My Amazonian Gym Muse

I was at the gym at work tonight, thinking about the nature of maintaining a weight loss and how monotonous it can be. And in walked a woman who I’ve conversed with there before a few times.  The first time I saw her I couldn’t restrain myself from starting a conversation because she looked amazing. She is an Amazonian goddess – ripped, muscled and how many more adjectives do I know for completely cut and buff? She both inspires and intimidates me. Inspires because she is CLEARLY working very hard in the gym every day, intimidates because lifting my 15 or 20 pound bicep curls feels pathetic when she’s curling 75s.

Anyway, I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “You look amazing – do you compete?” And she smiled and said yes, she does regular bodybuilding competitions, and we chatted a bit. So that’s how we met. I’ve seen her several times since then – this evening she dropped that it was her third time working out today. I find that comforting because when I think to myself, “Gosh, I want to look like that!” hearing just how much time she devotes to it pulls me back to reality. I neither have nor want to spend that much time working out. It’s similar to how I find it reassuring to know that models don’t just look like that naturally, so it would be ridiculous for me to beat myself up if I don’t have the completely elusive “model body.” I’m simply unwilling to put in the work, and I’m extremely honest about that. It’s not even maintainable for them – they get into “supermodel shape” in time for their gigs on a very elaborate system pinpointed with scientific accuracy to have their bodies look like that for a short period of time. They don’t actually live on protein shakes and powdered eggs all the time – it’s not sustainable.

Anyway. Tonight she said to me as I came in, “Oh you’ve lost some weight!”. I haven’t, and I said that I was actually maintaining perfectly flat, which I consider a great feat for the holiday season. I take it as a short hand way for people to acknowledge the work I’ve done without going into the details of my body and why they’ve noticed it. But it got me thinking – I actually have people ask me regularly if I’ve lost weight. I haven’t, but it’s part of the monotony of weight maintenance – what do you say to someone who hasn’t made any obvious change, but that alone is a feat worthy of celebration? I’m not sure. I usually stick with “You look great.”

The whole briar patch of noticing weight loss on other people is something I haven’t yet figured out. You’d think I would know, having gone through it myself, but everybody is different. I never minded if somebody noticed, but that’s just me. I’m very hesitant to say to somebody, friend or acquaintance, “Wow you’ve lost weight.” It’s shaky territory because people can interpret the comment in many ways, good or bad, so I usually stick with “You look great!”

Ok, I’m going to head home now. I may be seeing an increase in headcount in the team I lead at work, which means more work for me. I’m new to managing a team so it’s been an interesting transition (and partly why I’ve been posting a little less the last few weeks). I’ll try to get back to daily or every-other-day posting but with a new set of responsibilities so close on the heels of the last ones, well, wish me luck!

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3 Responses to “My Amazonian Gym Muse”

  1. snapshotstacy Says:

    “You look great” is a really good choice. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked (or it’s been stated) if I’ve lost weight – when in actuality I had gained 20 since I saw them last. *sigh*

    However, I did take great joy today in responding to a “you look great” with a “Thank you! I’ve lost 30 pounds since I saw you last!” 🙂

  2. Andie Says:

    I’m going to adopt the you look great as the standard line. No danger there!

    I guess you would have to work out 3 times a day to compete, but dang, what else does she have time to do! Thanks for that glimpse behind the curtain on someone who looks so good. It is comforting.

  3. Dee Says:

    I concur with “you look great!” as a safe bet. But I think what a lot of people are saying when they say “have you lost weight?” especially if it hasn’t been that long since you lost a lot, is: wow, you’re beating the odds and maintaining a good weight loss! So I take it as a compliment and move on.


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