Have you ever noticed how one of the key cures to every ailment save for an actual broken limb is exercise? Cancer prevention: exercise. Menstrual cramps: exercise. Headache: exercise. Heart ache: exercise. Depression: exercise. I'm waiting for the day that some maverick doctor — perhaps the same blessed soul who deemed red wine "Good! For! You!" — announces that exercise is not in fact all that and a bag of low cal gluten-free granola.
Of course, I exercise regularly despite my intense disdain for it. Sadly, I was blessed with neither a fast metabolism nor a bird-like appetite. And despite myself, I admit that most days taking a long run along a wooded trail is enough to help me swallow the daily pill of humility that encapsulates unemployment, poverty, singledom and the crushing inability to buy Chloe shoes. I've tried to make myself feel better about working out by trying to look better while working out. But something about the way Stella McCartney for adidas clothes are cut make them only attractive on models and already-toned bodies. Go figure. Besides, I'm not the type who looks sexy when flushed or for whom sweat pools in all the right places. There are those women whose perspiration shows through in the suggestive area between the breasts or on the small of the back. Mine is in the pits.
I've also never understood women who put on makeup before going to the gym. While sure, it's probably the last bastion of meat markets left where you get face-to-face with a potential date without the use of a computer mouse, it just involves too much strategic face blotting once the treadmill starts to get the better of you. Although, and here comes my token embarrassing admission, I would routinely apply undereye concealer and blush before attending my Pilates classes in London. I never thought I would stoop so low, but age is not being kind to me and yes, the ex-footballer Aussie instructors were that hot. And I guess I was kidding myself into thinking that there was something sexy about them coming over to my reformer machine and spreading my legs wide for an inner thigh stretch when in fact it was more likely incredibly awkward for those poor blokes. I suspect most of the Notting Hill clientele, married or otherwise, was doing a lot more than apply makeup in their attempt to bed one of them.
But even as I sit here writing this post in my sloppy running gear, procrastinating hitting the trail, I acknowledge that exercise has cured me, albeit temporarily, from the dark demons that inhabit the back of my mind and from having to go up a size in jeans this season. I've seen my future, my friends, and it is fat. And for that reason alone, I will continue to slug it out on the mean streets of Forest Hill. No matter what the good doctor says.