Pimp My Bod

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I pretend that this price tag doesn't faze me. But inside all I can think is, "$317.54? That's the same as two car payments." And then, "How am I going to get out of this?" Clearly, I cannot fake the rich-girl mentality. I mumble a really lame sounding excuse about having to talk the price over with my dad (rich kids get everything from Dad, right?) and say that I will call them back in a few days and hustle out to the parking lot, and my dust-covered Civic.

As I prepare to battle rush-hour traffic back to my central Phoenix apartment, I call a friend of mine in Tucson. She is just as excited at the news about our limited number of fat cells. Before I started this story, she and I shared the same biases about plastic surgery (meaning, we both thought it was a waste of money) but she agrees with me that Lipodissolve sounds tempting. Until I mention the price and the 14 shots.

Her response to the thought of 126 injections was something along the lines of, "Girl, are you crazy?"

She has a point. Plus, armed with my new knowledge about the function and structure of fat cells, I feel more confident I can shrink them with exercise. As long as I know they aren't conspiring to multiply, I can defeat them.

It's a good thing I'm feeling so exercise-oriented. I have a meeting with a personal trainer a few days later.

I made the appointment because it seems to me someone my age should be able to get in amazing shape without surgery or excessive expense. Plus, to be honest, I wanted to pick up some info I could take and apply to my normal workouts.

Here's the thing about exercise. I have a gym membership and I do use it. I like feeling healthy, and I smoke a lot, so I figure I owe my body. It's a trade-off. But my workouts are pretty standard: an hour of some kind of cardio and then whatever I feel like doing on the weights (which usually isn't that much).

As I drive to my appointment in north Scottsdale (where else?), I try to picture what my trainer will look like. Based on the way he sounded on the phone, I'm picturing an enormous man who could double as a bodyguard for Tony Soprano. I'm a little scared. Is he going to laugh at my skinny arms and make me do pushups? Is he going to spout awful clichés about pumping me up? When I get to the gym, there are plenty of men there who fit that description. (I'm almost surprised none of them is wearing a gold chain while working out.) But my trainer isn't one of them. He's about my age and isn't as intimidating as I thought he would be.

He takes me to a room where we talk about my "fitness goals" (to not feel like an out-of-shape wuss) and diet. Then comes the awkward part. The trainer takes my measurements — including, for some reason, the circumference of my neck — which is actually just as embarrassing as having my breasts photographed. It's odd to have a complete stranger measuring my thighs. I'm silently grateful I shaved my legs. These appointments are starting to feel like a series of way-too-personal first dates.

After we're done talking, we get to the hard stuff: the workout. I'm in decent shape, so I expected to be able to perform the exercises without much of a struggle. I was wrong. He broke me in easily enough — lunges across the gym a few times — but by the last set of the last exercise, my kind feelings for the guy had evaporated.

As I was sweating through some draconian move I don't know the name of (it had me bouncing on and off an elevated platform, holding a medicine ball) I glanced up at the TV. An ad for Lipodissolve was on. I've never really been a proponent for the easy way out, but after half an hour with this guy, 126 shots to the thighs didn't sound so bad.

Of course, by the end of the session, it was time to talk money. And, of course, it's out of my range: One session is $70, and 24 sessions cost $1,200. And he recommends I come twice a week, to start.

I'm a little sad I can't sign up — I have no doubt this guy would get me in great shape. Plus, I'm starting to feel bad, getting to know these people, using their professional time and then crapping out on the follow-through. Luckily, I've gotten good at the "I have to talk to my dad" excuse.

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Megan Irwin
Contact: Megan Irwin