I wrote a great blog post for my upcoming author spotlight on Long and Short Reviews, which explores my recent bout of worry about my body. In a nutshell, I think avoiding scales and change room mirrors is a good idea. It took me a while, but I finally realised I am a normal human being, and that worrying because I don’t look like some airbrushed fantasy of the ideal woman’s body is just ludicrous.
My newly rediscovered “screw it” attitude to the “does my arse look fat in this” kind of thinking had its first test today. And I passed.
This is going to be something I’d have to watch out for in the strange new world of hard core athletes. Serious cyclists are tiny people. They are manufactured from muscle, sinew and bone. Internal organs are only allowed if they, too, are lean and mean and muscular. Brains are welcome because they don’t expand with use, they simply become more dense with dendrite connections. Serious triathletes tend to be the same. You could hammer nails into reinforced concrete with their abdominal muscles, and that’s when they’re relaxed.
This is not the kind of crowd that tends to make you feel slim when you’re among them.
I need a tri suit, and today because I was in the area I popped into Tommy the Bike’s to try on the samples they have there and order one for myself in the correct size. The rail where the tri suits hung was almost a precis of my experience of the world of triathlons so far: it was a real struggle to find any ladies’ suits among all the guys’ stuff, and the only two sizes available for women was “medium” (which was miniscule) and “large” (which was small). I took both to the changing room, though I had a pretty good idea which would be my size.
I hung the “medium” up on a hook without even taking a second look at it, disrobed and took the “large” from its hanger. How the fuck was I going to get into this thing? Tri suits are skin-tight studies in how to make an unflattering garment. I remembered the Alan Gray Test for Everything: does it work? From my experience with cycling in various pieces of clothing, I can guarantee you that there is a very good reason for stuff like cycling shorts, cycling jerseys and cleats. I have no doubt the same will be true for tri suits. On it had to go then.
I got into the suit with less hassle than I thought I would, though if there had been a bigger size I would have gone for that. Then an extraordinary thing happened: I half zipped up the suit, glanced in the mirror and went: “Wow.” The tight suit squeezed my darling boobs together to form a cleavage to die for. My god, I couldn’t believe it! It looked amazing. I grinned, amused now, and zipped the thing up the rest of the way. So I looked like shit once the zip was up, who cares. I will remember when I wear the suit, surrounded by the children of Venus and Apollo, that it would take no more than pulling the zip down about a hand’s width to turn me into something worthy of a page three shot. Only in that one specific area, though.
The suit was very comfortable. I placed my order for a LARGE ladies’ tri suit and went for a cup of tea.