Wednesday, April 7, 2010

F for Fighting Fat and Fitness

I was on the treadmill the other day, when I overheard a lady telling the attendant at the gym, “I have gained 2 kilos in the last three months. You have to get rid of it somehow.”
“I’ll do what I can”, the attendant said, a little unnecessarily, I thought. “But you need to put in effort from your side.”
“I don’t know about all that”, the lady said rather truculently. “You have to somehow get rid of those two kilos.”
The gym attendant asked the lady to get on the treadmill, and while she was walking, asked her basic questions about her history.
“Earlier, I could get rid of the extra weight by controlling my diet for a couple of weeks”, the lady said in reply to direct question. “But that’s not working anymore. Which is why I have come to you.”
“If that’s the case, Ma’am, maybe you should also consult a dietitian”, the attendant suggested gently.
“Nonsense! I know everything there is to know about diets and it is not working. You have to get rid of the extra weight.”

I struggled to keep the cynical look out of my face, while the exchange was going on. The lady had an almost enviable figure, and didn’t “need” to lose two kilos. While I totally advocate the need to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, I am always skeptical of people who set miniscule targets of weight loss – the moment they achieve their objective, they stop working out, and soon end up undoing all the good work. While I would be pleasantly surprised if proved wrong, this lady definitely fell in the category.
Since running always gives you time for reflection, I thought of the difference between that lady and me. I work out almost every day, and even on days when I don’t, I end up walking 2 to 3 kilometers on my way to and from work. And yet, my weight has remained stable for over two years. I would definitely like to lose a couple of inches in the lower part of the body , but don’t stress myself because the inch loss is just not happening. After all, I can now carry off practically anything I want to wear, and most of what I cannot carry off are clothes I wouldn’t want to wear in the first place.
Why then do I force myself to get out of bed in the morning, when I can easily skip the gym and sleep an hour longer?
Simply because fitness matters to me. After my surgery last year, the gynecologist was surprised at how quickly I was back on my feet- I wasn’t because I knew my muscles were strong, even if they did not look as toned as they could. I push myself in the gym, not because I want to lose weight, or get better muscle tone, but because I enjoy the adrenaline rush I get when I exercise- I am noticeably more grumpy on days when I skip my routine.

“I can’t do all that weights and things.” A complaining voice broke into my thoughts. “If I do, my body will ache for days. And in any case, I think bulging muscles don’t look good on women.”
“But, Ma’am, how can I make you lose weight if you don’t listen to me?”, the attendant tried to reason.
“How you make me lose weight is your lookout. I am not doing weight training.”

I should envy her figure, instead I felt sorry for her. With her attitude, she’ll never experience the joy of running, or the thrill of doing something she could not even dream of attempting a few weeks back.
Fighting fat is important, but Fitness is far more important to me.


Leanne said...

*rolls eyes* What a twit. Not you, obviously. ;-)

Niki said...

I use to love going to the gym for that adrenalin rush. Very addictive!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good post, Rayna, and a gentle reminder that I need to get out on those walking trails and stop sitting in front of my computer most of the day. Now that our weather is improving and all the snow is gone, I'll have no excuses.

Not enough hours! said...

@ Leanne - definitely not me. She's so obsessed with her weight, I am pretty sure she's forgotten how to enjoy life (if she ever did). More disturbingly, her not yet 7 year old daughter doesn't have chocolates because she doesn't want to get fat :-(

@ Niki - it is, isn't it?

@ Patricia - walking regularly reduces the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. Isn't that a good reason to get out and walk. If you take your camera along, the extra weight will increase the benefits of the walk. *hint*


I've been trying to lose a few pounds for simply ages. I do much walking and have a WII fit, but the weight stays around my middle.
Love reading about your fat and fitness, very interesting.


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOL. That woman ought to be slapped. In a nice way of course ;)

I hate exercise. I have to force myself to walk the dog. I eat healthily though so I've never had any weight problems. Lucky considering the majority of my mother's family are overweight.

Al said...

Grumpy huh?
You sound like an Endorphine Junky!

I love walking (usually with a camera), but other than that exercise and I just don't meet. Probably you attitude is much healthier.

