Skeletons made of meat.


Here’s where hypocrisy starts sneaking in because, at heart, I’m vainer than I’d like to admit. Also, I hate shopping enough to be slightly despair-y that my fresh-out-of-the-dryer jeans barely zip up and leave seamlines on my thighs. Not that anyone besides me sees my bare thighs these days, but welts aren’t sexy. Humans aren’t really supposed to hibernate; I know that the more I sit around snacking and lolling, the more I want to snack and loll. Then I feel like garbage. Garbage that needs to buy new trousers.

Considering my minor mental breakdown a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t really been going very overboard on eating lately, but my activity level has not been terrific. I walk every day, but largely only to/from the bus stop – and even then, I’m rarely walking down to the transit station proper (about a mile away), then walking from the university to work (another kilometre or so), but instead opting to catch a bus from the closest stop (about 400m away), then transferring to a bus that takes me right to work. Not good. Practice what you preach, McLeod, and get your arse in gear.

So I wrote a very meek email to the gym where I had intended to weight train regularly today to say ‘er, can I start over?’

I went three times in October/November, then just…didn’t. There were reasons, some justifiable, most not. Why weight training? ‘Cause I wanna be RIPPED.

Actually, I don’t. You know those P90X commercials with all the before and after shots? The ‘results’ photos almost always elicit a ‘Ew! Who’d want to look like that?!’ or ‘Ew! Who’d want to be with someone who looks like that?’ kind of reaction from me. Probably because most of them look like oiled beef jerky.

(Yes, some people are attracted to the super-muscled. I get that. I am not one of them. I also get that some people don’t like tall chicks. I don’t have time for them either.)

But I think weight training is important and I really regret my lapses from it over the years (I have gone through a few phases). Here’s why:

1. Bone density.
Osteoporosis really, really sucks. My grandmother, who died a few years ago, age 96, was so stooped as to be nearly at a 90° angle. She had lost about half a foot in height. Her weak bones were a liability for the last 25 years of her life, at least. I remember being told as a child not to be too rough around her because she could ‘break every bone in her body’ if she fell. I really thought that meant she would shatter into little pieces if she tripped.

Weight training builds muscle (duh), which can help prevent breaks. It can also actually help rebuild and strengthen bone too. 

2. Other sporty things.
Lifting weights and running aren’t usual bedfellows, but strength training does go hand in hand with things like archery (although my teacher prefers training with bands rather than weights) and dragon boat, two of the other activities I pursue/would like to pursue. This’ll be my seventh (I think) year doing dragon boat. It is tough if you are not in good cardiovascular shape, with a good strong core holding you up (also see the bone density/protecting thing). I’m also finally (probably) going to take rowing lessons this year to see how I like it. I’m tall and big shouldered. If I’m strong and fit, maybe I’d rock it. Who can say?

3. Spinsterhood.
Right now, I live with my weedy brother, so he can help (sometimes) with cliché things like opening jars and setting up the A/C unit in the summer time. But, the reality is that I might not always have someone (slightly) stronger than myself to help with these things. Even in my glamourous showbiz career, this comes up a lot. I mean, in the digital age, there’s less call for me to haul film cans around, but I can do it fairly easily; most of the female staff cannot and whine their way through it. Having the physical strength to get common shit done (I’m not talking about hauling buses, just, like, being able to carry a bag of cat litter in from the car or take a box of wine home on the bus – spinster chores, y’know?) is a good thing. Being a total wuss is generally a liability. And I’ve never been good at feeling helpless.

Having said all this, my gym trip will be later today, after another big coffee and perhaps a chocolate chip muffin or two. I’m just fuelling for the sumo dead lifts, yo. I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress.

Speaking of junky food, my Pop Tart burn now looks (and feels) like a dry leather cap on my pinky. No, I won’t post photos. Unless they’re requested, obviously.

4 thoughts on “Skeletons made of meat.

  1. Nora Charles

    I am starting weight training (again) myself, this week. Have to maintain some muscle so stuffing Crash into a crate is still a viable discipline option.

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