I mentioned it over at Bodies but I don’t think I’ve written here about how I joined this crazy personal training gym a while back. There was an article in the paper about how the guy on the Bachelor (now forever known as “that douchebag”, I guess) worked out at trainer gym in Bellevue and I was all, hey! I want to look like the Bachelor! With the abs and the ever-present rose and all!

Well, okay, not really, but the article talked about how this gym does all kinds of intense one-on-one circuit training and really focuses on helping you meet your fitness goals and anyway, I’ve been going there once a week for about a month now and it’s awesome.

Last night I showed up at my 6 PM appointment and was informed by the owner that instead of a regular workout, I’d be doing a fitness test, including weight and measurements. They do this quarterly, so you can see what kind of progress you’re making. “Great!” I said jovially, because this is the type of person I am, the kind who says great like a total fucking boner when I’m faced with something I’d rather drink paint than do, instead of just being honest and saying, “Well THAT blows.” (No lie, I once said “sounds great!” when my doctor said it looked like it was time for a pelvic exam, so why didn’t we just go ahead and do that today. SOUNDS GREAT I LOVE IT WHEN YOU CRAM THAT FREEZING METAL DUCKBILL THING IN MY GIRL PARTS AND SWAB MY INTERNAL ORGANS WITH THE MASCARA WAND OF DOOM SOUNDS GREEEEAAAAT.)

The first thing I had to do was step on the scale, which made me super uncomfortable. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of my weight, really, it was just . . . I don’t know, there’s something so intimate about someone weighing you with one of those doctor’s scales — you know, standing there so close to you, slowly sliding the thing along to the right until it stops bobbing up and down? And it ALWAYS settles like five pounds higher than your digital home scale? If someone is going to be doing this to me, I prefer that it be a matronly nurse holding a clipboard, not an attractive young gym trainer guy with delineated biceps.

As it turned out, I shouldn’t have bothered fretting about the scale, because the best part was yet to come. The part where the attractive young gym trainer guy measured my FAT with a CALIPER. Seriously: he brought me in the office and had me stand while he carefully and professionally used his fingers to pinch various sections of my body, gathering up the skin into a fleshy blubberroll before fitting the caliper clampy mouth-part around it. I could actually feel myself having something like an out-of-body experience, not dissimilar to the brain-melting moment before Dylan’s birth when I realized that below the surgical drape the nurses were putting a catheter into my epidural-numbed lower section while I was lying there sprawled all frog-legged . . . and nothing was covering my bulbous naked self . . . and the room contained medical professionals who were NOT WOMEN.

The humiliation continued with the actual exercise stuff, which involved cardio endurance and strength tests — I was abysmally terrible at the jump rope segment and managed to whack myself in the back of the head with the rope not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES — and afterwards I got a little printout of my fitness report, including a section titled “GIRTH MEASUREMENTS”, which is so totally the name of my new all-girl, all-D-cup punk band.

It turns out I am formed of approximately 28 pounds of fat, which is thrilling to imagine as a separate entity that slithers around my body depending on what unflattering outfit I have chosen. It’s nicer to think of it in terms of percentages, which at 22% is less disturbing than comparing my total fat-weight to the mighty heft of my 1-year-old, who weighs 25 pounds. Also, apparently my “subscapular” region is made of 20% body fat, which I might care about it if I knew where that was.

Anyway, it was quite the evening. My trainer pointed out which numbers he thought I could improve on over the next few months, and mentioned that nutrition is 90% of the game when it comes to reducing body fat. I nodded sagely (great!) and when I got home, I got rid of the last unhealthy food items lurking in the cupboards. Of course, I did so by dumping them directly into my mouth, but still. I’m on the right track, baby!


65 Responses to “Quarterly report”

  1. Kelsey on March 25th, 2009 1:35 pm

    This entry made me laugh. And laughing is invaluable when you’re having a shitty day at work. You need to write a book. For reals.

  2. Eric's Mommy on March 25th, 2009 1:35 pm

    Oh Lord, the “mascara wand of doom” made me cross my legs and cringe!

    I remember in high school having that caliper thing done in gym class. Of course then I weighed like 90 pounds.

  3. Jori on March 25th, 2009 1:38 pm

    I clear out my pantry the same way when I’m beginning another “healthy change”. LOL It makes total sense to me. GREAT!

  4. serror on March 25th, 2009 1:40 pm

    ugh. That sounds hellish. I hate hate hate the doctors office scale where it bobbles infornt of you and you try your hardest not to look!
    But a hilarious to read and thanks for the laugh!
    Also, if you are 22% body fat, than I must hover around 89%.

  5. Erin on March 25th, 2009 1:40 pm

    Holy crap you crack me up, lady. Your awesomeness is inspiring!

