I do not expect this to shock anyone, but like Janet Weiss before me, I'm a muscle fan.
I find human musculature fascinating.
I like watching the really muscular people move. I like wondering how certain muscles were built and why the same muscle can look different -- covered by skin as it is -- on different people.
There is absolutely no sexual attraction in this.
Sometimes even the opposite, truth be told.
So, attraction? No. Fascination? Oh hell yes.
I stick to a pretty regular schedule at the gym through the week, but on the weekends, I land there when I land there. The faces are, therefore, not as familiar. Neither are the muscles. More on that later.
Sometimes on Saturday morning, a few of the cardio machines are not turned on. I assume this has to do with late night/early morning vacuuming by folks who are not the regular weekday morning staff. Anyway, it's happened to me often enough that I know how to do the easy fix. (Um, find the switch and turn it on...) So this woman I'd never seen before was there today. She was attractive and nicely muscled; I took notice of that in a positive way. She got on the machine in front of me and poked and poked then gave up and got off to try the one next to it. It didn't work either. Obviously I knew what the problem was, so when she gave up on that, too and walked past me I said, "Excuse me," then, getting her attention, "you just have to..." She cut me off with a backwards wave of her hand and went to another machine. She didn't say, "Hey, fat girl, you don't have ANYthing to tell ME on my turf." but her look of disdain and dismissal did.
She became extraordinarily unattractive very quickly.
Later in the morning, she executed a longer series of pull-ups than most women can handle and I found myself grudgingly admiring her.
But I still didn't think she was attractive.
I'm pretty sure that my flip-flopping opinions, if she were privy to them, would have had absolutely no effect on her mood and certainly none on her self-esteem.
And then there was another unfamiliar face.
She was cute and trim and appeared confident. I watched as she did a lot of the same things that I do. She was pretty consistently pushing around about 1/3 of the weight I push around for about 1/2 as many sets. And I thought -- there it is. This certainly backs up the we're all different and there is no one-size-fits-all plan theory. Because she was not working as hard as I do. I mean not even nearly. Not even in the same ball park. But if you saw the two of us walking side by side, you would surely peg her as the more fit. And I'll bet that if you complimented her figure she'd thank you and tell you that she works hard for it. She might even think -- privately or not so privately -- that anyone who is NOT as fit as her just isn't putting the effort in. And such a small effort it is, really. Why, anyone could do it. But some people are too fat and lazy...
She just as easily might not think any of those things. Projection is pretty high on the list of my personality flaws.
But that's what's been running all around in my brain this fine Saturday morning, week leventy-leven of my great weight plateau.
Oh, that and an immense amount of pride in the fact that I didn't eat chips at the Mexican restaurant last night. Avoiding them was miserable. I'm not exaggerating -- there may have been real tears. But the pride in having managed it has lasted for hours.
Score one for the fat girl.