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The devil wears shapeless sweats | Shelley Subawalla

Wow, 1,832 of you have read this.
GYM, three innocent letters of the alphabet strung together to create a word that strikes terror into the hearts of the less svelte, sexy and fit!!

Image via Shutterstock

Originally created to aid one in his/her journey toward health and fitness, over the years it has evolved into a place to show off those bulging muscles and lean bodies encased in the latest designs taking the exercise world by storm. Most of the time, though not always, a good and right work out takes a back seat to the right outfit and gym buddy.

Do I sound a wee bit cynical?? Well, before I proceed any further let me tell you a bit about myself. If ever there lives a candidate deserving of a gym membership, it is me!!! My entire life, one look at me straight away brought to mind the image of a huge Buffalo….the kinds you see lying around on their fat back sides all day, chomping away at whatever is available and basking in the sun. It was this and the lack of any kind of stamina that finally got me to get off my humungous rear, part with some of my hard-earned money and take my first step within those hallowed walls.

What did I expect once there?? Did I expect to be surrounded by more of my species from the bovine and pachyderm family….all in various stages of contentment, huffing and puffing away in any and all hope of achieving some sort of pleasing appearance???? Shamefully, YES!!!! That was exactly what I expected and to a slight extent, that is what I saw. I have no qualms about sharing my evil and wicked, yet extremely reassuring thoughts here…..because it’s true!!

Why should I be the only one frumpy and ready to collapse??? Nothing like being a part of a pack or herd to fill one with a sense of reassurance and confidence.

However, as mentioned above, sadly, we are totally in the minority. A gym membership doesn’t just open up those fat clusters or loosen up those muscles, it opens up one’s eyes as well. Joining one of those elite and expensive outlets means stepping into a world of sport haute couture, right from the slinky, body hugging designer wear to the styled ( I kid you not!!) hair and the perfectly made up faces. Over here, I must point out an interesting fact…. Whereas, what I describe above pertains to the female half of the population, the male equivalent showed us rather the opposite.

Surprisingly, amongst them, the ones competing with us for shadowed and lonely corners (in the hope that no one noticed us in our loose, shapeless sweats and bulging tyres) were lean and scrawny, and it was their beefed up, generously oiled and muscular counterparts (Charlie Brown, take a bow) who strutted all over like peacocks proudly showing off their beautiful plumage. Apparently, and I don’t exaggerate at all, where women wish, pray and aspire toward the lean and skinny, men work and exist to attain the exact opposite!! Who knew??? A mean and petty blimp like me would consider that highly unfair and cause enough for a massive gender bias debate.

Anyway, returning to our beautiful decked up dolls….. I find myself looking around me with wide eyed amazement and disbelief, wondering why on earth anyone would have the enthusiasm and the patience to go to such extreme extents to look amazing and picture perfect, when in a few minutes they would all resemble soaked dishrags hung out to dry. There I am, trying my best not to collapse on the treadmill or using all my strength and will power to pull or push the bars of all those machines without making a fool of myself, soaking up my towel with my embarrassing perspiration….only to find our gorgeous beauties, walking around with their painted faces, fluttering their eye lashes and donning their perfect ‘help me, I’m a damsel in distress and in need of your strong arms’ look at any male within their immediate circle of claim. How do they manage that???And more importantly, why do they manage that???

I could, at this point of time, enter into a heavy and long discussion on ‘gender equality‘ and ‘substance over style’, but unfortunately, all I feel when I see this happening around me is irritation!! But the point I would love to end this on is, I’m sure I speak for all women like me (the ones who give new meaning to the term ‘being fat means all the more to love….so I should be freaking adored!!’) when I say, Beware!!

The woman inside us, that wicked, bitchy and judgmental green eyed one, looks at you and pretends nonchalance, all the while hoping and dreaming of the day you collapse on your skinny designer behind, looking toward one of us realistic ones to reach out and drag you up by the tips of your pink painted nails…. That day will come ladies….the devil in us prays long and hard!!!