I have been a member of my gym for almost two years now. It’s a women’s-only gym, which I prefer, and it’s small and friendly. It’s close enough to my home that I can walk there in about ten minutes. I like the machines they have, and by now, I’m quite proficient at going through the circuit. They are starting to offer more and more classes – you know, “Butts and bellies”, Zumba fitness, weight loss seminars and the like – and although I’m not especially interested in that stuff, I can usually work around it. They do close rather early in the evenings, and aren’t open on Saturday afternoons, Sundays or stat holidays, but again, I can usually work around that, too.
So basically, I like my gym and I like my work-out.
Late this afternoon, I was merrily lifting and pushing and twisting and bending my way around the circuit at the gym. There were only three other women there, so I could pretty much go at my own pace. The two closest to me were having their own animated conversation, and the third was way over on the other side of the room, so I didn’t even have to make polite small talk with anybody. I could just do my work-out and go home for dinner. I like that, especially when I’ve been at work and around people all day (yes, contrary to the opinions of many, small kids are people too!).
At one point, though, I looked around at the three other women in the room. I realized that they were all about my age. And they were all noticeably overweight. Well, I thought, I may not be perfect in the body department, and I certainly have my “trouble” spots, but I’m not that overweight. Still, here we all are, working out.
I started to think about some of the other women that I’ve noticed in the gym over the past two years. The vast majority are middle-aged, chunky women. The rest are mostly senior women of varying body types, with a few younger women also of varying body types. Yet, here we all are, working out.
And then I had a question. With all this regular working out, shouldn’t the middle-aged chunky women be getting less chunky? Isn’t that one of the goals of exercise, to slim down? So, why isn’t this happening for a lot of these women I’m noticing?
Now I’m wondering if maybe regular exercise doesn’t actually help with weight loss. I mean, at my gym, I haven’t exactly seen much evidence that it does. Are we all just wasting our time and money then?
I just don’t know. I’m going to have to ponder this for a while. I’ll just go fix myself a rum and coke and maybe grab some chips and dip while I think about this …