  6. Kizz on March 25th, 2009 1:41 pm

    Seriously, “GIRTH MEASUREMENTS”?!?!?!?! The Marketing Department needs to take a serious look at the quarterly report format because no one who’s trying to get healthy wants to talk about their girth…at least not in a non-dirty kind of way.

  7. Amy M. on March 25th, 2009 1:41 pm

    I vaguely remember from high school bio that the scapula is the shoulder blade & ’sub’ is under, so your head is 2% fat? Weird.

    How humiliating! I remember that “fat test” from high school health class & that was only slightly more horrifying since your classmates were in line behind you while your gym teacher pinched various fatty areas. SO MUCH FUN!

  8. Liz on March 25th, 2009 1:41 pm

    WHAT!? 22% is in the “fit” range. I’m in the bad end of the “acceptable” range. Meh.

  9. Amy M. on March 25th, 2009 1:42 pm

    Okay, I just re-read that & I totally did not mean you have a fat head – it just came out wrong…

  10. dorrie on March 25th, 2009 1:43 pm

    Dude, it’s not a contest. Nobody wins so don’t sweat the small stuff, sweetheart.

  11. justmouse on March 25th, 2009 1:46 pm

    “mascara wand of doom” BWAH HA HA *snort*

    i believe the subscapular region would be below your shoulder blade?

    also, you are gorgeous, and funny, and clever, and now with you only being 22% body fat, i’m not sure i can continue to read your blog and maintain any sort of dignity or self confidence.

  12. MLE on March 25th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Linda, 22% body fat is a really good number for a woman, particularly one in her 30s who has had two children. You really don’t want to go below 18% unless you want to lose your boobs and your period, or unless you plan to become a professional body builder.

  13. jessica on March 25th, 2009 1:49 pm

    You are brave, woman! first, I’d be too intimidated to join a personal trainer gym (I’m such a dork!) but if I walked in and they were all “Hey, let me pinch your fat!” I’d be like “OMG – I’m relaly sorry – I just realized I’m trapped in an oil painting right now!”

  14. warcrygirl on March 25th, 2009 1:53 pm


    Hahahaha!!!!! I had that done this morning, joy of joys.

  15. Nichole on March 25th, 2009 1:55 pm

    I’m so glad I got to read that rather than live it. Although I would be thrilled to have 22% body fat.

  16. sundry on March 25th, 2009 1:59 pm

    I didn’t know much about body fat percentages going into this — like what’s “good” or “bad” or whatever — but just so no one misunderstands, I’m not, like, WHINING about my results. More like whining about the process. Mmmkay, Dorrie? : )

  17. robyn on March 25th, 2009 1:59 pm

    “which is thrilling to imagine as a separate entity that slithers around my body depending on what unflattering outfit I have chosen”

    My God, is that awesome.

    Also, 22%? Me jealous. You rock.

  18. kalisa on March 25th, 2009 2:13 pm

    I don’t think anyone who works out the way you do and HELLO?? Can climb 69 flights of stairs is “abysmally terrible” at anything on that fitness test.

  19. St on March 25th, 2009 2:15 pm

    Dude would need really big hands to pinch my fat between two fingers. I can handle being weighed and even the tape measure thing they do but the pinching? No way.

  20. sundry on March 25th, 2009 2:21 pm

    Kalisa: oh but you have not seen me with a jump rope. And believe me, you don’t want to.

  21. Deb on March 25th, 2009 2:52 pm

    What about the doctor’s office where the scale is in the HALLWAY, right next to the (doorless) doorway to the WAITING ROOM, and the nurse YELLS your weight to everyone in the tri-county area?

    Damn it.

  22. Tanya on March 25th, 2009 2:54 pm

    Oh man, I am laughing so hard at this that the person in the cubicle next to me actually asked me what the heck I was reading.

    You really do need to write a book. I would buy copies for everyone I know.

  23. Pete on March 25th, 2009 2:54 pm

    This is why I love reading your blog.

  24. Sharla on March 25th, 2009 3:23 pm

    Oh, I love your humor so very, very much!

  25. Jamie on March 25th, 2009 3:41 pm

    You’re once….twice…THREE TIMES a jumprope-hitter-in-the-head-er…

    Does your band need vocals or a drummer? I’m in!

  26. g~ on March 25th, 2009 3:42 pm

    They would probably need an adjustable wrench to measure my body fat.

