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CHICCHANTAL
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Cheap as chips

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Every time I'm down the gym (where I should be right now), there's a skinny 20-year-old blonde on the next machine to me. It's never the same one twice, you understand - the gym has an unlimited supply of them.

She'll be wearing one of these sleeveless vests that looks like a harness, spandex leggings, girly trainers and a thin film of sweat, just enough to proves she's really working at it.

And me? Fat, fifty-something and brunette-out-of-a-bottle, that's me. I wear a short-sleeved tshirt that hides the wrinkles in my 'pits, baggy jogging pants that are between 2 and 10 years old, depending on which pair I put on and which I fondly imagine hide my baggy 50-something body. And me Clarks trainers. My sweat tends to accumulate round the back of my neck. I'm also fuchsia in the face.

Thing is, I could go out and buy spanking new spandex. I thought about it, till I saw the price. To me though, the gym isn't about a visible lifestyle choice. It's about getting fitter and healthier. It doesn't really matter much to me what I wear so long as I can move comfortably in it and don't get arrested for exposing something nobody wants to see. The only bit of gym gear I've bought since joining SP is my sports bra because I got concerned that the girls were being a bit too assertive and I really didn't want them tied in a double bow round my neck. I already had the trainers, four pairs of jogging pants (I never wear anything else at weekends although I haven't jogged since I was 17) and umpteen tshirts in varying states of decrepitude (olive oil stains, holes and the crowning glory, one of the cats had peed on the one I intended to wear today).

Walking, I'm just as bad. I wear the same jogging pants for walking in as I do down the gym, but they have to be clean to go to the gym in. The same tshirts and sports socks. I would dearly love a breathable waterproof but not at 100 a time. I did buy hiking boots because my old trainers were letting in water. But I bought Clarks, not something expensive.

And equipment? One hula hoop which I swear I will get the hang of one day. One resistance band that smells so horrible I won't go near it (nor will the cats).

In fact my only real expense is the gym membership itself.

So there I am, living proof that you can be cheap and get your exercise in.

PS: two of my pairs of jogging pants have hideous orange bleach stains and one of the other pairs has knackered elastic. NO COMPETITION. NONE.
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