I like it when I get to the gym early, as I have chance to chat with the other ladies. As with any group of middle aged women, it inevitably gets down to body shapes, or bodily functions. Last night a woman was telling us about a programme on one of the obscure Sky channels. The programme was about pensioner gym bunnies and body builders, who were obsessive about keeping their body shape, and were still entering competitions. However, it doesn't matter how fit you try to stay, gravity inevitably takes over, and flabbiness becomes a problem, regardless of the level of training. One old guy who was ripped, still had a mutton top. When asked what he does to overcome it, he says that he uses Preparation H, as it tightens the skin.
This provided loads of hilarity about how much Preparation H would be needed to overcome baby belly. Then one woman owned up to using it to lift her eye bags. We envisaged a scenario where Preparation H would sell out at Boots on a 2 for 1 offer. Once this hidden beauty secret was known, Preparation H would have to be sold in 1kg tubs.
The conversation moved onto fighting baby bellies, and the indignity of childbirth. My grandmother told me that to make childbirth easier, you should keep yourself regular. I'd also heard a story of a friend who had defecated on the delivery bed. I was paranoid about doing this, and so I ate industrial quantities of fruit, drank gallons, and diarised my movements. Needless to say, I was pretty regular, but in the latter days of pregancy, where space in my body became a premuim, this became harder and harder. I saw not poohing on the delivery bed a success, but it left me with piles (hence the link).
The temperature in July 1990 was around 88 degrees when I gave birth to G. To replace lost fluid, the midwife offered me tea or coffe. I drink neither. It was no surprise to me when I projectile vomited into the grey party hat in front of me.
Another woman boasted about her lack of stitches, another asked the midwife to put a couple extra in, so that she could experience the 'pleasure' her friends had raved about. I had several stitches, my midwife proudly told me that she'd embroidered 'Made in England' 'down below'.
All giggly, we went into the Step class. A late comer, asked us what we we're laughing at. Preparation H, we replied. It removes bags. 'Ugh' she said, 'I couldn't use that on my face'. 'Ahh, we said, 'it also reduces baby belly'.
'Right', she said, 'I'm off to the Chemists on my way home.'
Olivia Newton John, famous for being the only women to be linked with Cliff Richard, had a mega-hit with this in the early 80's. legwarmers and sweat bands became really trendy, even outside the gym as a result.