a school kid hauled up for indiscipline.

The man, though a little blunt, nevertheless shook me out of my ‘I’m not obese, so I’m fine’ mode. Handing me a stringent exercise regimen and a food chart, he asked me to see him after six weeks. It’s been two weeks since. Juggling between home, kids and work, I’ve been diligently trying to sweat it out at the gym. But I’m yet to earn an approving comment from my kiddo. Guess losing the heavy adipose layer is not going to be a child’s play!