Monday, June 22, 2009

Steering Clear of the Gym

I've decided that I am going to stay away from the gym for a few weeks and focus on getting my exercise done outdoors or by punching myself doing Billy Blanks' Ultimate Tae Bo Experience. There are three reasons for this, one is not a factor in the decision as much as something I just want to complain about.  

Reason 1: I have hit a weight-loss plateau.  For a few weeks now, I have been hovering at 28 pounds loss.  It's discouraging and frustrating to still be working out like a champ, eating healthy, and just doing everything right and seeing nothing as a result.  It's tempting to just accept the fact that I am doomed for a life of Fat Girl-dom, but I really want to hit 30 pounds so I can do The Worm during Dance Party.  I've been holding out on that move for a special occasion, and I am itching to do it.  So, I am hoping that by switching up my routine and putting myself through different exercises and challenges, it will kick start my body back into lose weight mode.  

Reason 2: I have an arch-nemesis at the gym.  I need space from him or I may eventually blow up at him, or start throwing sticks of deodorant at him. My arch-nemesis is an older gentleman, I would guess late 60s or early 70s.  He's fit and active, someone you would expect to see on an Ensure commercial, except he's got a real-Prick face. One look at him and you can just tell he's been a dick to most of the people he has came across in life. Note: this is why I smile as much as I can, because I've noticed you can look at old people and tell if they are happy or mean people based off their wrinkles.  Those wrinkles either tell a story of laughter and fun, or snarls and scowls.  I want my wrinkles to make me look happy.

Despite the fact that I try to be a happy person, it does not change the fact that he's my arch-nemesis.  The first reason that he is my arch-nemesis is that he stinks. Terribly.  Body odor alone is not enough to get me make you my sworn enemy, but it helps.  But it's just not body odor, I mean, this man smells truly, truly awful.  I was on the elliptical one day, the only person on them, and he got on the one two machines down and I was just hit with a smell that only pigs would love.  I started gagging, felt my mouth begin to salivate and realized I had to hightail it out of there.  I shot Stinky Old Man a dirty look on my way out.  I don't think he realizes he smells so awful, and his clothes look laundered and he appears to practice good hygiene.  However, the odor emitting from him would make flowers wilt. I wouldn't mind the odor so much if Stinky Old Man did not insist on getting on the elliptical in the very middle of the row.  There is no way to be on a machine without being subjected to his stench.  I've been skipping the elliptical and going for the bikes or treadmill because of him.  And lifting weights??? Oh hell no, I am not about to get on machines after he's been sweating and rolling all over them.

But being a Stinky Old Man is not enough to warrant being an arch-nemesis.  It was a comment he made to me one day.  Stinky Old Man and I see each other often at the gym, and exchange dirty looks to one another. One day, he approached me and made the comment, "It's good to see a chubby girl like yourself here so often.  So many kids in your generation are so lazy compared to mine. It's good to see a fat person trying to do something for herself."

I'll give you a moment to soak in that comment.

Yes, Stinky Old Man called me fat and chubby in the first, and only time, we ever spoke.  I sat there, jaw dropped, and just sort of said thank you, because how do you handle that?  Where does this guy get off thinking he has a right to say that to someone?  Your stink does not give you special rights and privileges, except maybe dibs on the shower.  I could not, and still cannot, believe he said that.  Granted, calling me fat, chubby, tubby, obese, whatever, has no effect on me.  There just adjectives, and I am entirely too overconfident in myself to get hurt by that. I have thick skin, both literally and figuratively.  However, there are a lot of women out there who are really sensitive about their size and would've had a meltdown about a comment like that.  Calling someone fat or chubby is not a motivator.  That comment sealed his fate as my arch-nemesis.  Note:  any time someone uses the phrase "fat person," I cannot help but think of Buffalo Bill and the classic line, "Oh wait, was she a great big fat person?" However, Stinky Old Man is not the a real reason I am avoiding the gym, because my parents raised me to not really give  a shit what people think of me; hence the inflated sense of self that I have.

Reason 3:  This is the main reason I am avoiding the gym for a while. I require loud music blasting from my iPod to keep motivated.  The gym has 90s on 9 piped through the speakers, but for me to stay moving, Classic Rock is required. Often I get really into the songs and work out to the beat.  This behavior caused me to once pull a muscle in my shoulder and lose function of my left arm for a few days due to trying to use the elliptical to "My Sharona." The other day when I was at the gym I was feeling  some Aerosmith. Twenty minutes into my workout I had enjoyed the classics from the Get a Grip album and I still had 10 minutes to go.  So I maxed out the volume and blasted "Janie's Got a Gun."  My energy rocketed and I was pumping away like a champ on that elliptical, I was sweating it out in support of Janie and her anger.  However, I got a little to into the song, because when it got to the "Runaway, Run away, Ruuuuunn Away from the Pa-e-a-e-ain, Runaway, Ruuuuun awa-e-a-e-a-ay Yeah!" I got completely caught up in the moment and started belting that verse out at the top of my lungs. I did not realize how carried away I was until the lady on the machine next to me tapped my arm and motioned that I was indeed singing at the top of my lungs to my iPod to Aerosmith in the middle of the gym.

Oh, did I mention that there was a division of Sailors there doing their physical fitness test and all got to bare witness to my Fitness Karaoke Debut?   I tried to play it cool, help up my iPod to signify I was not a psycho, but the damage was done.  Everyone was commenting to me once I got off the machine.  I don't embarrass easily, and I am not actually embarrassed by this, but it's more of a pain the ass to have everyone looking at you as the "Janie's Got a Gun" Girl and asking for an encore when you're on the machines.   So wish me luck in my gym-free adventures.  I will venture back there once I am confident that someone else has pulled a boneheaded move and forgot about me singing on the elliptical.

In the meantime, I will try to keep my karaoke moments limited to bars, cars and showers.  


  1. I'm taking a break from the gym as well! Since I'm between gym memberships while moving, I thought I would take advantage of the free outdoors and previously purchased workout DVDs, lately P90X. Let me know how it goes for you!

  2. Cari - I just recently checked out your blog; and you are an amazing writer! Your posts made me laugh out loud! So, thanks for putting yourself out there for others to enjoy, and congrats on your accomplishments!

  3. Ensure, way to plug your brother's new employer! BTW, there was a sweaty stinky man at my old gym, I hated him too. He never called me a chubby girl though.