Archive for September 12th, 2007


Confessions of an Almost Thirty Gym Virgin: Page 2

Ow!  Ow!  Ow!

From the way, I passed out on my bed an hour ago, a sane individual would have doubts about whether I was alive or not but each of creaking, moaning, groaning, joints, cartilages, muscles, ligaments, tendons bears testimony to my being very much alive.  I swear I never knew I had so many body parts that could hurt quite so individually…

I have learned today that there are worse things than the possible embarrassments you imagine.  I did not fall on the treadmill as per my worst case scenario, instead I found myself on my back, trying to lift up without lifting my head.  I failed miserably and to my mortification, for the set of 25, I had to rely on the trainer’s assistance to actually move the apparatus so I could complete the movement.

Even worse, I always thought I so knew how to twist.  However, put me on a machine to do this and for 10 minutes, you will watch a trainer come up to me and tell me to try and complete the movement without moving my shoulders.

Oh, the agony!  But strangely, there’s a sense of deep accomplishment.  After months of inactivity, I completed an hour of pretty rigorous exercise without bursting into tears.  This may work out after all.  (I hope!)

According to my own assessment, I am nearly 15 kilograms over my desired weight and no, you cannot have the figure just yet.  Provided I manage to stick to my diet and exercise in Ramadan, starting on Friday, I hope to lose at least half that in one month.  I was thinking if I could manage to lose 4 kilograms in 2 weeks without the gym and just watching what I eat, the target is not too unmanageable.  Besides, it is now a matter of pride for me to lose weight.  I now have an ongoing bet to  be lighter on chand raat than I will be tomorrow with a family friend.  He had the gall to laugh in my face when I told him I wouldn’t be eating pakoras for iftar this year.  And then, the icing on the cake was his remark after the bet that his prayers will now be focused on my putting on weight rather than the reverse.  uffff!!  Men!!  I am finding them highly intolerable these days in any capacity.  And to think I was holding his 11 month daughter in my arms at the time… I was so angry I could have thrown the kid at him – and the way I’m feeling now, if it had been a son, I probably would have done so.   Needless to say, the satisfaction of my honour now rests on my dropping pounds.

The sad thing his that bhai’s laughter makes sense.  For some odd, incomprehensible reason, the link between pakoras and fasting is probably deeper than between Tarawih and fasting.  What is it about these deep fried, spiced morsels of chick pea flour mixed with potatoes and coriander and onions and spinach that just drives me to keep reaching long after I am full.  It is a disease honestly, to look at food still on the dastarkhwan, and just compulsively reaching for it.

May the Almighty Allah help me in remembering that this Ramadan is more about pleasing Him, and remaining healthy rather than about parathas, samosas and pakoras…

In other news, I think I’m going to buy myself a treadmill.  I love that machine.  Any takes on possible purchase in Isloo?


Confessions of an Almost Thirty Gym Virgin: Page 1

I’m terrified.  I am shaking in my boots and weak in the knees.  I am besieged by visions of falling flat on my face on a treadmill and being pulled into it and becoming the  walkway as I’ve seen in so many cartoons.  Pictures run amok over the wide screen in my head of machines breaking down as I pass by them, of people staring in horror at my bulk and of fainting dead away simply at the thought of facing the horror of an hour’s workout.

Ugh!  All that talk about a healthier lifestyle on BBC Food has addled my wits and souped my brain.  What was I thinking?  I cannot exercise on a regular basis.  It goes against all of my slovenly, sloth like behaviour carefully cultivated over the last ten years or so.  The years before that don’t count because I had energy to spare despite every day evening sessions of harassing the sector’s dogs and other entities on my lime green ten speed and beating the pants off my brother at badminton and roller skating to the central market at the drop of a hat.

And now, I look in the mirror and I see a cupcake…!  That wouldn’t be so bad since compared to some of the sizes in my family, I would be a bite sized morsel.  The ignominy comes in when you look at my dear mama who despite giving birth to 4 kids and in her fifties barely weighs fifty-two kilograms which sits quite wonderfully on her very petite frame of 4’10” (masha’allah!).  She still watches what she eats.  I watch what I eat too but that is usually just tracking the progress of the food as it makes its way to my mouth rather than keeping an eye on what I am eating and what my consumption has been.

Unfortunately, at my advanced years, it is not quite possible to trim myself down by starvation.  The point that I cannot live on grass and beans for the rest of my life has nothing to do with it.   I love food.  And maybe I have a few Italian genes because I adore pastas and spaghetti and cheese and pizza…  Besides, I’ve learned over the past few years that every time I’ve lost weight by drastically cutting out foods, I’ve regained that weight a few times over and in less time than before.  The one time I maintained an ideal weight for 2 years or so was the one time in my life that I was diagnosed bulimia caused by severe clinical depression so that’s not something I want to return to, no matter how high the temptation to lose weight.

The one way I can actually see this work is by following a guideline of my own making with the help of some suggestions taken from my favourite food channel.  Unfortunately, the one thing I don’t get enough of and would love to keep ignoring is exercise.  I am a slacker with a reasonably low attention span which just makes it so convenient for me to drop off any regular exercise that I may be getting.  It may be tempting the devil but some of you may remember my last winter’s walks motivated by a certain neighbourly situation.  That didn’t last so long and unfortunately, my walking routine fizzled out to a great big nothing and the 8 pounds I’d lost came back as 12.

So, I am taking myself in hand and tomorrow evening, without my mama to hold my hand shall venture into the world of the gym.  I went today just to check things out and saw all these ladies on machines working out with a single minded focus but looking like they were having fun.  In an adjoining room, ladies of various ages and sizes were heaving, laughing, panting their way through a rigorous aerobics routine.  Tomorrow I shall be one of them… provided I remember to buy a new pair of trainers…

September 2007