I am a typical example of what one could call a “jack of all trades and master of none” in my eternal quest to attain the impossible- the reduction of weight.
The fact that my blouses were refusing to go in with ease eluded me till it was a little too late. I always put it down to the humidity of Chennai climate! Even when my well –meaning friends were saying that I was adding on weight, I put it down to their poor judgement! When I found that my tailoring charges for alterations and new wardrobe was crossing its limit and holding my breath was fast becoming a Himalayan task, I decided to do something.
I invested in a good walking shoes and set off on a propitious day. This went off fine for a week until I found that the park where I was doing my regular rounds was littered with inviting benches. Being gregarious by nature, my smile and a nod for my fellow walkers turned into a grin and a hello and soon I found myself surrounded by like-minded souls discussing on varied subjects leaning back on one of the benches relaxing till it was time to go home after the walk! My well-meaning friends intervened again and I felt this walking and jogging was not my cup of tea. Being a social animal, I simply cannot ignore fellow beings in my quest for losing weight. I decided to try my hand at some other exercise where I will be alone without any distractions.
After drooling over visions of many a nymph and non-nymph diving and cutting through water with élan, I set about trying to learn ‘swimming’. I gave it up when the coach practically went on his knees and begged me to after seeing my valiant attempt to displace water in direct proportion to my thrashing arms and limbs. Claustrophobic poor me could never master the art of allowing my body to float by keeping my head in.
Aerobics was my next target. After one, two- push; three, four -thrust and over and above that, heaving and gyrating to some foot tapping music I found myself struggling to keep pace with a ‘reed thin vision’ looking ‘oomph’ in a tight fitting dress. There we were of varied girth trying desperately to smile despite our tucked in…whoosh… tummies!
Yoga! That’s it. Visions of a slimmer me with an inner spirituality making my skin glow with radiance combined with eternal tranquility and calm façade was making me more and more certain that this was my elixir. I began this class with enthusiasm.
‘Relax’ said my yoga master, ‘don’t attach to any thoughts. Concentrate between your eyebrows’. I never realized that relaxing was such a difficult task. Right from my grandmother dead for over 20 years to my teen’s married future vied for my attention.
Then came the more difficult physical exercise part of yoga. I always considered myself as pleasantly plump but I never realized the extent of an obstacle my stomach would prove to be. ‘Lift your leg up and hold your thigh, now lift your head up and try to catch your ankle’, says the spiritual guru. ‘Feel the stretch,’ he goes on. Alas! My strong willed muscle makes its presence felt by a mighty ‘catch’. My master urged us all in the very first class not to compare about each other’s success and entertain any negative thoughts regarding our inability. But when I find that the law of gravity seems to be stronger than my will to lift my outstretched arms, head, shoulders, chest and also my legs and thighs keeping my abdomen on the mat, I naturally feel discouraged.
After more than a couple of months, I am still trying to tame my muscles and more so tame my mind! I have graduated from my grandmother to more recent acquaintances. I have never learnt horse riding but my galloping mind during that ‘meditation’ period makes up for my disability. This time I am determined not to give up. My pre-wedding snaps adorn my fridge, kitchen and even my bath. I wish someone can find a way to melt the extra flesh away in the same insidious manner it had first gained itself on the unsuspecting me!
Who said working out is bliss particularly so after gaining.
Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash