The gym person is torturing me and, worse, has me keeping a food diary

Being a card-carrying gym member does not necessarily mean being there as in lifting the big weights. I'm usually there in spirit and on my direct debit card... not so much in person

'Eh, you need to turn it on to get any good out of it'

THE session was free, so I took her up on the offer. Don't get any ideas. It was down at the gym.

Yes, once the sun comes up, it is amazing what it brings out – skinny milk bottle legs that really ought to be hanging over the edge of a nest – big hairy chests, wobbly bellies.

My aunt used to joke that, given what the sun brought out, it wasn't a wonder that it went back in again.

Shedding layers of winter woollies is a salutary lesson. Ah, what lies beneath.

So I went to the gym.

“Excuse me, are you new around here?” asked a svelte, toned, blonde gym person.

“I've only been here about five years,” I told her.

But being a card-carrying member does not necessarily mean being there as in lifting the big weights. I'm usually there in spirit and on my direct debit card... not so much in person.

It's like my dear friend and yoga.

“I just like the idea of it,” she smiles. You get the drift.

So the gym person who turned out to be a personal trainer had never seen me before. This sounds bad but I put it down to the pool. In recent years, I have taken a sharp right at the cross trainer and salved my conscience with a quick few lengths in the water and a long, long soak in the sauna.

This has its drawbacks. Men, who are not normally the most loquacious, seem to open up in the sauna. Many, many stories of profound life events have I heard as my armpits ooze sweat and breed whole generations of germ pools in the sauna.

“It's bizarre,” I tell my other half. “It's like someone has turned on a tap and they don't shut up. Maybe it's the heat getting to them.”

I'm also thinking that maybe, they're thinking I'm their mother. But I do not voice this alarming thought.

Whatever, let us return to my personal trainer – ah, that has a refreshing ring to it. You see, I like the thought of it.

She thought I was new and clearly in need of a body overhaul and offered me a free session. That was last week. I'm only just recovering.

She started off the torture by asking me what I would like.

“I would like the body of a 28-year-old,” I shot back. I meant as a replacement for my 50-something model.

She had the grace to laugh.

Then she made me do dips. Not, you may note, as in the quick dips you do in the pool. These were long, slow torturous dips.

Like Chinese water torture it was. Up and down on my arm muscles very very slowly.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked

“If I don't laugh, I'll cry,” I told her. It was the truth.

At times, it felt like being stretched out on a rack. I walked away a good inch taller and with instructions to keep a food diary.

There's the rub.

“Don't put a single thing in your mouth that you don't write down,” she said.

It was OK for a day or two. I had that saintly feeling I used to get as a child after a Saturday morning confession. Two Our Fathers and a Hail Mary and I could glide across the road, get knocked down by a car and rise straight up to heaven, by passing Purgatory.

For two days I was a saint. But alas, I fell off the wagon. The slippery slope began with a sinner Solero.

“It's harmless, less than 100 calories and so much better than a Magnum,” I told the others in our house. They nodded like they might vaguely have been listening. Maybe they'd just heard it all before.

By Saturday night, there was the trip to the Chinese takeaway and the joys of sweet n sour and curry.

Regular readers will know that I am so well-loved in my local takeaway that the lady brought me back the gift of an necklace when she went home to China for her holidays.

But enough. By Sunday, I had well and truly dropped off the wagon and was rapidly hurtling in the wrong direction. My son caught me secretly eating half a double decker in the kitchen.

Eating half always makes me feel better – then I go back and eat the other half later.

“Mum, are you having a cheat day?” joked our boy.

“Son, every day is a cheat day,” I told him.

And so it is. But the day of reckoning approaches. I have another date with my personal trainer very very soon. She is expecting a food diary. What she will receive is a clever forgery.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. I am quaking in my Asics.


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