The Obvious

hurdle taken

Posted in capoeira, exercise, the thrilling goings-on by theobvious on June 9, 2011

After a combination of complaining online and driving myself up the wall again and again a hundred times like a crazed chihuahua, I did a handstand!! Six, in fact. And I’m fairly sure the next one will take fewer attempts. I’m so stoked!


we haven’t talked about this for a while

Posted in capoeira, exercise, i don't know, ugliness by theobvious on March 18, 2011

My legs hurt. All of them. From my creaking hip joints to my knees which cry out in pain whenever I sit down on a chair or get up, to my overstrained calves, to the toe I stubbed hard on the floor yesterday. It’s all because of capoeira. Mind, this is not the post where I dramatically announce that I am giving up because it’s too hard. There’s no going back after I got those fancy new sweatpants the other day. However, it is too hard. The classes leave me battered and hurting in places I thought could only hurt if I joined the army. During class, I’m hardly ever not dizzy or gasping for air. Well, maybe during the final stretch, where I’m standing on the edge of the roda immobilized with fear of going in and actually putting what I’ve been practising to some real use.

The most important thing I have learned so far is not to push myself or to discover my limitations and learn to circumvent them. What I’ve learned is that I am very, very weak, and very, very soft, and capable of very, very little physically. And also, I have discovered anew the thing that this one woman on this one blog put so extremely well:


There are so many ways of saying it (plump, heavy, chubby, overweight, curvy, huggable, geared for childbirth even), but why bother? I feel like Fatty McLarderson, and every time I come to class I’m reminded of every single extra kilogram or centimetre that I’m lugging around on my stupid childbearing hips, because I need to lift all of it up in the air or swing it around, or do push ups with it. Even if I could only do three push ups a month ago, and can do twenty now. Even if some of those initial centimetres are gone. Even if my form in the basic movements has improved, and sometimes when the instructor comes up to us as we’re practising in pairs, it’s not me he is coming to talk to. Even if I’ve introduced strict rules of exercising every day of the week, and only break them every so often (I’ll do some of it as soon as I’m done writing, I swear). I’m still somewhere in the vicinity of square one.

I’m only writing this post, which is very much in the style of this blog two years ago, and much less appropriate now, to remind myself where I stand (incidentally, that headstand has been evading me ever since I bragged about it). To remember that I will go on, and I will practice, and I will see a doctor about those knees, and I will drag myself to the other end of town four times a week for class, but there’s a solid chance I’ll never be good at it.

plan worked; i am immobile

Posted in exercise, nablopomo by theobvious on November 18, 2010

What do you know, yesterday’s trick really worked! The search queries that brought traffic to the blog today were: “Pamela Anderson naked” and “Justin Bieber naked”. I say, this is SEO at its best, I should probably market this as a “solution”.

Also, I just found myself crying because I really REALLY REALLY didn’t want to do my daily exercises. Sometimes my wussiness surprises even myself. Anyway, these two days have been couch-potato days: no morning walk, no evening exercises. Meh, I just want to sit in bed and not. move. ever.

This post wins the Pointlessness Prize of the year. Just saying.

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new intensive fitness plan!

Posted in braces, exercise by theobvious on September 5, 2008

Do you want firm buttocks and definition all over your body? Would you like your friends to whistle when you come into the room? Want glutes like Michael Phelps? It’s your lucky day! Today you get an unbelievable fitness program ABSOLUTELY FREE! What are you waiting for? Look at the next paragraph for the answer to this question: How Do I Get Fit Easily And Quickly?

And the answer is: GET BRACES!!! With our monthly appointment plan you’ll clench and flex every possible muscle so hard like you’ve never done before! Your mouth will be open so wide for so long that your neck won’t have a grain of fat left in it, and your face muscles will be firm without collagen due to the amount of painful grimaces you will make every appointment!

The best thing? The program lasts long enough to make ABSOLUTELY SURE you are good and worked out before you’re done! Says T. Obvious, a long-time member: ‘I was convinced my plan was a month away from expiring, when the doctor said I had another six months to go, no additional charge!!! To quote Christine Lavin, ha ha ha ha ha ha surprise! I was thrilled!’

Apply now to get a chance to win a FREE TRIP to Inquisition Wonderland, all the rides in the Torture Chamber included. Hurry, call now, this may be your only chance to get fit effortlessly! Call 1-800-KILL-ME or 1-800-NO-KIDDING within the next hour and we’ll throw in a pair of silver pincers so you can pull your own nails out while you’re at it!

the girl with no waist at all (in a bad way)

Posted in exercise, rant, weight loss by theobvious on July 4, 2008

Hello from the nineteenth century, where no man has a computer except for my unbelievably lucky father. Things have been happening here, most of them – of a highly unpleasant persuasion. Words have been said and information has been relayed, and I have learned things that might seem quite amusing had they been said about someone else.

The last straw on the back of the sleeping dog, as it were, was today at the gym, where I dragged myself, or rather, was dragged by my enthusiastic friend, at 9.30 am, which is a very early time indeed for Body Sculpting of any sort. There will be some filming next week at our modified and martial-art-buffed-up Tae Bo class, for advertising purposes. The instructor has been asking certain people personally to be there, including my friend and myself. Today he stopped us after class to re-emphasize the invitation. And such words did he utter, as I live and breathe: ‘Some people come to this class to lose weight, get into shape, so your… er… (flowy hand gestures) full figures would be a good example, you know, for them to see how well you’re doing… okay?’

