Somewhere along the line, losing weight stopped being my singular focus. That goal now shares equal billing with becoming athletic, being healthy, and feeling great.
I’ve only come to realize that recently. It’s been great that my mindset has shifted that way; it has allowed me to notice and appreciate the changes in my body beyond the shrinking I’m looking for. My legs are leaner and stronger. My shoulders are defined. My complexion is clear (and I’ve been told my skin is “glowing”). My butt is developing a more booty-licious shape. (Oh, yeah. I said it.) The coolest part, though, is what’s happening to my arms.
Remember my villain beard? I still absently stroke my collar bones, but I’ve added a new target: my arms. I run my fingers over the newly toned muscles that are poking out of them. I twist them into unnatural positions to admire their contours. I even gawk at them in mirrors on the rowing machines to marvel at the way the definition changes as different muscles are engaged. I’m probably gonna have bat wings the rest of my life, but the changes I’m seeing are so pronounced (to me) that I can’t help but stare at them. It’s like if I blink, they might go back to the way they were. What’s crazy is, they aren’t even done yet!
This may seem an unlikely transitional point, but it brings me to a frustrating experience I had at my new gym yesterday. I was doing my customary 15-minute warm-up on the elliptical, which usually nets me about 1.3 miles. I tend to speed up as I go, but it’s become my natural, comfortable pace rather than pushing. My legs just go. I had my normal gym gear on, the most important component of which is my headphones. Those are usually the universal symbol for DO NOT APPROACH, but they misfired last night. All of a sudden, I had a trainer standing beside my machine and moving her lips at me in a way that annoyingly did not sync up with what was playing in my ears. To be polite, I took out an ear bud and asked what she had said.
Trainer: You’re moving really fast! Do you always go that fast?
Me: I guess so. It doesn’t feel that fast.
Trainer: Do you keep up that pace the whole time? How do you do that?
Me: Well, I mean… have you SEEN these beastly legs? (Subtext: Go appreciate them from the other side of the gym.)
Trainer, missing the joke and the subtext: What else do you do at the gym?
Me: After this mile, I’ll go to the treadmill.
Trainer: The elliptical and the treadmill?!
Trainer: What else?
Trainer: What else do you do at the gym?
Me: …I do arms every other day.
Trainer: On the machines?
Trainer: That’s it?!
Me, annoyed at this point from the prolonged interruption and then the inferred insult following the earlier praise: Yeah. That’s it.
Trainer: Wow. Well, come find me when you’re ready to do more.
Me, putting my ear bud back in: Oh, yeah, I’ll do that.
Interestingly, the gym happened to contact me via e-mail this morning with a random member satisfaction survey specifically about yesterday’s workout. They limited the “other” comments field to only 500 characters, so I had to sum up that entire interaction in an unreasonably small space, but I communicated that they really need to discourage their trainers from chatting people up while they’re working (not working OUT — working), especially if it’s to attempt to solicit new training clients by backhandedly insulting them, unintentionally or not. I’m sure this woman was well meaning and just misguided in her attempt to “help” me, but that was highly annoying. I told the gym that I found her approach aggressive, offensive, and inappropriate. I know she has no way of knowing it, but I’ve spent the last 6 months working hard at losing weight on my own, and I know what the fuck I’m doing. I don’t need some “expert” rando — who knows nothing about me — coming up to me and critiquing my apparently inadequate fitness regimen, least of all mid-workout. It’s bad enough when other gym people try to talk to me while I’m working out. Trainers should know better.
That being said, though, I think I’m doing just fine. My arms and collar bones certainly think so.
*smug villain-beard stroke*