I just got home from the gym, and I feel fabulous. Yessiree, the blood’s a pumpin’, the heart is galloping, and the sweatsuit–well, a river runs through it. I can’t imagine anything putting me in the “zone” the way a good workout does. Except, of course, not working out. Saying, “Screw the gym, I’m gonna eat me a bag of Oreos and watch Oprah … Wow … Head rush.”

In Chapel Hill, though, everyone who is anyone is a fitness disciple. If you don’t toe the treadmill line, own at least one spandex outfit, and run your infant in a jogger/stroller, you’re scum. Well, I’m not taking it anymore! I’ve tried to fit in, God knows I’ve tried. I’ve talked heart-rate and body-fat-ratio at parties, while sneaking handfuls of chips and dip into my pocket. I’ve heard people snicker when I said I was taking “Hiawatha” yoga, or that I was an avid skier who adored “telemarketing down that mountain.” Well, I’m coming out of the closet: I hate exercise. Sue me!

Not that this is a new thing–I’ve hated exercise and sweating since the doctor spanked my hiney in the delivery room. I was perfectly fine not crying, but he wanted me to “exercise my lungs.” Who asked him? When I was young, my concept of hell was weeding the garden in summer. I only played soccer in high school because I heard the goalie rarely had to move. The single exception to this lifelong aversion was that I played tennis–hard, sweaty tennis–because I was just damn good at it! But, within seconds of that last point, you can bet I was in a cold shower somewhere on the planet.

So, it’s out in the open now. We’ll see if the people of Chapel Hill just talk a good game when it comes to “embracing diversity.” We’ll see if I am shunned by the beautiful people as I sit with my eclair on Franklin Street.

I understand that the nation is facing an obesity crisis, and I understand the benefits of staying at a healthy weight. But, when one has reached the age of 40-none-of-your-business, I think careful eating habits and perhaps, an occasional walk from your parking spot to the mall door, should be all that’s expected–by God or Chapel Hillians. If you need me, I’ll be watching Oprah.