  27. Jennifer on March 25th, 2009 3:47 pm

    Well, of course it’s not a contest but still, it’s nice to know where you stand and decide on improvement goals, then track them. I need to get the caliper test done again, it’s been about 5 years (and in my case the “upper back fat” pinch is totally humiliating, how can I have a mostly flat stomach but a jiggly back?? yick)

    My doc wants me to strip off those last few percentages of body fat which is really tough to do; I’m already eating a nearly nonfat diet and he says the way to convert those last percentages is to build muscle mass (thus lowering the fat portion) via weight lifting (which I hate… give me the bike baby). I’m interested to hear what your gym trainer guy is telling you to focus on (other than diet). Plus are you going to reveal what are your goals from here? Lower body fat? Increased cardio?

    Sorta exciting stuff I think, and good for you for sticking with your health maintenance even after your weight loss goals were reached.

  28. ChelseaLI on March 25th, 2009 4:33 pm

    I believe I said “Alright, sounds awesome!” last time there was a speculum waving in my face.
    Stupid responses for the win.

  29. Christy on March 25th, 2009 4:38 pm

    I’m sitting here eating m&m’s and drinking a coke while I read. I wonder what MY fat percentage is??

  30. Amy on March 25th, 2009 4:48 pm

    You crack me up! mascara wand of doom….fuck I’m gong to pee my pants and I’m still at work!!!!!!!!!!!! And by the way…if you want funny you should see my 6yo trying to jump rope. Apparently they are doing it at school and you have to do so amny jumps before you can go to the next square. Poor guy is still on the first one.

  31. Jill on March 25th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Not sure which is worse, the hot gym man doing it or the Twiggy look alike who has pushed 3 kids out of her girl parts, and is negative 10% body fat! At least you had some action with the hot man pinching you ;)

  32. Shawna on March 25th, 2009 6:41 pm

    Oh my stars, that does not sound fun. If my gym sprang that on me at least I’d have the solace of the fact it’s an all-women gym so it’s not a hot guy doing the caliper thing.

  33. Victoria on March 25th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Mascara wand of doom, argh!!!

  34. DanK on March 25th, 2009 9:38 pm

    I want to be the head roadie for that band.

  35. Angella on March 25th, 2009 9:44 pm

    TWENTY-EIGHT pounds of fat?

    I have seen your bikini photos. I call BULLSHIT.

    (Also agree that you need to write a damn book already. Can you get on that?)

    (Oh, you KNOW I am fighting the smiley face with ALL OF MY MIGHT.)

  36. Amanda on March 25th, 2009 10:09 pm

    Dude, you know what’s awesome? Hitting yourself in the back of the head with a jumprope and losing your grip on the handle because you’re realling WORKING IT LIKE ITS YOUR BITCH at the time, right, so there’s some FORCE involved, and then the handle comes up and gets you in the eye at like mach 4.

    Could we start a club? Seriously. Because I need to.

  37. Lesley on March 26th, 2009 12:17 am

    I prefer imaginary jump rope skipping. So much less dangerous.

    22% body fat is damn awesome and you should be proud. Pretty soon you’re going to look like Dara Torres.

  38. Emma on March 26th, 2009 4:48 am

    My results just said “below average.” Sad. And watch out for the killer bruise that develops after they tug and pull fat to measure from your upper thigh…ouch!

  39. Shutter Bitch on March 26th, 2009 6:21 am



    “…including a section titled “GIRTH MEASUREMENTS”, which is so totally the name of my new all-girl, all-D-cup punk band.”

    THIS is why I lurve you so.

    I don’t even want to consider my own personal body fat percentage. At nearly 100 lbs overweight, I suspect I’m made entirely out of fat. And possibly cheddar cheese.

  40. Lauren on March 26th, 2009 8:28 am

    Oh my god, I love calling people “boners”! That made my day reading that!!

    You are so funny!! I love your website. And I had that same fat clamp/uncomfortable scale thing at my gym a few months ago with this tiny little perky blonde who weighed like ten pounds. It was not fun.

  41. Becky on March 26th, 2009 9:25 am

    urgh the calipers are seriously one invention I could do without.

    The mascara wand of doom….HILARIOUS

  42. Michele on March 28th, 2009 7:20 am

    If I ever go to the gym again this is a reminder to me that I will not have anyone give me these tests. As if those guys made a baby, or have to buy for and feed a family of four (five in my case). Wait till the little guys are bigger and have friends over….there is so much more food to buy. Or maybe I SHOULD have that experience to help me resist eating like the husband and 3 boys in my house can eat.

  43. kendra! on March 28th, 2009 10:27 pm

    Is that fat pinching really scientific, or is it just a test to see that if you don’t pop the delineated musclehead you get to keep your membership at the gym and get 10% off another D-cup punk band?

  44. Lori O on March 30th, 2009 8:47 am

    My husband is a trainer and I can’t even stand when HE does the fat caliper test on me. I can’t imagine a cute stranger doing it. Yikes!

    Nice job on the 22% though. That’s what I’m working toward!

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