human, being

Bodies, bodies everywhere
January 4, 2009, 1:58 am
Filed under: Fitness | Tags: , , ,

Today, I went to Cherry Creek Athletic Club, my fancy new gym for a Zoomba™ class. The club was packed, and the class was full when I strode in a few minutes after it started. Zoomba is a dance-aerobics class that is based on Latin rhythms, perfect for my salsa-dancing-addicted self. After shaking my thing for 55 minutes, I made it back to the ladies’ locker room for my post-workout spa experience.

The locker room is the real reason I joined this gym. It is posh, carpeted, clean. The showers have shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream. There are multiple girl-prep stations (hair dryer, Q-tips, magnifying mirror), lockers activated with your ID card, a no-cell-phone rule. But the aspect that makes the gym worth the price of admission is the spa area: steam room, dry sauna and whirlpool complete with waterfall. Yes, a waterfall.

There must be something about paying more than $35/month for a gym that makes women comfortable being naked in front of each other. Today, I saw so many naked bodies, bodies of all types, all conditions, all states of aging. There was the 20-something petite Hispanic chic wearing nothing but a towel and a smile, strutting from one side of the locker room to the other, her body tight and runway-perfect. There was a 60-something with boobs that hit her belly, hair so thin I could see her pink scalp, who I followed into the steam room. There were pregnant chics with extended bellies right out there for everyone to see. Bodies, bodies everywhere.

When in Rome, they say. I had no problem laying towel-less in the steam room (my favorite), but I wrapped myself in the thin, white towel to perambulate from one part of the area to another. I don’t mind being naked in front of everyone as I get dressed, but I’m not quite exhibitionistic enough to strut my naked stuff around the whole place. Give me another couple of weeks, and maybe I’ll lose some of my inhibitions.

What was most interesting to me was the fact that although I was at the gym, a place where people go to get/stay in shape, the majority of women did not have perfect 10 bodies. I am so hard on myself, have such dysmorphic body image issues, that I was surprised that I am not the only one with cellulite on her ass, whose pants (of a current fashion) tend to cut into the belly a bit and cause a little overhang, whose breasts are natural and maybe not as perky as they used to be. It was good for me to see that, in the scheme of things, even though I’d prefer to weigh 20 pounds less and be two sizes smaller, I’m pretty normal. I was by no means the heaviest woman in the club, nor was I the skinniest.

As I sat next to a pretty blonde, applying makeup in tandem with her, I wondered if she had the same body image struggles I do. And I wonder if I’ll ever be happy with my physical being.


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Great observation. My daughters both wear size 0 pants (growing up, I didn’t even know that those sizes existed), but they’re always having problems finding clothes that fit right. And if you can’t find clothes that fit right, you’re going to have some body issues. It seems to be a rite of passage that none of us ever pass. Well, maybe the 60-year-old with belly boobs.

Comment by Laura

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