Tag Archives: diet & exercise

Dear Creepy Gymnast Girl at LA Fitness,

Hello there. Do you remember me? My name is Marney, and I am the older, fatter girl who was in the trainer room last night. You remember me, right? See, I was on the mat, alternating my reverse crunches with my swissball jackknives. Yeah, I know, it’s funny to watch that. But yes, that was me.

I don’t quite know HOW you could have missed me. There I was, getting ready to do my jackknives, which are hard as hell and yes, I occasionally fall off the ball and make quite the thundering sound when my flab smacks the mat. But I always laugh and get back on. Yet for some reason, and despite the fact that you are no bigger than 4-feet tall, you felt the need to come to that same mat, spread your legs in a T-split, and begin to bounce. ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. You literally put your foot directly in front of me, even though my ginormous mass was only taking the spot of ONE person. Yet you were taking the place of 4 people.

Remember what I did? How I almost rolled right over your foot. That was fun for me. You kind of got the picture — you moved to the other mat, but continued to do your bizarre bouncy splits routine. Side splits. Front splits. Side splits. Front splits. Over and over. You know what? While I was back doing reverse crunches, and my butt was pointed at you, I ALMOST squeaked out a fart to get you to go away. But I didn’t. I should have, then maybe you would have stopped what I can only describe as acrobatic pornography. At one point, you began to thrust.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I too know how much fun it can be to grab the attention of the male species at the gym. I have, from time to time, realized that a young handsome meathead was staring at my vast chest, and purposely dipped just a little further over during my deadlifts. Seriously, especially when he is like, 22. Sure, maybe he has a Mommy complex, but still, it’s fun to be ogled, even though the feminist hiding in the back of my head is shouting STOP IT! I read Cosmo. I get it.

Remember when I left the mats? I went upstairs to run on the treadmill. I ran for 30 minutes. And when I was done, and I came back down the stairs, there you were, still on the mats, still in the splits. You know what? We get it. You are super flexible. You can jump from standing into a T-split. You know what? Dudes don’t dig that. Do you think they want you to stand over them and do that? You will snap their junk right off, sister! Stop it already.

Then I went into the sauna. I admit, I have no idea what the sauna is supposed to do. I just like the feeling of a good warm sweat. Also, I was the only one in there, which meant that I could sing along with the array of songs stacked on my MP3 player — Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Trisha Yearwood, all mashed together. Though I really belted it out to “Walking in Memphis,” the Marc Cohn version, not that crappy country release. I emerged 15 minutes later, and there you were. In the locker room. With one leg up on the counter in a display of flexibility. You were talking on your phone. Apparently, the person you were talking with really, really wanted to hear you sing the dance-mix version of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” which was playing over the gym’s speakers. Because you sure did sing it loud. Into your phone. While doing the splits on the makeup counter.

I noticed at this point that you caught my eye. I’m sorry, you were right. I was staring at you. More specifically, I was trying to will you to shut the hell up and leave. It didn’t work.

Well, creepy gymnast girl at LA Fitness, I hope you are feeling good and limber this morning, I don’t really know how you could feel anything else. You sure are stretchy. But I do hope that I don’t have to deal with your flexing and thrusting again anytime soon. My husband was not there with me, but he would have told you to move your skinny ass out of his space. For some reason, he’s not shy at the gym. I just hope I get skinny and awesomely buff soon, because I’m not sure I can take that shit ever again.

Thanks for your time,



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Keeping with my juvenile theme, I am beginning to wonder two things: 1) How is it that I managed to find a husband who is such a good fit for me, and 2) When are we going to hell, because we are so going there.

Tonight I went to the gym for a little weight lifting and high intensity intervals, though you would never guess it from the size of my rear and my extra cushiony spare tire. In my defense, this is Illinois, and it gets cold here in the winter, so I really need the extra blubber. It’s a survival mechanism.

Anyway, I usually go with Jim to the gym. Just to go off topic for a moment, I love that Jim and gym are homonyms, and I play it up often. I call his gym bag his “you bag.” I say, “I need to go to the ‘you’ and exercise” and “I need a new pair of ‘you’ shoes.” God forbid he ask me where his gym bag is, because the answer is, “All your bags are Jim bags.” Being 35 is no excuse to stop being immature.

ANYWAY, I usually go with Jim to the gym. But tonight I had to go alone. And in my solitude, I realized that I enjoy working out with him for many reasons, not the least of which is because it is far easier to make fun of people with him than it is alone.

For example, when we are there together, we notice other couples. There is the couple where the man is a lot younger and better looking than the woman who we assume is his wife. Naturally, they are “Disproportionate Couple.” There’s the trainer who himself is quite portly, AKA, “Fun Fat Trainer.” There’s the racquetball guy who wears what appears to be professional racquetball attire, or, as we call him, “Professional Pants Guy.” His partner looks at me a lot (I had Jim check him out checking me out to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things. He said for sure he was checking me out. He likes a little meat on his ladies, it appears). Unfortunately, he has kind of a skeevy vibe, hence his nickname, “Serial Killer.”

There’s the guy who looks like the character of John Locke from “Lost.” We just call him “John Locke.”

Our favorite is the couple who come in matching outfits. They are outrageously good-looking, bodies to envy, dazzling looks, great hair even while sweating. Once, when he smiled, I swear his teeth twinkled. Like us, they freely give the evil eye to pretty much everyone who walks past. Unlike us, they don’t even make an attempt to hide it. They are the best looking people there, and they know it. So naturally, we call them, “A Couple of A-Holes.”