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

i like your post found you from Arlee's a-z post. I love learning about India I may pick your brain about bollywood things, I love the dancing and the colors. I would do that for exercise any day LOL but I am not obsessed with my weight and I do get a rush from working out, but lately i can only muster 2 walks aday. thanks for the gentle reminder

Ann Elle Altman said...

WHat a great post. I'm glad you're taking exercise seriously, it's something I need to do.


dipali said...

What a silly woman! Uff.
She knoweth not what she is losing out on, with her attitude:(

Ginny the Sock Monkey said...

Go you. I love the picture of you stretching. Makes me want to go do some yoga.

That woman at the gym kind of makes me want to scream. How annoying. It goes to show how our culture allows us to put the blame on everyone but ourselves, and never makes us take responsibility for ourselves either.

Raquel Byrnes said...

THat woman sounds like a character. I don't run...unless pursued by rabid dogs, and even then I tend to hesitate. I'm more of a Ipod on the elliptical type of person. Funny post. THanks for the follow!

arlee bird said...

I've never been a fan of exercise and I've never been able to run because of an irregular heartbeat. But I do love to walk. I've been trying to walk for about an hour everyday. My weight always seems to fluxuate within 5 lbs of 220 lbs. I'd really like to get down to 180 or 190. More walking and a drastic improvement in diet is in order.
Good post
Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Grammy said...

Hi, Rayna,
You almost inspire me to do some exercise. Good for you. Keep up the exercise, I know it creates energy. My exercise days are just about over, I think. Thanks for following my blog postings.

Sugar said...

She sounds like me! j/k- kinda..It is easy to say we want to do things..but actually doing them is the hard part. especially if we need to work hard.

B. Miller said...

Great attitude to have about fitness. I would tell you good luck and to keep it up, but it seems like you're definitely already in the swing of things and have no problems with that! Inspirational!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Hope to see you there more often!

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! I can't imagine anyone being that clueless!

I try to walk home most days - it's only 40 minutes or so - but it all helps :)

Marjorie said...

I sure wish I could be as motivated as you!

Lisa said...

Excellent post and a subject that is near and dear to me right now. I LOVE what exercise does for my body and my mind, but I agree with you that fitness is the most important thing.

Have a blessed day!

Ellie said...

Great pose; you are so right! The best fitness is finding something you enjoy doing! Then it won't feel like a chore to do~

Not enough hours! said...

@ Yvone - that's just it. After a certain age, you have to work hard to stay where you are, and have to really up the ante to lose weight.
Wisdom, perhaps, is in knowing if it is worth it or not.

@ The Alliterative Allomorph - :-) I wanted to shake her up, in a nice way of course.

@ Al - Endorphine Junky - I like that!!! Walking was my drug of choice till I discovered running!

@ Nf1andprek-whisper - anytime! And Bollywood dancing is fantastic for losing weight and staying in shape - wish I could dance, but I have my legs screwed up the wrong way round.

@ Ann - I guess I am lucky. I like exercising!

@ dipali - sach mein! She thinks money and attitude can buy her anything. Maybe it can, but I would rather work hard for something so I have the pleasure of knowing I earned it.

@ Ginny the Sock Monkey - and think of the example she is setting her children. And yoga is fantastic- wish I had maintained my flexibility though - I can't even touch my toes any more :-(

@ Raquel - you make it sound like you being pursued by rabid dogs is a regular thing for you lol.

@ Lee - if your weight hasn't fluctuated more than 5 lbs, I would think you are doing something quite right.

@ Ruby - my Mum's discovered walking a couple of months back. And she'll be 70 this year. I know she feels fitter now than she did five years back.

@ Sugar - isn't that a universal tragedy? Knowing we should do something, but not really getting down to doing it.

@ B. Miller - thanks. I bunked today, though. Sleep won out eventually.

@ Jemi- it is weird, isn't it? And isn't 40 minutes a day the recommended amount?

@ Marjorie - you have five kids!

@ Lisa - and your posts inspire me to be more careful of what I put into my body.

@ Ellie - like they say. Do what you love, and you will love what you do.

~ Rayna

Carol Fleisher said...

Great post! I try to focus on fitness instead of weight loss. I love running and walking. It's a great way to clear my head and I always feel healthier afterwards.

Not enough hours! said...

@ Carol - great minds think alike :-)


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