I’m always into something new. It’s been a perpetual issue. The minute life goes into a routine, I get bored and restless and that’s bad news for people around me! So in line with my fitness and weight related concerns, my new deal in life is the gym. And since I am not the most motivated person on earth as far as gymming goes, the new person in my life is my trainer. PT- Personal Training has been the buzzword for many friends of mine who are fitness enthusiasts, but I never really took that step forward, thinking I could make do with my own mixed and offbeat efforts at working out. As I inch closer to 40, though, many realities sink in- Thud! It ain’t happening, that self-motivation, no matter how many times I write “6am-7am-Work out!” in my diary! Waking up early is a huge issue and there is no other suitable time of the day to exercise without messing up my routine….and there starts a litany of excuses that ends up in complete abandon of my fitness goals.
So what’s been my experience of working out with a trainer? Let me speak of the positives first. For a people-centric person like me, the conversation and banter really helps to engage me. I love being taught, so Pawan is now on my list of gurus right up there with my dance teacher and music teacher…and all the other people in my life who assume the teacher role (at times unknown to them) for specific things.
Second, there is now method to the madness. I am a great believer in trusting someone’s expertise. It is much easier to work out when you are told what to do and when someone stands right next to you to make sure you do. Also, to see if you are doing it right, which is critical when it comes to physical exercise, or indeed any kind of learning. It is also much easier to push yourself when you see that half mocking look on the trainer’s face, however hard he tries to keep his expressions neutral!
I am always amused to observe Pawan’s strategy while training. There is a careful mix of praise and admonishment, peppered with encouragement. There is also a mix of banter and reserve. Carefully measured, casually administered.
The negatives? In the initial sessions, it is vital to tell the trainer if you have weak joints, injuries, etc. Of course, they will assess independently as well, but it is not worth it to sustain further injuries only because you are excessively polite or are trying too hard to prove yourself! My knees and ankles are an issue, for instance, so we’re now trying to work out how much we push without damaging those joints. Also, get ready for excruciating pain in the first week (meetha meetha dard as one friend called it)….and you aren’t really allowed to complain. If you do, most likely you will get a shrug as response!
These are, of course, the musings of a near novice and I’ll probably have deeper insights as I go along. I’m watching myself to see how long my determination lasts and patting myself on the back after every session is completed!
For all the love-yourself-the-way-you-are sentiment that I carry around myself all the time, for all the self-confidence I have and the unadulterated vanity I can live with; for all the feminism I think I believe in, for all the women’s empowerment I want- I do still want to look good, wear the clothes I want to wear, I do still have serious body image issues, however disguised I might make them by telling myself that the motivations are health, fitness, energy levels, etc. Yes, we humans are tremendously delusional and I live with the constant sense of just how many conflicting and contradicting thoughts and feelings I walk around with. Of all the issues I feel confused about, hypocritical even, body image aka weight issues holds the first place.
I’ve blogged about this before, but really- What do I do when I just feel depressed about being fat, even though I know it doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things, whatever that might be! As I grow older, I get more practical about it. I can look at a garment and tell that it will be a frustrating experience trying it on, even in my size! I know that shopping time is over after 2 hours, 7-8 shops. I know where the enjoyment stops and the frustration begins. I have learnt to stop short of that point and avoid going down that spiral of self-obsessed self-pity that was such a familiar state in my 20s!
These past few months though, I have had the growing realization that dealing with the problem in my head is not going to make it go away! I am obese (and perhaps unfit too?) by any standards and I simply have to do something about it. What the targets should be and whether the strategy for reaching there should be drastic or tempered are matters of detail, but there had to be a structure to this process. So I made a small beginning today, in my head and in reality. No procrastination, Mukta! I have a target- to be as gorgeous as the image in my head by the time I hit 40. That is a few years away, but even so, having that target makes me feel a whole lot better!!
To hell with faux-feminism and pretend emancipation, if looking good is important to me, it simply is and I have to be true to myself first before being true to any cause! This is one of many battles to fight and I intend making it as fun as it can get.