Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fat Chick Club

I haven’t told you about the latest change in my life. I’ve joined a gym. A ladies fitness club actually.

All Shapes (great name huh?) is located in Joo Chiat. It was previously a gym for muslim ladies who needed a place to exercise. It is also a 5 minute walk from my home so I can slip in there on my way home from work.

I was relatively slim for the first two decades of my life. Then I turned heavier in my twenties - a kilogram for each year. Add five more for each successive pregnancy. I couldn’t shake off the added kilograms without doing anything. Running in the hot humid weather got me all sweaty. So many excuses.

Two weeks ago, I spotted the sign. ‘ALL SHAPES - A fitness club for women by women. Discover the Real Woman in you.’ I took the lift up and emerged into a fitness club. There was a group of very overweight women huffing and puffing to a circuit style of exercise. Every 30 seconds, a voice over a CD player would tell them to go on to the next form of exercise.

The next morning, I turned up for the trial session. I broke a sweat and made it through 30 minutes of continuous exercise.

For the last 2 weeks, I’ve been going almost everyday. The thing is, the ladies in this gym are very committed. They keep my motivation up. They are mostly Malay muslim women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s just trying to keep fit and look good.

There is a factor of feel good in this FAT CHICK club. I knew that this was the place when I saw a 100 over kilogram woman smiling while on the treadmill. She had lost over 20 kgs already. The feel good factor I guess, is knowing that others who are heavier and even older than me have made progress, then well, so can I. Among the fellow fat, I don’t feel embarrassed that I am panting after 5 minutes. We all have to start somewhere.

The trainer understands the psychology of shape. While holding my legs up for ab crunches, she remarked

”People do funny things when they put on weight. They wear looser clothes. They hang their head down. They stop buying nice clothes.”

Tick. Tick. Tick. The beads of sweat from my forehead trickled into my eyes causing them to tear.

Giving me a hand so that I could sit up, she looked through my sweaty glasses and gave me a look which almost caused me to choke – that of deep acceptance and belief targeted at me, me, me.

“I am a trainer and interested in results. After a month, you see the same woman coming in here with more confidence. They move better. They wear tighter clothes. They start to flower again.”


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