2017 is a year of change for me. New house (for the love of God someone bloody buy it), new blog, ‘gratitude’ photography project and a ‘new body’! You see I’m one of those ‘skinny fat’ women. Yes I look reasonably good in my clothes, weigh under nine stone (admittedly only 300 grams but I’m clinging to that like I would a large bar of ‘Cadburys’) and appear to be keeping the ravages of the ‘Perimenopause’ at bay. However stripped down to my pants in front of a full length mirror and it’s a very different story.
Wearing one from a pack of four Tesco midi briefs in a slightly baggy size 12 (usually spotted or striped and always horn-inducing to the opposite sex) I cast a critical eye over my wares. I’m prepared to forgive the bosoms; after all they’ve provided nourishment to four babies and have earned their right to dangle in any direction they wish (even if that’s in the opposite direction to its pair). Again the ‘mum-tum’ is forgiven for it’s lack of tone and mashed potato consistency. Unfortunately whilst living through the era of the ‘butt’; think Kardashian, Lopez and that fella twerking in half a suit in the adverts, I find mine sadly lacking. Yes it’s a regulation bottom of two halves; trouble is these days I’d liken it to two sad birthday balloons found forgotten behind the sofa several weeks after a big party. Still strung together, unequally deflated and desperate for a good pump-up.
My hips are doughy; which for years I’ve absolved as they’re all the better to bounce a child off. The calves and ankles are; how can I put this? Dainty? They are unfortunately in stark contrast to my sturdy ‘hockey-player’ thighs, like legs of two halves; totally disproportionate to each other and a bloody good reason to get ‘Bootcut’ jeans back in fashion. Then I barely wish to mention my arms; who knew you could get cellulite here? Mind you a ‘batwing’ jumper covering the place where my ass should be over the right cut of jeans and I can pass for a relative hottie in her forties. You see upon hitting forty I began the gradual decline into ‘squaredom’; a time when you’re body literally becomes square. Trousers become an issue as do pants and you’ll spend the greater part of every day ‘hoiking’ up whatever is covering your lower half. Thankfully high-waist jeans have come along to help with this issue; though do cover to hip-level otherwise a denim paunch will be revealed. That and the fact from your armpit to your hip now run parallel straight lines that even a nineties cinch-in elastic belt cannot change. So you can imagine after this unflattering appraisal I decided something must be done.
I hopped, skipped then wished I hadn’t (damn pelvic floor) into Sainsbury’s ready to purchase some fabulous work-out gear. At the very least I would look the part! Sixty pound later and I was feeling much more chipper about the whole thing. I mean in no time at all I would be a sculptured goddess with a firm body. I imagined myself in a crop tops revealing taut and tanned abs whilst perusing ‘Wheatgrass’ powder in Holland and Barrett. Then crossing the finishing line in a tutu having secured a marathon time of under 2 hours. My new, imagined boyfriend Diego; world-renowned Yogi and holder of the world record for most hip-thrusts in a minute would propose on the finish line and we’d be invited to tell our story on This Morning. Either way I was feeling ready for my induction at the gym.
I arrive out of breath after ‘mum-running’ the ten yard walk from the car just to avoid the rain then wait to be induced. At this point I’m presuming that this ‘induction’ will be way less painful affair than the last one which resulted in me giving birth to what felt like a foal. I was wrong. After the weigh-in, measurements and revelation that my inner organs were essentially ready to swim the English Channel i.e. smothered in lard, I was introduced to the circuit. An hour later and I’ve been through a myriad of unpleasant emotions, defeat, dejection, guilt, fear and anger. I’d watched women in their sixties swing a 10kg kettle bell through their legs like it’s a small clutch bag. Marvelled at red-faced sweaty ladies grimacing through lunges, squats and crunchies all the time mentally totting up how much younger I am and feeling angry at my lack of coordination, balance and determination. Then it is finished; I’ve managed a circuit that should take 15 minutes in 40 and decided it was probably best I look into a low-impact walking group; perhaps invest in a zimmer to help me along. I find myself flicking through a catalogue looking at mobility aids and tongue-jousting a creme egg then it hits me. A quick hit of Serotonin; is it from the chocolate and fondant cream or could it be; exercise? Unsure I must venture once more into the gym to find out…
Don’t miss: “Part Two; My First Zumba Class” which will follow after my groin strain has eased off.