When I first joined the Y many years ago, I was looking for aerobic exercise that didn’t include killing my knees, and I was looking for Yoga. The first day I walked into the Yoga class I was the first guy who had ever ventured in and stayed. I did Yoga three times a week until work shifted me to another location. It’s still the best exercise a human can do.
The step class I joined garnered me more than a few hostile looks from the all female class. I was a guy, and as a guy I was supposed to be running or lifting weights. Worse, I had, and still have, the rhythm of an anvil in six inches of clay mud. One thing I can tell you for a fact, however, is nothing impresses people who are in it to get in shape than working your butt off during a class. I left every class sweating, no matter how poorly I might have performed, no one was going to try harder.
Size Zero was the woman in class who set up in front of me, in the southwest corner of the classroom. She was petite, blonde, in great shape, and she worked hard. I guessed her age to be late twenties, but she was actually a decade older. We hung around and talked after class one day, and one thing led to another.
Size Zero, was not a happy woman. She had just gotten out of a bad relationship, so was wary, and distrustful. Worse, no matter how hard she worked out, she had to regulate her diet to the point of misery to keep her weight down. I told her she could carry more weight, have more energy, and it wouldn’t hurt her looks a bit. But she was Size Zero. That was who she was.
We broke up after a few months, on good terms, and we traded phones calls and visits, then she moved away, got married, and had an epiphany.
Size Zero showed up at the Y a couple of years later, single, and twenty pounds heavier. Gone was the starved looking woman looking to squeeze into tight outfits and skinny jeans. Instead, in walked a woman who had turned into the healthiest looking human I had seen in a very long while. While she was away, she had run a Spartan Race, that involved a lot of obstacles. She began weight training to improve her upper body strength and realized cute didn’t cut it on the course. Size Zero began looking for muscle mass and power over perky outfits.
I had never seen her look more beautiful, and she blushed when I told her so. She also remembered me telling her that starvation was not a healthy lifestyle. We went out and got a pizza, and she talked about how good it felt to eat again, and to feel alive inside her own skin.
Once again, we parted ways, with hugs and promises to stay in touch. I watched her walk away, with energy and power in her step, her body built for a multitude of tasks instead of existing to be tiny. This was no longer Size Zero, but a real woman now.
Two words: Beautifully horrific.
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