Call me Gym

January 13, 2012 in General

I love Christmas.  I love the presents, the food, the holidays, the food, the company, the food, the warm weather and the food.  Oh, and I’m absolutely in love with the food.  Glazed ham, potato salad, chilled wine, trifle and on and on, all in glorious quantities.

Post-Christmas I’m not so in love with the bathroom scales.   I was horrified when I stepped on last week and have decided to avoid them for a while.  The Christmas gut is a depressing thing, and as the holiday festivities wear off the focus turns to the process of getting rid of it.  It would appear that positive body image is the opportunity cost of a good Christmas.

However negative body image is not something that is confined to the holiday season alone.  A recent British study found that eighty per cent of men surveyed were unhappy with their current physical appearance.  One third of respondents also said they would trade a year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape.

Other studies have suggested that gay men are even more concerned with their image.  Nowhere is this evidenced more clearly than at the gym.  A quick glance around any gym in central Auckland reveals twinks, jocks and bears and everyone in-between sweating and slogging their way to a better body, and a fellow student remarked last semester that going to the gym seems to be “a sort of obsession for gay guys”.  My trainer (Matt of 3D Training) tells me that he’s noticed that gay guys take the gym a lot more seriously and are much more aware of their body image.

This isn’t really surprising, given that the gay community is marked by an overall emphasis on the visual element.  Theorists have identified this as being part of a societal trend toward the aestheticization of everyday life.  Basically, we like pretty things and want to be pretty ourselves.

I have to confess that I’m as bound up about my image as everyone else.  It’s largely responsible for this post-Christmas feeling of guilt that won’t go away.  Three kilograms.  THREE KILOGRAMS.  That’s how much weight I put on over Christmas.  I’ve been hitting the gym every day in an attempt to shed them, but so far my efforts have been in vain.  It doesn’t help that I have stockpiles of leftover food sitting in the fridge.

In the midst of this guilt my trainer emailed to advertise a post-Christmas Kick Start Programme.  It involves three weeks of strict meal plans, intense fat-burning sessions, and a strict ban on all things good including chocolate and alcohol.  According to the programme guide participants can lose up to four kilograms during the three weeks.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I’ve decided to take the plunge.  I will be starting the programme next week.  Matt says to go all out this weekend because it’s the last opportunity I’ll have for a while.  Ho hum.

I can’t stand failure.  More to the point, I can’t stand public failure.  That’s why I’ve blogged on this subject.  Hopefully the knowledge that I’ve written about it publically will spur me on to great achievements.  Shedding these bloody Christmas kilograms would be a good start.

My first weigh-in is on Sunday.  Wish me luck.