by Harley May
I’d like to get one thing out in the open before we begin. I exercise for one reason and one reason only: I want to eat what I want without looking like Jabba the Hut afterward. Sure, there’s healthy body and living and blah blah blah. But seriously, I love food with an unnatural love. It’s true.
As a younger person, I played sports, exercised year round and ate everything. Then the whole “having children” thing happened and I thought three things. The first, I should lose this baby weight. The second, I’m going to have to be some kind of healthy eating role model now. The third, Oh crap.
My husband and I are on the same parenting page here. We agreed to encourage each other, to keep one another food accountable. And we do a pretty good job of it. We eat healthy. The difference between us is that he can still eat whatever he wants and not gain a pound. I, on the other hand, have the whole post-partum, woman-gone-wonky metabolism. The man will actually LOSE weight if he doesn’t work out. After a week or two of pumping iron his muscle memory kicks back in and he’s all BOOM. Ripped. It makes you sick, doesn’t it?
As a result (all by my request), he’s harder on me than I am on him. I want to be healthy, have energy, and live a long time. But I still love food. Bad food. Chips and french fries don’t really tempt me. It’s the chocolatey/peanut buttery, rich casserole type things that make me salivate. I’m a tad embarrassed at the lengths I’ve gone to eat the food I want.
The bathroom sneak. It is exactly what it sounds like. I sit down in the tub, pull the curtain to and have at it.
“Why are you coming out of the bathroom with a jar of Nutella?” My husband will ask.
“I know what you’re doing.”
“Yup. Bite me.”
I probably do this once a week.
Then there’s the “Grazing While I Cook Dinner” move. When I sit down at the table, my plate is piled with veggies and fruits. I only put a miniscule portion of the rich pasta or meaty entrée. It is because I’ve had my fill of it while cooking.
“Quality Control,” I say aloud and take my fifth bite.
I lie to the treadmills. In the past, the machine kindly asks me to punch in my weight, height, age, mother’s maiden name, etc. I conveniently forego adding the five pounds I just gained. It is a nice deceptive experience. It was a nice deceptive experience, that is, until my most recent visit when I discovered my gym upgraded all the cardio equipment. Instead of asking me my weight, it sensed it and put it in for me.
The first time it happened, I laughed out loud rather awkwardly. “Oh, you silly treadmill. You must be mistaken. That’s not what I weigh,” I said and frantically punched at buttons trying to “correct” its mistake. The treadmill didn’t like that I called it “silly.” Two more pounds magically appeared under the digital printout under my weight category.
“Did you do that?” I asked it.
It added another pound.
I frowned and lowered my voice. “Look, I don’t know what you’re trying to pull here, but that isn’t what I weigh.” (It was totally what I weighed)
My fist banged on the screen.
A computerized voice announced my weight to the entire room.
Again, a nervous laugh resulted. I looked down the line at my fellow exercisers and pointed to the idiot contraption, “I’m pretty sure this thing is broken.”
It announced a two-pound weight gain.
The treadmill waited until three young men walked by and said, “She eats Nutella in her bathtub.”
I unplugged that s.o.b. and left.