Surviving my diet, exercise balancing act

Kristine Gill

As a child, I remember thinking that workout videos were stupid. Why jump around the living room to cheesy music when you could run around in the yard for a few hours and accomplish the same thing? Those “encouraging” instructors seemed more like masochism activists. I just didn’t get it.

But I didn’t need to understand. I was a string bean, and fat was something I picked off my meat at dinnertime.

Years passed and I maintained my high metabolism and string bean appearance. Instead of running around in the yard all day I played sports and kept fat at bay by running around the track in a baggy high school track uniform. I ran for miles up and down hill with herds of other string bean girls, swimming in a cross-country jersey.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and life was good.

Then college came, and with it, a glorious invention known as the FlashCard. Fifteen hundred dollars sat in the palm of my hand, materializing itself in the form of oatmeal cream pies, Hot Pockets and Einstein bagels (with a three-to-one ratio of cream cheese to bagel), at my command. I ate much, and life was good.

But something was changing. I felt it in my heart and in my soul. I felt it in my face and in my hips and in my ass. I no longer resembled a string bean, rather, something along the lines of an eggplant. And though eggplants were a great vegetable, they had trouble slipping into jeans made for string beans. Life was not so good.

Something had to be done, but the walk to the rec center was long and made me breathe heavily. Instead, I fasted for a few weeks, made the occasional trudge to the rec and embraced my tight abs VHS with new vigor. The video I had bought on over the summer, with the intent of toning my core and strengthening my abdominal muscles, became the answer to my prayers. I purged my soul and my waistline of the heinous freshmen fifteen demons and experienced an unforgettable feeling of rejuvenation.

I remembered that feeling at the beginning of this year, when the FlashCard again threatened to wreak havoc on my midsection. But now I was prepared. Armed with my VHS and now, my roommate’s Pilates for Dummies, I launched an attack on fat before it could get to me. I summoned my inner strength and willed my FlashCard to yield fresh foods and those beautiful Fuze bottles that promised to “slenderize” me.

My weight under control, a new fear grips me. The fear that one day, due to my rapidly evolving expertise for following the Pilates for Dummies instructions, I will look in the mirror to see that my once flabby ass can now crush a can. My thighs will burst the seams of my pants, my manly shoulders will distort my feminine attire. Suddenly I’ll realize why friends have begun to suggest high top sneakers, spandex and a neon sports bra as my Halloween costume.

I suppose that as with all things, and especially Pilates, I’ll have to establish balance. The FlashCard will help me there. One hundred crunches to each little Debbie and one hundred little Debbies per raging man muscle that emerges.

Kristine Gill is a sophomore journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].