It shouldn’t be a surprise that the people in my balance class are so nice. After all, the serious jocks are all down the street at Gold’s Gym, strutting around with swollen chests (the women as well as the men) trying to impress each other.
The normal folk—the people who see that age is coming and think it would be better to start moving now and keep it up rather than grind to a halt before you absolutely have to—have found a home at Body Dynamics in Falls Church, VA. Nobody postures; nobody looks down their noses at anyone. Some are quiet, natural athletes, but the less-coordinated among us (I raise my hand – hello!) are also absorbed into the group and welcomed.
(Yes, there are ballet dancers who drift elegantly through on their way to and from physical therapy with wizards, but they seem oblivious to fat asses and dumpy postures. It’s like they’re mostly existing on another plane, where ethereal grace is worth unending pain – a place I, myself, have never been!)
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when one of the blissful women came up to me after balance class on Thursday and told me I was looking like a shadow of my former self. She’d been in Maine for the summer and hadn’t seen me in four months – and now look at me!
Yes, DO look at me, for I am awesome! I had my annual fitness assessment with Barbara on Wednesday, and although I know it’s rude to brag, I’m totally bragging: I’ve lost TEN INCHES off my waist.
I was utterly astonished by the number. I’ve lost weight, yes – and losing somewhere between 24 and 30 pounds is impressive. But it’s not ten inches impressive. What had me fooled was that all the dense muscle I’ve been working on, of course, weighs more than the fat. I know that… but I’d lost track of the fact that it also takes up less space. Ten inches less.
I found it hard to tell people. I know from grim personal experience that when another woman tells me how well she’s doing physically, my happiness for her is tempered by jealousy and anger and shame. I hide it, of course, but I feel it just the same. And it’s inappropriate to go up to some male friend and shout about a smaller waistline; it sounds… sort of slutty.
So I called my friend Kevin, who is gay. He was thrilled for me and immediately agreed to go with me to buy clothes that fit. (Once again the value of a gay friend is proven to be beyond measure!)
And now I’m blogging about it. I gave it a few days to think it over, and I’ve decided that if I can be honest about my failures, I should also be honest about my successes. I’d still have to be described as fat – a 45-inch waistline is only glorious when compared to a 55-inch waistline – but I see such exciting progress that now I’m hungry for more.
That’s got my determination all fired up. Nothing succeeds like success.
PS: I asked Barbara if she’d like to sign her work; I could get a Sharpie and she could write her name on my waist. She immediately said “Let’s make it a tattoo!” I love Barbara…
But I’d need a LOT of tattooing, because while Barbara is the chief architect of the lessness of me, I’d also need Chip the nutritionist to sign, and Gwynn, the therapeutic masseuse, and Grace the pilates instructor/personal trainer, and Chad who teaches the stretch class. And Patrick who did my assessment when I was ill. And Devin at the front desk who greets me like a sister. And Mario. And Penny. And Jorge who assessed my feet. Alas, my waist is no longer big enough to give thanks to all the people at Body Dynamics who have played a role in shrinking me!