When I go to Gold’s Gym, I like to start out on the rowing machine, then maybe move to the cardio cinema for about 20 minutes.  Depends on the movie that’s showing.  I don’t mind action flicks when I’m working out, even though I’d probably never choose ’em for home viewing.  I’ll watch just about any movie from a treadmill, and I’ve even stumbled on a few I want to watch in their entirety at a later date (Denzel Washington’s Deja Vu, for one).

Weights, machines, or floor exercises come next, and for those I prefer to head into the room called “Lady Gold’s” just for women.  Here’s where I run into trouble.  I mean, really?  Why is the television always set to some reality show channel that plays programs highlighting body image issues, material possessions, and physical appearance?  For example, I knew the Kardashian name from magazine covers in the grocery checkout lines, but it was from the kettle bell station in Lady Gold’s that I first found myself Keeping Up with them for thirty minutes.  As I worked out, I couldn’t help but overhear Kim and company.  The show was soooo much worse than I ever imagined it would be with its obsession over status and looks. I know the family is getting paid to snipe and snark for the cameras, to parade their insecurities and vanities for an audience, but I felt bad for them and bad for me for continuing to work out within earshot of the dramatics.

There have been other such shows playing in the women’s workout room.  The entertainment shows, the celebrity gossip shows, shows in which critics sit in chairs and gossip about who looked pretty and who didn’t the night before, who looked fat and who didn’t in what color dress, whose hair/make-up/jewelry was right or wrong…and all while I’m trying to remember that it’s okay that my body will never again be 20, 30, 40, or even whole…that it can be strong and healthy despite its scars and aging…that what matters is how I feel in my own skin as I return to good habits.

I like the relative privacy of the little Lady Gold’s workout room, but I need to remember to bring my book-on-iPhone and some ear buds with me to drown out the TV!

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