Okay it was certainly not. Now, I have no illusions about myself. This is an Advanced class, so most of the people who come are either stick-figures or just in really good shape. And we are, in fact, doing really well. But I will not be the proverbial ‘fat girl who does well nevertheless’! There will be no nevertheless in my life story. I will not be used as an exemplary full figure. I am not fat, not as such, though I am what you might call curvy. Still, I take an S to M size! My friend is somewhat heavier than I am, and she took this to mean that her considerable weight loss in the past months has not gone unnoticed. She is actually pleased and does not understand my sulking.

But honestly, on top of everything I’ve heard this week, this was too much. Especially considering the enormous amount of effort I’m putting into working out. This is the exact sort of thing that makes me say ‘What’s the use? I’ll be fat whatever I do!’ and stuff half a cake into my mouth. Although of course I would never eat half a cake. Not even a quarter of a cake. I have my full figure to watch!

my locker-room conversion

Posted in emotions, exercise, me myself, people, thoughts, valuable lesson by theobvious on April 11, 2008

Remember when I complained about feeling awkward in the locker-room at the gym? That has changed. I have been making amazing discoveries. There is a phenomenon acutely present there which I had never experienced such full contact with before, and it is called womanhood.

The women at the gym are quite an assorted bunch. Some of them are annoying, to tell the truth, but each and every one of them, in her unique way, is a woman, a lady, a female – a girl. The sense of femininity is expressed every second, in their every move and action, in their very being.

I can see women standing before mirrors, gingerly poking their sides to see how they’ll look when they lose several pounds. I can see them stealing furtive glances at other women, comparing, envious, gloating, compassionate. I notice that their choice of undergarments is telling.

A woman of about 60 is putting on her swimsuit after a workout. When the slick fabric covers the bumps and scars of age, work, and motherhood, she becomes another happy ageless girl in the bubble bath – just like the three-year old next to her, come with her mom, laughing loud and hard.

In the locker-room, everyone shares – the space and ergo, for just a moment, their life. As I stand before the full-length mirror (alas, no such luxury at home), I see reflections of women leaning against lockers, drying themselves, chatting and giggling at each other, sorting their belongings.

After the workout, the girls gradually transform out of sharing mode, they cover themselves in layers: body cream, then underwear, clothes, accessories, packed bags, lastly a business-like air. They walk out into the lobby and call their assorted boys to pick them up and back into their lives.

Still, a girl, I’ve found out, is always a girl: when she adds a little extra wiggle to her salsa hips – the instructor is a handsome, amiable guy – and when she blushes in the locker-room, surrounded for the first time by casual nudity. When she lingers in the shower, and when she rushes out, hair still dripping.

I used to say I was unfeminine. In our first months together, A. never gave me flowers, because he thought I’d hate them. He was surprised to learn that I actually liked receiving flowers from him. I am now equally surprised to find myself doing all those things I just described. What do you know – I am, too, a girl.

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there’s a kind of hush

Posted in braces, exercise, news, the thrilling goings-on by theobvious on April 8, 2008

I know I ought to be posting more often. But you see, my teeth are hurting me, the weather is beyond disgusting, I am getting tireder and tireder, and honestly, all I could write right now is WHINE WHINE BLOODY WHINE – and would you like that? Would you? Huh?

It’s not like there’s any news to share, either. Today’s workout was latino dancing. Very enjoyable. Yes. Um. Still fat, but having fun. Tomorrow – Philosophy. Missed it. Sunday’s lecture was good enough. That’s, um, it.

I’ve been hovering over a certain rather expensive item all week, and tonight A. gave me the green light (actually, he said something close to ‘Will you go on already?! Buy the damn thing!’), so I ordered it and it should be here on Friday. Which will become a national holiday.

And if that is the way things are going to happen then I will post happies.

locker-room drama

Posted in exercise by theobvious on February 26, 2008

I’m sorry for the longish absence. I can explain! I was busy! Doing things! Seriously.

One of the things I’ve been doing is exercising. Now that my first month of being a Gym Member is well underway, I can say that it all seems to be going really well. ‘We can see some definition, girls!’ Of course, the real challenge was never the workout itself. It was always about my overwhelming social anxiety. You could have guessed, right?

So the first day was like the admission exam to Hell. I went alone, and I had to be nice to the reception lady, to manage not to fuss or fumble with my stuff, and not to drop the locker key. Next came the changing room, which was full of booby traps (oops) such as narrow passages, shared benches, just one bathroom, and lots of NAKED LADIES.

I have a problem with nakedness. People seem to think if you’re a girl there’s nothing you haven’t seen before, so it’s okay to prance around in the nude as long as everyone around is of the female persuasion. But for me it’s SO NOT OKAY OMG GET AWAY FROM ME AAARGH!!! The presence of body parts that do not belong to me is distressing.

And when you think you’re done with the horror for the day, there’s the actual workout. It’s a roomful of strangers, all lean and graceful, they are certainly calling you a fat cow under their breath, and by Jove there are tiny butts, flat bellies and unsaggy breasts galore! This when I haven’t even ironed my t-shirt, and my pants are all baggy-looking.

Oof, I just hope those pounds melt away soon so I have something to show for all the embarrassment. Meanwhile, I’m perfecting my Earnest Smile ™, trying to take up as little space as possible, wrapping my shy ass in a towel, and muttering ‘sorry’ every fifteen seconds just in case. At least I’m not alone anymore, thank God for friends.

ETA: This may not be clear from the above, but I’m not bashing anyone here! Everyone is entitled to be naked whenever and wherever they like. All I’m saying is I don’t feel comfortable being naked around strangers and seeing them naked, even if they are of the same sex as me. This is my problem, and I am trying to work it out.