The struggle is real


I did the middle-aged spread shuffle this morning.

I was damned if I was going to lose the battle between my waistband and my favourite Levis.

It took a few minutes of jumping up and down.

A few more of sucking in.

And, finally, the victory dance of doing up the zip.

Thanks giphy

I could buy another pair, but that would be admitting defeat.

I won’t.

Just like I won’t go to the loo today, in case I can’t do them up again.

I’m religiously going to the gym.

I can now kick-start a Boeing.

Squat like a broody hen and climb stairs like they’re Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.

I’ve given up carbs.

I’ve forsaken chocolate.

I can’t remember what a potato chip tastes like.

What I can’t do yet is fit into the bloody Levis.

Maybe I can blame it all on impending menopause.

Maybe the washing machine shrunk every item of clothing I own?

Both are preferable to blaming my expanding girth on myself.

Maybe it’s gas?

To listen to the sheer genius of this song, link to the YouTube video:


I want the gym bag

Image by Joanna Dubaj from Pixabay

Who joins the gym for a free bag? Seriously.

I’m actually asking.

Do you make your gym decision on who is offering the coolest tog bag?

This was me a week ago.

This is me now.

“So, if I come 16 times in 8 weeks, I get a free bag?”



I don’t even know what it looks like, but it’s incentive. It’s a small, yet achievable goal. I may not have lost much in terms of the saddle bags around my waist, but I’m hell bound on getting this bag.

In terms of the actual training…

Trainer: “You need to keep your elbows close to your body as you pull the weight toward you.”

Me trying hard, but not cracking it.

You see, I have a physical deformity that prevents elbow straight backward movement.


I have boobs.

I shove them mercilessly into two sports bars.

They flatten out, but they have to go somewhere.

Yup. Sideways.

They go sideways.

Like squashed balloons.

This means, that the elbows-in position requires me to go around the obstruction rather than through it.

So, I have to do a rather strange out-in elbow movement.

And then my shoe decided that 10 years of abuse was quite enough, thank you, and decided to peel away its layers like an onion.

A Nike that couldn’t just do it.

A Nike that just wanted to be left alone to die in peace in the depths of my shoe box.

I loved these.

I cheered myself up by buying a new pair. They’re snazzy, but they’re not pink leopard print snazzy like the old pair. They’re discrete and serious gym wear. I feel like a total fraud. Probably the same way I’d feel if I had to wear a pair of Louboutins.

But, I’ve got my new shoes on and a bag waiting with my name on it.

The unpalatable truth

Gym Bunny by Jules

“Ooh, Mom,” said teenager strolling past, “You’re getting a little…”

“Fat, I’m getting fat. I have got fat. I’m standing in the doorway of my 600-pound life. Pushing maximum density. Looking ‘healthy’. Breaking the scale. Yes, I am aware of the phenomenon.”

This conversation was the eye opener I needed to move my fat ass to the gym.

I’ve managed fairly successfully to avoid all exercise for 43 years. I’ve had my fads, yoga, tae-bo, electric shock therapy, rowing, etc., but I managed to move past them back into couch potatodom.

To say that I was terrified doesn’t encapsulate the brewing panic attack in my belly as I walked towards the doors. I am deeply ashamed of my current, non-existent level of fitness. And, I am averse to any form of public humiliation.

At the door, I was asked to collect my tag the next time I came. I looked at the woman in horror and said, “You’re being awfully presumptuous assuming that there will be a next time.”

There was also the fact that my trainer, Geoff, is my son’s trainer and that my son is Arnold Schwarzengger in the making. Actually, he trains the whole family. Even my 13-year-old daughter is ripped and back.

And then there’s me.

“Is there anything you want to tell me before we start?” questions Geoff.

I pointed to a poster titles ‘Human Musculature’ and said, “You see all those muscles. I don’t have them. Inside me is just a mush of stuff around a crumbling skeleton, held together by a skin suit.”

“Don’t worry,” he said confidently, “I have another older lady who…”

I didn’t hear the rest. I was still sticking on the phrase, “another older lady”.

WHAT! I’m in forties not my eighties.

“Hang on,” I simpered, “Let’s back up. Another older lady?”

