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.