Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gym Rats Rock

Its been my recent experience to be overly cynical of the beautiful people that populate my vacinity. I talk myself into loving the voluptuousness I've carried since puberty, find the natural highlights in my hair to avoid costly salon bills, buy $5 tweezers and razors to keep up with the trends in bare minimum hygene, reapply my lip gloss every time I pass a mirror.
This has been the conditioned effect of never quite fitting in with The Pretty People.
I try, but barely, to blend in... my morning routine includes a blowdryer to keep my clothes dry and not much else, the makeup is a step but its more a mask over of the acne skin I still fight with. When it comes down to it I find there must be more than physical attributes that make me worth while. Another defense mechanism the loners in sweatshirts in the corner tell themselves.

The trick is to be pretty enough to get the attention of the Pretty People so they want to find out what personality is behind the smile. Its happened to me, and it feels stupendous to be attended to by people who ooze charisma. But somehow I still get left, with all the personality that develops watching the Pretty People pass you over, for the blonde gigglefit in a miniskirt.

But I know it has always been a ruse. I've always been jealous of these people The ones who wanted to take an hour a day to beautify themselves. I want to be polished every time I was seen. I want to roll the top of my sweats down and wear a cami and have it be the most flattering outfit I can find. I want to have hair that flows perfectly. I want to abandon my need for 15 minutes of makeup to give me flawless skin and a healthy glow.
I want my secret to be beauty sleep instead of horded cookies.
I want to stop spouting the fat girl mantra of Real Women Have Curves when I look in the mirror. I realize now this is a coverup. I am holding these 25 pounds as a security blanket to hide under so life doesn't hurt so much; so I don't have to feel rejected when I get passed over; to use as an excuse when I am told they love me but leave me anyway.

This all came to a head when I sat across a tiny desk in a thumping Beauty Factory known as the So. Cal gym. I was being looked in the eye by a near stranger. His arms stretching the sleeves of his company issue tshirt. His veins still swollen from the demo curls we just finished. He'd given me an hours worth of expertise of the equipment, the human body, the hidden insecurities of women, the tricks of the trade, the perks of being a Pretty Person. He sat with my profile under his arms, leaned in, and said "you've got absolutely no reason you can't be a totally different person in 3 months. You have great form. You get it. You're flexible enough to show me your muscles can take the work. The stregth will come. If you want it, you can do it. Quickly. Come in for an hour - make it the time you do something for YOU - leave it on the floor; fatigue yourself every set... you won't be able to wear anything in your closet before you can realize whats happened to you."
I took a deep breath. I smiled because thats what I do when I'm nervous. He maintained his resolve. He sat back and waited for me to look him in the eye again. "You can do this if you want it. I can help you." I knew he was right.

I was told in junior high I could be that girl in high school with a spring in her step and a constant smile who gets carried to her boyfriends convertable to dash off to the bonfire parties where everyone wants to sit with me just to say they were with ME. When that didn't happen, when I was nearly the exact opposite, I decided not to think about who I would be in the future so I wouldn't have to feel that disappointment again.

Well you know what?? Screw that. I can see that what I've been thinking about, I've been bringing about. In EVERY part of my life. Still I hide in my insulating blubber. I'm done with it. I'm gonna take the power of conviction from Mr. Personal Trainer to heart. I saw him studying my curves; felt his hands on my flexed bicep, tightened deltoids, rounded belly, squatting quads; heard the sincerity of his words. I could see him drinking me in, knowing soon I would be evolve my good posture into standing tall in my stregth of body and self worth.

And I started. Thats right byotch. He made his pitch, gave me his business card, and I got on that damned machine in the back row and added 10 minutes to my record from two days ago - on a setting 4 levels harder than two days ago.
And it was a struggle to get up the stairs when I got home.
And I smiled about it.

I have flipped a switch. I'm not waiting for Him to prove he's good enough to be in my life, I'm not waiting for my sister to return to treating me like a person and not a bank account, I'm not hoping to create friends from a month old conversation, I'm not wishing for a full time permanent position, I'm not worried about starting a retirement account. I won't wait for the Pretty People to notice me to hinge my self esteem on. I am now about Planning AND Acting. Speaking AND Doing. Starting AND Finishing.
Comfort Zones are for lazy Sunday Mornings. The rest of the week is for making the most of life.
Pretty People Beware: I'm joining your ranks. And I'll be snubbing you for never having to have a thought to back up your beauty with. And then demanding you be the best YOU can be - because if I can do it so can you.
Watch Out. I'm about to catapult into the next version of me. And all the fear I've used to keep me on the couch has turned to venom at not already being the best I know I can be.


Mom of Three said...

You go girl!

AND, you learned how to put the photos in! Right on!

IF we had a gym around here, I'd be there, but we don't. Can you believe it?

But I know you and when you put your mind to something, watch out world!

Viewfinder said...

ach, MOT beat me to it... so help me, I was gonna say "you go girl" ... mind you, it's not a normal part of my lexicon -- I guess it sounded like something one of the pretty people might say as they move their ranks to admit you!