Fall Break, a week of beaches, drinks, meals, bathing suits, comparing, body checking, purging, and of course, working out.
I had already worked out, the haunting thought of working out and purging consumed me. At aound 10:30 at night the only thing I could think of were the amount of calories in that rum I had taken in. I put my shoes on, grabbed my iPod, and headed down the 13 floors down to the gym.
The gym was empty, every machine was free for my choosing, the tv off, the room silent…. with one exception. There, on the front treadmill, was a lady, probably mid to late 50s, working out. “What compels somebody to workout at 10:30 at night?” I wondered to myself while stepping onto the treadmill.
During my run I was so fixated on myself, whoever decided that the entire wall in front of the treadmills should be mirrors should be punched square in the jaw. I watched as my thighs jiggled and touched, watched as my chubby cheeks bounced with every step, saw my gut splosh back and forth with my strides. My entire run was a just a body check from hell; admiring my protruding collarbone, watching my arms, like sticks, swing along my side. Even watching my jiggling thighs I was disgusted, but yet impressed and prideful at the fact my hands were able to fit around them so easily. Sickened by my flabbing stomach, but excited that my ribs were protruding more than the flab.
Being so far gone into my own deep thoughts and body checking mentality I had forgotten about the lady who, at this point, had moved to the stationary bike. With my middle finger and ring finger clasped to my collarbone I continued to run. My collarbone clearly visible and exposed through my large t-shirt, my sports bra laid across the bone, not touching the surrounding skin. I was more aware now though, that during my run and body checking mode, this lady was watching, quietly from a far. This whole time she had been watching the pinching, scrutinizing, judging, and self hatred that had been unfolding on the treadmill.
Checking my watch, it was past eleven by now, the lady was still hard in her work out. My thought went back to the, “I wonder what motivates her to be in the gym at 11 at night working out.” Then, I began to wonder. Was her workout motivated by self hatred too? Did she struggle with an eating disorder? Would I be her in 30 some odd years?- Not able to enjoy my own vacation because of the extreme dissatisfaction I have towards myself.