Friday, August 03, 2007

You make the rockin' world go round


So I joined a gym here in Dirty Jers, and a fine gym it is. I really haven't gotten around to much of the settling-in type tasks of moving to a new place (New dentist, new vet, new doctors, etc.) but I have, in fact, joined a gym, because I figures: New Town, New Life, New Me! Trying to be all the-glass-is-half-full about the relocation process.

The gym I joined is associated with the Princeton University Healthcare System, which is also what KB is affiliated with, so we got a nice whopping discount. Other than that, the main incentive for joining this gym is that THEY HAVE CHILD CARE, something that is essential to me, yet seems to be of negligible concern to most places. No child care equals no gym time for Caroline. (And how ghetto is it that the YMCA here has no child care? Was the Y back in Boston so terribly forward-thinking and awesome for having FREE child care for every family membership? Or is the Princeton Y so lame and recherche for not having it?) This new gym, this lovely place, has a fabulous child care center that Nolan loves (our first day there he didn't want to leave and cried when I took him out) and is content in, and really, that' s my only criteria, so I find it pretty lame that only one gym in the greater Princeton area fulfilled that criteria.


One of the perks of this health-care-center-affiliated gym is that every three months, you are given a free nurse assessment, a very thorough one, whereby they tell you your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, flexibility, body measurements and approximate body fat percentage.

You are also given a free personal trainer appointment once every two months so that you can get a little guidance as to how to improve your "numbers." This is excellent for people like me, who always go to the gym full of "This time I'm really going to work hard!" intent and end up on the elliptical trainer listening to Tenacious D on my iPod for half an hour, looking around for a while at all the complicated weight-lifting machines, and then stretching on a mat and packing it in. This does not really spell long-term motivation or success in improving my health, so I'll take the personal training where I can get it. These people should know how to help me out, right?

Lord, I sure hope so, because the numbers I scored today at my nurse's appointment were sobering.

Look, I know I'm not going to be auditioning for "America's Next Top Model" tomorrow, and I can certainly stand to work harder at taking care of myself as well as taking care of Nolan. I was prepared to be a little disappointed with the nurse's report, but I didn't think it was going to be THIS BAD.

I have 33% body fat, people! THIRTY-FUCKING-THREE PERCENT FAT! I am one-third gelatinous, jiggly, wobbly goo!

Look at this printout:

Not only do I have 33% body fat, I have 33 POINT EIGHT percent, which means I am borderline OBESE! OBESE! Aigh! Is there a more frightening word in the English language? Because somewhere between college (where I distinctly remember being equally appalled at being 25% fat) and now I went from "Moderate" to "Overweight" and now I'm bordering on "O-FUCKING-BESE!" How did this happen?


(I love how they try to personalize the information by inserting your name into the text with their little fake-friendliness macro. Like, not, "Lose some weight, you nameless shlub." "Go to hell, soulless machine!" But "Lose some weight, Caroline." "Oh, thank you for the advice, you caring printout, you!")

Even worse is the flexibility rating:

When I was in high school and we had those National Fitness Test Days instituted by Reagan or whatever neo-Fascist thought it up, flexibility was always the ONE area I did well in. All the jocks and cheerleaders were racking up the points on the Flexed Arm Hang and the Vertical Jump and the Sit-ups, but boy howdy when we got around to the Sit and Reach, I would bend down with my head at my knees like, "Bang! Reach that, motherfucker!" Off the charts flexible! Well, not anymore. Apparently, despite my months of yoga and my genetic predisposition to flexibility, I am now only on the borderline between "Fair" and "Average." That, in my middle-child good-girl straight-A Lisa Simpson mind, means somewhere between a D and a C. Sob.

I'm trying not to get too upset about this, despite my all-caps and my profanity. My weight is just one aspect of my life, after all. I think overall I have a pretty healthy lifestyle. I eat well. (And before you say, "Well, maybe that's your problem right there, genius!" let me just interpose that I mean I eat a balanced diet with lots of whole grains and not too much red meat and plenty of fruits and vegetables and blah blah blah.) I have the occasional alcoholic beverage but rarely overindulge. I don't smoke. I don't do recreational drugs. Anymore. Sob.

So why am I so jiggly?

And again, let me just reiterate, I am not really too concerned with my health overall. My blood pressure has always been and remains low (90 over 56), and so has my resting heart rate (62 bpm, thank you very much). This nurse's evaluation didn't include a cholesterol check, but I've had it checked before and there's no reason to worry there.

I'm just talking about fat, I guess. One more American woman obsessed with body image. But here's the thing: I don't want to look like Nicole Richie or Lindsey Lohan, poor souls. I couldn't give less of a shit about being "thin." I'd rather look like Mia Hamm or Serena Williams. I wanna be strong. I wanna be cut. I wanna be able to kick some ass. Shit, I just want to be able to pick up my two-year-old without wincing and worrying about putting my back out.

So, to the gym I go.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Electric Mayhem said...

This made me giggle really hard. Not at your health, just your writing. You nameless shlub.