Friday, January 27, 2012

Gym Vim

Recently, I saw an ad recounting how a Complan Child grows much more rapidly than others. It reminded me that I had been in much the same position over the past few months – it had been a period of extremely rapid growth for me. With only one small difference – while the Complan Child gains rapidly in height, I had gained rapidly in girth! I had gained almost 10 kilos, that too almost exclusively around my middle :-/. People had started staring, and remarking with a sort of confused politeness, “You are looking .. errr.. healthy!” And that, as everyone in India knows, is Hinglish for “Oh boy, ARE you looking fat, or what!!”

Here are some statistics that drive home the point:

So, as it happens, for the first time in my life, I had to try and reverse this growth – I had to lose weight.

But how? Joining a gym was one option…

“Don’t join a gym,” advised my doctor. “They will make you do things you will get addicted to. Better stick to free hand exercises and long walks.”

“Don’t join a gym,” said my Ma. “They will fleece you!”

“Don’t join a gym,” said my husband. “You look cute this way too.”

“Don’t join a gym,” said my friend, Gautami. “Don’t you DARE lose those tyres – you belong to the ‘big league’ now– you are one of us!”

I joined a gym last week. It’s not that I wilfully wanted to go against the advice of almost everyone around me... somehow, I was convinced that those layers and layers of spare tyres would not go away by just walking and stretching a bit.

For the sake of economy and accessibility, I chose a gym close to my house. The equipment was rather dilapidated and the instructor was a mousey looking fellow with buck teeth and rather prominent biceps. As I started on the treadmill, I heard creaking sounds… I looked around with furrowed brow, thinking they were emanating from one or the other of the old machines surrounding me… but soon realised it was only my joints. They were more rusted and out of shape than all the old equipment around… :-/

Rusty equipment, rustier joints...

Having chosen a general time slot and not the ‘Ladies’ hours’ at the gym, I found all the others around me to be young guys whose purpose was quite different from mine. There were the body-builder types with bulging biceps, triceps and all the other kinds of ceps in the body.  There were skinny ones who after every bout of lifting weights gazed wistfully at their muscles as if to will them into prominence. And occasionally, there were the slightly plump ones - sweating it out on the treadmill, like me.

The mouse-with-biceps turned out to be quite a helpful bloke – I noticed him regularly and interestedly helping those who needed guidance on what exercises to do. Once in a while, he would even dole out some extra special treatment to us - giving a rather relaxing head massage, a sort of ‘champi’, while helping us do neck stretches after the work out! I found his diligence worthy of remark, since I know from experience that this is not always the case. A very expensive gym that I had joined briefly about 2 years ago, was well stocked with state-of-the-art equipment and numerous trainers. But the trainers would just loll around with the most disinterested air, coming to one’s aid reluctantly when specifically called upon to do so. The only thing that would galvanize them into action was when they spotted some new bakra at the gym, who could be induced to employ a ‘personal trainer’ (at a hefty extra cost, naturally!)

So at least for now I am rather glad that I did not go and join a very expensive gym where the rate at which you lose your money is faster than that at which you lose weight! I don’t know whether or not I can reverse the trends in Graphs 1 and 2, but right now I am having fun and look forward to my gym time daily. Now, let me go and look for that bottle of hair oil – I have been promised a proper ‘oil champi’ in my next session…


  1. I, for one, might not be reed thin, but am in pink of health, with no creaking joints! I rather liked the "blooming" look you were attaining. In fact I was kinda looking forward to have a dekko at my "tyred" school friend, who was always in the thinner side. Not my luck, I think. But the way you are going to binge in the next three days, I think I might get my wish.

    Meanwhile get a champi, learn the ropes of champi. Becos after Ananya and Amartya, I am next in queue! You have your work well lined up, woman! Interrupted or not!

    (BTW, battle lines are drawn, mind you!!)

  2. Gautami, I am blooming like anything now... the universe is conspiring against my weight loss attempts- I hurt my toes badly and now gym is off for some time :(

  3. Try skipping at home or a bhangra workout or best what we have always admired belly dancing :D ;)

  4. Carrie - aajkal bada problem hai, my belly is dancing without my intending it to :D

  5. Suchi Ji!
    that is what I think the additional kilo's may acquire for you a new title - from Madam to Suchi ji! I cannot write more because I can feel competition around - from Champu's playing with your weak spots - the swollen head. And I am worried and fuming. Hey Mr Gymu you are warned - am joining too.
    by the way are chocolates and sweets and oh a few ground nuts - say 3-4 handful - before and after gyming - can they have any impact - anywhere:)nuts!
    Lage Raho Suchi Behn.....

  6. I agree with you Suchi, you have started looking healthy !! nothing wrong with that, just maintain it, dont overdo at Gym, just some light wts, and watch your diet. No more eating fryums kind of stuff, eat healthy feel healthy. And dont bother much . Overall fitness is much more imp than looking lean. enjoy, cheers.

  7. Hi Suchi,

    Got a link to your blogs recently and read most of them at one go. Your ability to write is as good as your sketching prowess. The 'Outdore' experience was very well written. Keep it going...

    The 'Healthy' turn in your life will benefit atleast two people, the champiwala at the gym and Amartya : he won't be penalised henceforth for getting his sister to school. :)