Every good weight loss story begins with the fat person stepping on a scale, right? So as soon as I am good and ready, as in, as soon as the sun is high in the sky and not shining directly in my bedroom window, I crawl out from under the tangle of my new sheets and begin day one of losing weight.
This, I discover does not come as easily as I thought it would, I think to myself as I reheat some pancakes from the previous morning for my kids breakfast. As soon as their attention is diverted to the carbohydrate spheres drenched in high fructose corn syrup (what? Nobody ever told you Mrs. Butterworth's wasn’t pure Vermont maple?), I hop off to the shower.
There it is waiting for me after I emerge from my ten minutes of lathering, shaving and conditioning . . . the scale.
I decide it would be a better idea to postpone the weighing until I am properly dressed, so as not to offend said scale, you know. I pick out a pair of khaki shorts (they don’t weigh very much) and a simple black tank before stepping on the square, white, cold harbinger of truth.
I take note of the numbers, and sigh. You have to start somewhere, I tell myself as I dry my hair.
As soon as my hair is done, I step back on the scale. Yes, I know every diet out there warns against doing this and I am fully aware that I am breaking one of those cardinal dieting sins by doing so, but I can’t help myself. Lo and behold, I was right all along. I am, magically, a pound lighter! Ha! Either I burned a significant amount of calories drying my hair, or I was harboring a full pound of water in my tresses. Either way I’m already down one pound and this diet hasn’t even technically begun.
I give myself a pretend pat on the back and head on downstairs to clean up what remains of my kitchen after neglecting my children for more than fifteen minutes.
High on my almost instant weight loss, I decide it is time to begin our errands for the day. First and foremost on my list of things to do is a stop at the emissions testing facility, which is one whole town away. One of the disadvantages to living in the suburbs is that whatever you need to be doing, it is usually one town away. With gas prices soaring the way they have been, this extra money spent on gas getting from one town to the other is eating away at my ice cream budget. Bonus! I won’t need an ice cream budget if I’m eating less.
I even go the extra mile to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids so I won’t be tempted to swing through a Wendy’s drive-thru on our way to the emissions place. This is hurdle numero uno on my long day of being a better eater by not eating as much, and I am quite proud of myself for my planning skills as I load a bottle of water in my purse along with a nut bar that (I hope) will keep my hunger at bay.
Our second stop is at We Kick Your Butt Gym, and I’ve strategically thought out the fact that my kids will be going in with me. This is all part of my master plan. You see, no one will make fun of the lady cancelling her gym membership if she has children with her. I hope that they will notice my kids and not the size of my rear as I tell them that I won’t be needing their services any longer because I am much too busy. And as I walk out their door, I don’t expect any rude remarks either, for karma can be a real bitch sometimes and I doubt those employees at We Kick Your Butt Gym need any more bad karma floating around their lives which exist solely to torture people like me.
As they whine about not being able to stay in the car, “It is against the law for children under the age of 12 to stay in a vehicle without supervision ,” I tell them, I begin to fantasize about how the whole quitting-the-gym thing will go down.
First, I will walk in there and there will be nobody else at the counter. The lone gym employee will be blown away by my kids and their good behavior that she will not even bat an eye when I request that I would like to cancel my membership. For good. She will fill out all the necessary paperwork quickly and thank me for taking the time to stop by, after, of course, telling me how she does not know how I do it, with three kids and all. She will then wish me good luck and I will leave one gym membership lighter.
Unfortunately, that is not even close to the truth.
First, I had to pull my kids away from the giant gumball machine right inside the front doors (Who puts a giant machine full of sugar in a gym anyway?) before dragging them up to the counter which was, by the way, staffed with no less than 4 super-tan gym employees. As soon as the words, “I would like to cancel my membership,” came out of my mouth, all of their heads spun around like someone had just shouted “FIRE!” in a room full of cotton balls.
“Why?” The girl behind the counter, and closest to me, asked.
“Well, because I never use it,” I say.
“Well, you could just put it on hold,” she raises one pierced eyebrow as the words flow from her glossy lips and I can feel my face turning red.
No, I came to cancel and I will not give in, I tell myself.
“But it seems like I only come here for birthday parties lately,” I explain, “and we are going out of town soon and I will not have time to come in.”
“Where are you going?” asks a fit (of course) boy from behind the counter and I am distracted for a moment by the fact that someone this age is allowed behind the counter, isn’t the daycare upstairs?
“Lake Juniper,” I tell him, although does it really matter? I am here to cancel my gym membership, not give vacation tips to twelve year olds who think they are personal trainers.
“How long will you be there for?” he continues the questions.
I consider lying for a moment and instead use my kids as a deterrent. They often come in handy at time like this, when I would really rather not engage in conversation with someone who is looking at the blubber on my back as his next greatest transformation.
“So, would you like to put your membership on hold? I can hold it for three months and that way, by the time October rolls around, you will have more time to come in,” chirps the pierced eyebrow from behind the counter. I am beginning to suspect that she is also the one who rang oh so early this morning and I can feel my defenses soften a bit.
I leave the gym, past the gumball machine and my kids Velcro-like hands all over it, not one gym membership lighter, but one gym membership on hold.
By the time October does, indeed, roll around, hopefully I will be light enough that I don’t really mind going to the gym. If anything, maybe I’ll have grown the courage to cancel my membership properly, instead of putting it on hold like the wimp that I am.