Today I headed out to Body Combat at Gold's Gym in Palm Desert, CA. The mixture of gym-goers is hugely varied, from older retired snowbirds to regular working folks of all colors and sizes, and even some very serious body-builders... women especially. I have no idea why this gym attracts so many of these women body-builders, but they are pretty impressive- especially if you admire ripped abs. You could shred your credit cards on these girls' stomachs- no joke. So you're thinking that this post is about my admiration for all those abs of steel? I do respect the amount of dedication and work it takes to achieve those abs, but in reality that was not what impressed me today. So, you're wondering... what commanded my admiration today?
I'll be blunt and say it straight. It was two obese teenage girls. I can't sugar-coat the facts and say they were big-boned. I suppose I could be politically correct and say that they were Plus-Sized. But having been fat before, I do recognize the hallmarks. Trust me on this one. And please understand that I am not saying this in a disparaging way at all. (any hate mail misinterpreting my words will be deleted from comments, just in case you were wondering).
Gold's Gym Palm Desert- not too busy on a Saturday at 8am!
Anyway, both girls were wearing very tiny boy- shorts and equally short tops. There was flesh, people- lots of flesh, and adipose tissue- copious amounts of it. It billowed over waistbands, and popped through seams. There was huge amounts of jiggling and bouncing taking place. It was unlike anything I've seen at the gym, or anywhere in public for that matter, except the beach. I am only telling you this so that you can fully understand how remarkable these two young girls were. Let me continue to explain my wonderment.
Even when I am at my "skinniest", I can not...will not- wear boy-shorts. I just can't do it. Any time the bottom part of my butt cheek is nearly exposed, I had better be swimming laps or nursing a cocktail by the pool. And if I'm getting dressed and I'm sporting a muffin top, I need to go back to the closet and find something that is looser and more flattering, or I will continue to "feel" that little "baked good" spilling over my jeans all day long. When I'm weighing in at the upper end of my 5-pound normal-fluctuation range, I find that avoid the gym because I feel self-conscious. Instead, I train at home, the trail or at the stairs. I don't do this on purpose, but I notice that it's what I do.
Back to the girls at Gold's...what I found so amazing about them was that they were having an absolute BLAST!! They were side by side on elliptical machines, rocking out to their ipods. Then they would occasionally break into song- smiling and singing to each other, then giggling. Then they chatted and more chuckles followed. Meanwhile, they were sweating up a storm... in fact, they were completely drenched. Furthermore, they did not appear to be self-conscious in the least.
It was so refreshing to see such incredibly healthy self-esteem oozing from this pair of very young women at an age when many normal-weighted girls (or ANY girls for that matter) are incredibly uncomfortable in their own skins. They were at the gym to have fun and prevent the plethora of diseases that await them if they were to continue on the same course. They were there because they care about themselves and want to be healthier. Rock on sisters! And that, my friends, is what garnered my sincerest admiration today.
Maintaining a 90+ pound weight loss after a lifetime of weight cycling, I'm blogging to share my journey to find balance with food and exercise in this thin-crazed world. And to make you look at photos of my cats. I hope you'll pick up a tip or two; or just have a laugh. You can email me at LASmoothieGirl at gmail dot com. Thank you for reading! To read my current blog, go to www.smoothiegirleatstoo.wordpress.com
Please note that I am not a Registered Dietitian, Medical Doctor or Personal Trainer. Everything on the blog is solely my opinion, and should be taken as such. For advice on medical issues, training and disordered eating, please contact an appropriate health care professional.