The Skinny Little Bitch Project: Pump It Up!
The Skinny Little Bitch Project is a biweekly feature dedicated to examining the role of weight in celebrity culture and the impact of size in one woman’s daily life. The entries may be triggering should you suffer from an ED or body image issues. For more info on the project, or to read it from the beginning, please go here. This is not a health plan we are endorsing, we do not promote dieting and hope this project will increase awareness. Please read at your own risk.
I wore a pair of tiny shorts, the kind that sit low on your hips and come with built-in faux underwear, the day I went back to the gym.
They are the kind of shorts I’d identify as “fashion workout shorts”, you know, not real workout shorts. At least, not the kind I would ever wear. Fashion shorts are design for naturally slim women who have no athletic ambitions outside of walking from their house to their car. I don’t mean this with malice – but rather by way of saying that they are designed for those who are “allowed” per our society to expose more skin when being lazy as all hell.
I mean, that has to be what they are for, right? They aren’t for exercise – they are for dressing down. Fashion shorts are the skinny person’s slob sweatpants, and like anything else designed for the slender they are impractical and opt for exposure and the idea of sloth instead of comfort and actual laziness. If you tried to work out in these – I always thought, you’d run the risk of perpetually exposing your anus and every single ingrown hair you have now or ever will have.
The day’s sartorial choice wasn’t a deliberate taking-up of the Skinny Little Bitch aesthetic, I was operating out of necessity: It was fucking hot, and I was going back to the gym for the first time since the end of June. The fewer clothes the better, and if this meant I’d be sneered at our have to spend most of my time on the treadmill picking the shorts out of my vagina and butt than so mote it be.
Proscribed exercise has been a part of my life since I was eleven, and I have a love – hate relationship with it, that by now, is mostly love. I hate the idea that I began going to the gym because I “have to”, because I had to get rid of the bigger parts of myself. Over time, the reasons I go have changed, and I love the way actually going makes me feel – strong, focused, blissed-out from the happy hormones.
I’m not an athletic girl, so when I find a physical activity I like, I kind of just hold my breath and do it and hope the rest of me doesn’t rebel – “Waaaait – we’re hiking? We don’t hike! We’re fat! We only exercise to get skinnier!” My subconscious brain is suspicious of anything remotely fun-seeming because it associates any sort of physical activity as an attempt to make itself smaller, less than, better. It’s funny that part of me has always thought I was fine just the way I am. I need to remember that ox-stubborn aspect of myself more often.
It’s rare for me to do something like skip my usual routine – 3-5 days a week at the gym for 25-35 minutes of light, varied cardio – for months at a time. In fact, the last time it happened was right when I moved to New York in 2009, and even then I got a gym membership going at this unspeakable place in Queens (it doubled as a tanning salon) pretty quickly. This time was because of some routine – but annoying – wrist surgery I’d had done. Me being me, I went right ahead and ignored my doctor’s instructions, going nuts on my wrist immediately after surgery. When I saw – AND FELT – the ramifications of my actions, I decided to take him on his word when it came to the gym – nothing until September.
I missed it like a motherfucker, and the people around me probably did as well. I’d be keyed up and edgy, unable to use my time in the gym as the treatment for my social anxiety as I would typically. I’d go for long walks, but in New York, it’s hard to get that feeling of solitude and inward focus you can get zoning out in other cities – or on a treadmill. There were days I’d be slogging through the city streets in near tears as one more person got just too close to my body for me to handle. I ached for my athletic outlet.
I also wondered how my new diet would impact my routine, and if, viewing all things body and diet oriented through a heightened lens – as I tend to these days – I’d enjoy my workout less. I worried that the shorts I’d chosen would be uncomfortable and that people would take me less seriously – a fattie with no gear, not equipped to even look at a StairMaster. It’s so ridiculous, because it’s not like I go to a fancy cruise-worthy gym, I go to my local Y, where it is not uncommon to see someone working out in jeans as a mesh top, replete with gold chains. I’ve always preferred the Y instead of workout clubs because I love the array of ages – little kids swimming to old folks doing Tai Chai – it makes fitness more of a lifestyle deal and not a hopeless, uphill battle towards perfection.
While I was definitely slow and a bit tight, and while I huffed and puffed a bit more than I would have, overall the workout felt awesome – right down to the sore legs I’d have the next day. Normally I’d go to the gym in giant men’s basketball shorts and an equally giant tee-shirt, glasses on and face and hair dirty. I guess my mode of dress there is part hold over from the shame aspect that drove me to workout for the first time. More than that though I think it’s mostly a matter of a laziness. But something about the fashion shorts and my time aware made me take a bit more care – I’m not talking makeup or anything, just soap – and it made me feel, well, better. It almost made me understand those peeps who get totally dolled up for the gym. I still can’t reconcile babe-ing it up like some folks but I get how dressing like you’re proud of yourself and like your workout is nothing to be ashamed of can change the whole experience. In fact, it almost makes the idea of meeting someone date-able at the gym not totally insane.
Too bad my eyes are are always on the DILFS.
SKINNY BITCH COUNTDOWN:
July 15th20565 lbs to go.July 25th198.658.6 pounds to go6.4 pounds lost.July 30th196.68.4 pounds lost56.6 pounds to goAugust 6th194.610.4 pounds lost54.6 pounds to goAugust 20th193.611.4 pounds lost53.6 pounds to goAugust 27th192.612.4 pounds lost52.6 pounds to goSeptember 4th190.614.4 pounds lost50.6 pounds to goSeptember 10th190.214.8 pounds lost50.2 pounds to go