It wasn't without doubts that I yesterday decided that it was probably about time to hit the gym. After spending four days straight on the couch with my Chinese books only I also felt it could be nice to get out of the flat and engage in some more straining movement than walking from the living room to the kitchen in order to grab a snack.
Although I was keen to work out, it was with heavy legs I pedaled to the gym. I knew what was waiting there for me. Twelve days (+) of non-stop-chocolate-eating (as well as general Christmas indulgence) was catching up with me. Even thought the results wasn't evidently showing (yet), I knew that more than 3 weeks absence from the gym would result in comments I'd rather not hear. (Even though this time, they might be true).
A positive (where did that one come from?) voice in my head reminded me that my 'honest' trainer friends might not even be there, but as it turns out, that was just wishful thinking. The first person I saw when I stepped into the gym, wearing my (suddenly feeling tight?) gym clothes, with a protective hand over my belly, was, of course Rocky, alias the Hunan boy.
-You Na!!! His face lit up.
This triggered a smile. Christmas excess or not, he was happy to see me!
Even though I deliberately chose the cross-trainer located at the darkest, most isolated corner, it didn't take long before he spotted me there and came up.
-Long time no seen! He said with a smile, and ran his eyes over my body. I knew what was coming.
-Wow. He suddenly said. I closed my eyes.
-Your skin! It looks amazing.
My.... skin?! I opened my eyes again. "My skin looks what, amazing?" What skin?!
-Huh? was all that came out of my mouth. But Rocky didn't seem to notice that I was lost for words. He was too busy staring at my face, going on about my skin, telling me how much better it looked now compared to before, asking me what I had done to it, before again telling me how great it looked.
It took a while before reality kicked in and I could gather myself, and answer that "eh no, I didn't do anything special to my skin (in fact, I don't really pay that much attention to skin.. I guess I should? It's supposed to be really important if you are a girl I believe?), and sure, maybe it was the clean, Swedish water/air that had helped it looking better, but truth to be said I didn't know...."
The praising of my skin (that's a sentence I thought I would never write) went on for a good five minutes until we went on to things like: 'how have you been and what have you been up to.' Even around these topics my lacking fitness/gym absence was kept out of the conversation.
It was with light, happy feet that I rode my bike home that night, thinking that not only do I not look fatter this time, but also, apparently my skin looks great!? Seeing that comments from my Chinese male friends often involve: 'you look so tired/ you look a bit fat/ you look so unhappy' (well, you get it... it's mainly negative things), getting a skin-compliment was a kind of fresh, well-needed change (and I can tell 2009 is going to be a great year).
Once home I walked into the living room where my boyfriend was sitting, asking him:
-Have you notice anything different with my skin?
He looked at me blankly. I could tell he had no idea what I was talking about.