The truth can sometimes be very cruel. Not only had my last business quarter been a fiscal nightmare, but I also managed, by some unkind twist of fate, to put on about seven heavy kilos. I had tyre marks permanently engraved into my stomach, and I could no longer do up my favorite jeans. Situation: very frantic.
I always wonder why this happens to me alone. I'm NOT a hedonist: I don’t drink, I don’t smoke (not even the odd one or two, honest), but I will admit, I am a narcoleptic insomniac- I hardly sleep, maybe four to five hours and I absolutely don't exercise. In fact, I hate exercising.
But I know I need to do something to offset (or at least balance) all the evil toxins and fats floating inside my body. So recently I joined a plush gym and went devotedly four times a week for one month. Then I got jaded and gave up.
Let's face it, any gym is tiresomely dull and expensive. You pound away on the treadmill / exercise bike like a hamster on a wheel, getting nowhere and being forced to watch VH1 into the bargain. Or you dislodge several bones hauling away at the weights machines, all under the supposedly clinical supervision of a expert trainer.
Or, in my case, you manage somehow to increase the size of your stomach muscles doing sit-ups. I really don't know what happened there, but it put me off the gym for life.
But I do want to get a flat stomach; I want to trim my tummy. And I'm aware that I possibly won't attain this if I carry on spending every evening down the pub or snacking out on my sofa.
It's time again for some drastic action. It's time to go back to the gym. Yeah, the torturous gym: hauling my ass off and submitting myself to workout hell!
Now, after battling for 20 minutes for car parking - it is the first Tuesday of July - I finally find a spot about half a kilometer away and begin my trudge towards the gym into the sliding entrance.
My sense of humor swiftly deteriorating, I push my way through the hordes of other harried over-eaters to the changing room. The guilt hangs thick in the air. One can cut the self-deprecating ambiance with a blade. No one looks in the mirrors, and the scale has never been so idle. Post-binge horror has set in!
Squeezing into my gym gear, which seemed so much looser just a few months ago, I mull over the task ahead. Half an hour on the step machine and, just to push myself into sado-masochistic overload, and a full bottle of Gatorade. Might as well go huge...or go home.
I climb aboard the Stairmaster, trying to disregard the almost licentious stares of the overweight, over-aged and probably under-sexed neanderthal next to me. This is the gym, not a bloody gay singles club! Aargh!
Stepping furiously, I punch in my details. Getting to the "weight" category, I absurdly hit 75, wondering if the stair machine knows I'm suffering from a solemn bolt of self-loathing and will "work me" extra hard.
After a mere five minutes I'm sweating up a storm, but still determined. After 15 minutes, I'm hanging onto the arms, struggling to inhale.
Twenty minutes. I start debating my sanity. Body has taken over, mind has shut down (probably a subconscious survival tactic to dry the pain) and the hirsute ogre next to me has become a blur. I decide to focus really hard on VH1. I don’t relish the BlackEyedPeas but Fergie really does have the most amazing colour eyes and also the most remarkable….never mind.
Five minutes to go. Reality escapes me and I set the machine to a higher level. Stepping hysterically, I can almost taste success! Almost there... and I'm sure I'm getting thinner by the second. I too can have a body like Van Damme!
Bingo. "Goal Attained" flashes in beautifully cheesy neon across the screen. I sink to the floor, breathing hard. The neanderthal has moved onto the bikes, and is staring at me oddly.
When my breathing returns to normal, I try to pinpoint the nearest water machine. Why do they always have to hide the bloody things?
I start feeling kinda pompous of myself. Not a bad start. I've survived the first blitz without going into cardiac arrest, my legs have quit trembling and, suddenly, the Gatorade doesn't seem necessary after all. Don't want to overdo it on the first day. Reality has returned!
Feeling slightly unsteady, but very contented, I manoeuvre through the crowds back to my parked car. The sun is still high in the sky, despite it being around six o'clock. My tummy already feels smaller but then it’s just a feeling, tomorrow will be another day.