Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Why I know “I’m just trying to be healthy” is usually bullshit.

I’m a gymbunny. A fat gymbunny, but a gymbunny all the same. I love the gym. I like lifting weights, I like the meditative state I can achieve on the exercise bike just by focusing on the expansion and contraction of my muscles. My husband and I had to find a compromise, because if I have my druthers, I’ll be at the gym every day for at least two hours.

I do not care for most other gym-goers. I mean, as long as they stay out of my way and don’t crowd the machines I’m looking for and natter constantly and loudly, I don’t particularly care one way or the other. And generally, I’ve got the headphones on and can’t hear the nattering unless it is particularly loud. However, occasionally, the batteries in my mp3 player die because I didn’t pay attention in the locker room, and I’m stuck with the conversations of other people at the gym.

Now, my motivations for going to the gym are stress release and strength training. I like being able to lift more than most men. It makes me incredibly happy. When I met Ogre I was training for body building. I doubt I ever would have competed, A. it’s expensive, and B. the regulations at the time would have required I lose enough body fat to lose my boobs, and I like those. But I was strength training as a part-time job, 4-6 days a week, 2-3 hours a day. So I do know what I’m doing, and even after several months of forced inactivity, I can probably lift more than 75% of you reading this LJ, easily.

But anyway, so I’m at the gym, and my mp3 player dies. So I’m stuck with the nattering that goes on around me. And a constant refrain among the female gym-goers is, “I have to drop my weights, I’m getting too big.” “How can you lift so much, aren’t you worried you’ll get big?” “I don’t do weights at all, I might get big.”

See, getting “big” is part of that whole healthy thing. When your body is happy and working, your body builds muscle. It is really common for people who never worked out before, once they start working out, to gain weight even while they lose fat and sizes. This freaks the fuck out of an awful lot of women. An awful lot. And the sad news for them is that even NOT doing weights will result in a weight gain, as your muscles develop from the cardio exercise you’re doing. Which of course, makes them freak out and work out harder and do dangerous fucked up shit with their diets. Not all of them, granted. But I’m gonna wager that a lot of the women who say those things do wind up doing some really stupid shit to shave off the pounds and inches, even if those pounds and issues are perfectly healthy and good for them.

Remember, as I learned, it’s a lot easier to squish fat into tight clothing than muscles. Trust me. I know. You try having size 10 hips and size 16 shoulders and finding a dress that fits. And, part of me still wishes that was the problem. I have, alas, truly become Rubenesque in my old age. But you know? I don’t care if I lose the weight, the fat, the inches. I do care that I can bench press my husband and kick the shit out of anything that threatens me.

So, yeah, this is why I know most people who bleat on about health are full of shit. That and the fact that even when I was at my most fit and eating disordered, an awful lot of people still considered me fat because I was “big.”

2 comments on “Why I know “I’m just trying to be healthy” is usually bullshit.

  1. morinon
    November 22, 2008

    May not be an exact correlation, as I’m male, but I long ago figured my weight doesn’t matter so long as a good chunk of it is muscle.


  2. rae_beta
    November 22, 2008

    For me, “I’m doing this to feel better / be healthy” is a mantra because it’s something I desperately want to be my motivation for exercise, and I figure if I say it enough, and have it inform what exercise I do and for how long, it will maybe become true.


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This entry was posted on November 21, 2008 by in Uncategorized.

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