So there I was tonight, longing for my husband’s companionship. Why? Well, tonight I was graced with the trifecta: Shaved Legs Guy in front of me, Velour Pants Guy next to him, and next to me, Steam Engine Guy. I call him that because the weights he lifts are outrageously heavy, and when he exhales, he goes “ppfffffftttt” like a steam engine. His last rep usually has an unbelievably long “pppfffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttt,” as if he’s just pulled into the station and stopped. It’s everything I have to not start singing the theme from “Thomas the Tank Engine.”

It makes me wonder — how exactly will this come around for me? Because we know that’s where this is headed. You cannot possibly snicker about this many strangers without karma, or fate, or kismet, or whatever you call it, biting you in the rear. The rather large rear, as it is these days. I wonder what these people call me. “Stretch Pants Girl” or “Big Boobs” or “Twisted Nipples” (they are always pointed in different directions, and the gym lights really highlight it) or “Ass Sweat Girl” (wiping off the mat can be embarrassing).

Whatever it is, I totally deserve it. And it won’t stop me from coming up with nick names, especially when “Stupid Bandana Girl” and “Talks on Her Cell Phone” are on bikes RIGHT NEXT to each other. Oh yes, my uppance shall come. I can’t wait.

UPDATE – No sooner had I posted this than did Jim walk through the door. He went to workout later than I did since we couldn’t go together tonight. He looked at me and said, “Well, A Couple of A-Holes were there. So was Do-Rag Guy. And Blue Jeans and Flip Flops Guy was on the stairclimber!”

We are so going to hell.


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The weight of it all

I have a love-hate relationship with my bod. Mostly, I love to hate it.

I am not qualified to speak for the majority of women in this town, this state, this country or even this world, but I am going to take a guess that many or even most of us feel this way. We look at a picture of ourselves and think, Sweet Mother of Mercy, where the hell did all that SKIN come from? Lord.

My love-hate relationship with the way I look has kicked into high gear these days. You see, according to  the scale the worst invention ever made, I currently weigh as much as I did in May of 2002. The problem with that? In May of 2002, I was full term pregnant with my first child. God.

Six weeks ago, Jim and I decided to start a weight lifting program. Which is good. But the problem is that to build muscle, you must eat the proper amounts of calories, which means, no deficit. But without a deficit, there is no weight loss. Simple science says to lose weight, calories burned must be higher than calories consumed. And not only have I been mostly even on my burn-consume ratio, but some days, I consume a little too much. Hence, I can now see muscles in my arms and my butt is starting to look better, but my actual WEIGHT suggests I have an 8 pound 3 ounce child in my uterus, which I do not. To sum it up — Ugh.

But the biggest problem, of course, is how this affects my daily life. Take for example, some memories from Lake Jordan (aka, the Happy Place) in Wisconsin this summer:


My sister Carrie took this photo, and it is freaking hilarious. That’s me, reading a smut book called “Goldie Locks and the Behr” to my son Hank (left) and my nephew Danny. The writer named the lead male character “Angus Behr,” probably for the specific reason of giving the book that title. Genius. Look at Hank’s face. LOOK AT HIM. He is absolutely fascinated at this deeply involved piece of American literature. But what did I see when I clicked onto this photo when she put it on the Face Page? My thighs, followed by my stomach roll.

And there’s also this:


This is a photo of grown people having a water fight. That’s Kelly at the left, shooting at Tommy (with the beer), Tim (the headless one) and me. Dudes… LOOK at my shoulders. I’m not even FLEXING. Dare I say it, but those are some sculpted shoulders. But nooooooooooo… all I saw when I spotted this gem was my back fat, my belly fat, my huge ass and those THIGHS again.

The worst offender is this one:


That’s me and my Pops. Isn’t he adorable? I love my Dad. He’s my hero. I want to blow this picture up to poster size and frame it on my living room wall. Dad = awesome. But when I saw this photo, did I think of how good it is? What a sweet and enduring memory it is? How I will be able to hold on to this as a memory of what a ridiculously good time we all had in our Happy Place this summer? No. I saw my big, fat, saggy boobs, trying to wrangle their way out of the picture and into the water.

What the hell? The worst part of it all, is taking a second look… I’m not even that big. I’m overweight. I’m not obese. Well, not yet, anyway.

Now, in my OWN defense, all of these photos involve me and a swimsuit, and it’s difficult to not be overly judgmental of yourself and your bod when wearing what basically amounts to second skin. And this little number is a Sears special, bought more for its ability to hold up my girls (though even in that respect it often fails) than for its high state of modern fashion. It’s a granny suit, frankly. Sure, they tried to make it hip with those sassy pink flowers, but still. There’s no arguing it when you bought the most chic suit available in the women’s section at Sears. I mean, really.

But still, my relationship with my own body is ruining my memories. It’s taking over the way I look at things. I show a picture of a perfectly happy time, and all I see is… fat. And I don’t know how to fix it.

I’m trying, these days, with weights. But let’s say a year from now, assuming I stick to my current program, my body is tighter, more defined. Let’s say I lose 20 or 30 pounds of flab. Then what? Then is it time to attack my stretch marks? Will I hate the size of my butt even if it is firmer? The lines on my face? The grey hair that I have recently embraced, will THAT start to haunt me if I tone up this vessel that carries me around this world? Somebody, for the love of God, tell me WHY? Why am I not good enough for myself?

I suppose that for women, it’s something most of us seek, but few of us ever find the answer.


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