“I… I… I didn’t mean it like that. Just that she is older not that you’re another older…”

It helped that my trainer (my trainer – see what I did there? Owning the experience.) treated me very gently after that. I think my family had prepped him that in extreme circumstances and confronted with things I do not like, I can run very fast out the door. In those circumstances I can be Usain Bolt.

“What do you want out of this?” he asked.

“I want to be smaller. Everywhere. I want to be 2 dress sizes smaller.”

“Alright,” he said firmly, “Then no more Bar Ones and Red Bulls.”

“Hang on,” I erupted in guilt, “How do you know about the Bar Ones?”

Children, you can’t rely on them to keep anything a secret.

Anyway, my Reiki teacher says that if you bless your Bar One with Reiki energy before you eat it, you just pee out all the sugar and fat. So, really, diet food.

Look, I can be an optimist if I want to.

So, no Bar Ones. No sugar, in ANYTHING! No potatoes, pasta or bread. Just grilled chicken and spinach for eons and eons.

If you look at it from an environmental point of view, eating a Bar One will save the lives of hundreds of chickens.

And I have to drink protein shakes and eat eggs. I’m going to be eating double the amount I do now. Lots more food. Lots less variety. At the end of this, hopefully I’ll look like Chris Hemsworth. Call me Thorina.  

“I just want to get a baseline on your flexibility and fitness,” he says.

“I can tell you that right now,” I reply, “There isn’t one. It’s so far down below the Earth’s surface that lava flows over it.”

Somehow, he coaxed me into a public area and began making me do stuff. Lunges, squats and lifting a bar up. Lunges are exercises designed by BDSM practitioners. I also discovered that the weight of a bar is relative to the amount of times you have to lift the bloody thing above your head.

I did quite well considering my state of anxiety and growing thigh pain. Geoff, the trainer, is a sweetheart and also took into consideration my back issues, making sure that I didn’t do anything stupid to make it worse.

I think we could make a good team. However, I need small wins. I need to be able to see my pubic area again. I need to fit into my clothes again without having to get my husband or kids to force the zipper up.

I also have added incentive. If I stick with this for 12 months, my husband will pay for a boob job. I’ve long gotten rid of my early-twenties aversion to plastic surgery. I have had three kids and gravity is doing its job a little too well. Without this boob job, I’ll end up having to roll the bloody things up like a tortilla.

AtoZ: F is for Fitness Freak


My body is not a temple.

My body is an inner city slum.

There are sloths who take more exercise then I do.

Now I have a few options, I could move to a city filled with obese people against whom I will look positively sylphlike, I can find a time machine and go back tot he 1950s, or I can do something about it.

Honestly, the last option scares me more than moving to Outer Mongolia.

This morning I pulled on my trusty jeans and reached aimlessly for a shirt. Twenty minutes later the floor was covered in shirts that no matter of will or strength could close.

I was so depressed I went back to bed for an hour and bought a box of cream filled Twinkies on the way to work.

I know that those calories laden cream puffs are not going to help the situation, but biting into one made me feel better. Marginally. For about 10 minutes.

Then I drove past the billboard. The Billboard.

Pictured in life style splendor is a George Foreman type He-Man with his Rottweiler.

This guy promises me that I can lose 12 kgs in 6 weeks with a complete body transformation.

I need more than a body transformation, I need a miracle.

The thing is I am far too embarrassed to slink into a gym and admit my failings.

But when Spanx are no longer holding up to the job, it is time to take drastic measures.

So, I’ve emailed the scary man and his scary dog.

To put the whole situation in perspective I work with a potential Mr. South Africa and a bunch of rabid Cross Fit junkies. They burn more calories obsessing over what they eat then they do shimmying up ropes or whatever it is they do.

Apparently physical exercise will also help me get a handle on this depression. Now that I can barely drag myself out of bed to start with, I will have to commit to dragging myself to a gym full of buff and toned lycra bunnies. Horror.

I wonder if there’s hypnosis therapy designed to make you want to work out.

There should be.

Someone should definitely do something about that glaring gap in the market.

Oh bugger it. I’m going to eat the rest of my Twinkies.

Twinkies don’t judge.

Anyway, I have nothing to wear to the gym.

So there.