No More Blue Bloomers, No More Mean Girls

No More Blue Bloomers, No More Mean Girls

TOBI SCHWARTZ-CASSELL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, TOBI@GIRLFRIENDZMAG.COM

TOBI SCHWARTZ-CASSELL,
FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
TOBI@GIRLFRIENDZMAG.COM

I’m about to make most of you hate me:

I am a thin woman and I don’t have to work at it. At 57, I can still eat anything I want and not gain an ounce.

But what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. More on that in a moment.

When I was a kid, I was skinny—gawky—a pathetic little toothpick. Nice people would say I was lucky. But I never felt lucky. I felt scrawny.

I was at my most scrawny in gym class, wearing those ugly blue bloomers. For the girls who were built, they accentuated the positive. For me, they accentuated everything I hated about my body. It’s why Janis Ian was my hero. She sang what I lived:
“To those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball…”
Throw in cystic acne and that was me.

I hated gym. I hated being the girl chosen last because I was the only one left to choose. I hated showering in front of the other girls. I hated changing in front of them, too—they wore bras, I wore undershirts. I hated being tormented by the gym teachers and taunted by the mean girls when the gym teachers weren’t looking. I hated my abdominal muscles hurting two days after those relentless sit-ups were over. But more than anything, I hated those damned blue bloomers.

THAT’S ME ON THE TREADMILL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, RIGHT BEFORE I PUSHED THE START BUTTON.

The day I graduated high school was one of the happiest of my life. No one was ever going to force me to take gym again! Ha! I was finally in control of my life! No gym, and because I could drive now, no one could ever tell me not to eat a candy bar for dinner, either.

Friends and family members joined gyms, and I’d smugly think how lucky I was that I didn’t have to. After all, I’d say to myself, “I’m thin!”  

But what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. My body is now starting to show its age, and not just on the outside, but on the inside, too. And two of my doctors laid down the law. I have to take gym.

With much trepidation, I stepped into Koko FitClub South Jersey, but guess what? I love it. Here’s why:

  • Karen, Terry and Lisa: When you become a member of Koko, you are never left alone until you feel ready. While some gyms give you a card and point you to a machine, Koko’s personal trainers—Karen, Terry and Lisa—didn’t leave my side until I felt ready. They’re teaching me things I never learned in gym. How to breathe during exercise, proper form, mind-body connection and the fact that we get strong from the inside out, just like the microwave oven cooks our food.
  • Koko meets you at your level: I’d never stepped foot on a treadmill and I was petrified. But before I started the machine, Terry gave me a cord to clip onto my clothes in case of a fall. Despite that, I had a mini anxiety attack while I was on it. But she spoke to me (and still does) in a soothing, yet cheerleader-type tone. And when I’d only gotten halfway through my treadmill terror, she didn’t shame me for stopping. Instead, she told me that maybe next time I could go a little longer. And the next time, I made it all the way through! Sans anxiety!
  • No pain, but gain: While working out on the Smartrainer, Karen and Lisa were both by my side. At one point I asked, “When do I start hurting? This is my third day in a row, here and I don’t hurt.” And they said, “You won’t.” I’ve been going to Koko for nearly a month, and I still don’t hurt.
  • The Clothes: Nobody dresses up in fancy workout clothes at Koko. There are no mirrors. No competition. I can wear anything I want. And nobody makes me wear ugly blue bloomers.

There’s so much more I want to share with you about Koko but I’ve run out of space. So watch for my updates! Sign up for our newsletter at: http://tinyurl.com/nxoa5m4 and like us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/girlfriendz.

Better yet, join me at Koko! If I can do it, you can, too!

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