Welcome back! If you’ve missed reading the first post in this series – “Weight management for the shamelessly optimistic”, you can do so here. (Go on! You won’t regret it)
The others – read on! The light at the end of the tunnel is not that far away.
Spring is a time of great joy. The dreary winter months can finally be left behind. Chapped lips are naturally moisturized and most importantly, one can stop looking like a polar bear’s first cousin. Much like the molting of a snake, layer-upon-layer of clothing is shucked off until the kernel remains.
My moment of angst begins and ends with this kernel.
Having spectacularly failed to rouse myself at the cellular level, I decided to look at the bigger picture. (The bigger picture being me – the kernel – so to speak). With love handles I could rent out to Ford, losing the excess flab was preponderantly the dominant thought on my mind.
*Entry cue* Nosy neighborhood Aunty who happens to be a fellow shameless optimist for weight loss. (Please understand, all older women – related or otherwise – are given the supererogatory honor of being called Aunty in India) In her defense, she’s quite a lovely person once she’s updated her software on your life, relationship history, family, extended family, friends and family of said friends. Anyways, I caught her (or rather she caught me) one evening with a set of linens under her arm and a body drenched in sweat (Yes, it rather was as unappealing as it sounds).
Namaste Aunty! Are you all right?
She assured me that all was well and she was on the path to revived sexiness (My words, not hers, mind you!). It seemed our salvation was a mere hop, skip and a jump away in the form of an alternative medicine wellness studio. (I’m sure you can read the signs of what’s-to-come by now!)
But of course, I had to go and check it out; and wouldn’t you know it! The universe seemingly conspired against me. (Shout out to self – don’t mess with the cosmos; karma’s a bi#@%). It appeared my cells weren’t about to be let off the hook that easily! Here in the space of 6 months were two cellular weight loss therapies when I hadn’t even heard of such a thing before! What were the odds?
Now, I’m a firm believer in destiny and karma; and these two bosom buddies seemed to want me to do this. So that’s how I ended up flat on my back with an electromagnetic probe under my thumb, while a computer program quantified my gluttony. Needless to say, toxins and free radicals were doing radical things to my innards and the one true salvation seemingly lay in infrared therapy coupled with yoga.
After a week of feeling like overcooked spaghetti, I finally got into yoga-mode. Me being me, I ended up buying a yoga mat, yoga wear, and yoga bands.
O ye of little faith! I know what you’re thinking! But these fortunately did see the light of day!
I even got a pedicure – because ofcourse everybody would be more interested in my feet rather than contorting their limbs into unimaginable asanas (read positions in yogic jargon). At this point, I must declare my whole-hearted dedication to becoming a yogini (Raise your hand if you didn’t know there was a word for a female-yogi 😉 ). I woke up early in the morning and was at class by 6:45am. The new routine made me feel energized and truly at peace. (Seriously! No kidding!)
In the evening, I would rush back from work and go for a 30-minute Far Infrared (FIR) therapy session; which entailed lying on a bed of charged tourmaline with a blanket covering my entire body. FYI, Tourmaline is a pyro and piezoelectric crystal that emits electromagnetic charge when subjected to heat and mechanical stress (the practical application of this information, in your life, is probably 0%. *eye roll*).
Electrodes emitting bio-waves were connected to a few chi-points – a.k.a energy gateways a.k.a body extremities. (Yes, I did feel like Frankenstein every time I was put to ‘charge’!). It was a strange mix of Chinese medicine and the occult. I would lay still, sweating out the toxins and visualizing the fat pouring down my body in rivulets, only to be collected in buckets under the therapy bed. (Drama is my middle name).
The assistant at the centre was most…*pause* helpful. (And I say that with a healthy dose of wariness.) Upon enquiring the timeline for visible results, she prophesied, that I would have to “wait for the day when I would be activated”. *Sounding all mystic and occult-y*
Activated? Like when you get a new phone number? Whatever did she mean by that?!
I was afraid to even ask.
She explained that there would come a time (from 2 weeks to about 2.5 months into the therapy) when I would suddenly feel extremely sick – head spinning, nausea, retching etc. – That would be the blessed day. My therapy could be taken to the next level only then. I was expected to distribute laddus to commemorate the event (Laddus are an Indian sweet traditionally bought on auspicious occasions – the irony of distributing fat-laden sweets at a wellness centre was not lost on me, I assure you)
FML! How do I always manage to singularly attract such insanity? It’s times like these when I feel like the butt of a sadistic cosmic joke.
Nonetheless, the optimist in me rallied and soon I was lost in the race to activate myself. Every nauseous feeling, every headache was greeted with great excitement at the possibility of having reached this arbitrary milestone of wellness. I would rush to catalog my feelings of sickness to the assistant, endlessly hoping for the prophecy to come to pass. Yet, I would be invariably greeted with an expressionless NO in return.
I don’t feel so well… NO *bland expression*
My head’s spinning… NO *same bland expression*
I have a terrible body ache… NO *yet more of the same*
I’m feeling… NO *Not even bothering to let me complete my grouse!*
Arrggghhh!!! In the words of my French colleague – Merde!
The bizarre competitive streak in me took this as a failing. Other less enthused recruits were obediently activating themselves like falling dominoes and here was yours truly – a conflicting mix of stubborn cells and indefatigable spirit.
Notwithstanding the fact that I’d failed to shake out of dormancy, whatever it was that was supposed to be shaken out, I soldiered on. And still continue to do so…
I started off as a confirmed cynic with regards to alternative therapies and holistic wellness concepts. In retrospect, I realize it was ignorance and a narcissistic feeling of self-importance doing the talking. But after following the tenets of the practice, let’s just say, in the words of Elphaba and Glinda, ‘…because I knew you, I have been changed for the better; I have been changed for good!’
Things do get better, as they’re apt to do in life. It’s funny how if you truly work towards a goal, the universe does help you achieve it (Rhonda really knew what she was talking about). In today’s world, losing weight has become practically de rigueur. Unfortunately, it is yet to be considered synonymous with overall wellness.
The relationship you have with your physicality can and should be nurtured. If you happen to come across a few speed bumps along the way – that’s alright! – Simply step on the gas and accelerate forward! Life is too short to waste on what-ifs and regrets. It’s better to have tried and failed at something, rather than never having tried at all. At the risk of sounding clichéd, success is a journey rather than a destination. Believe it and live it.
But till then, I’d rather continue to be a hot mess stitched together with good intentions.
- Aunty: http://faisal-cartoonpage.blogspot.in/2006_11_01_archive.html
- Yoga: http://nfnwithjen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/liza-yoga-cartoon500.jpg
- Glinda-Elphaba: http://pinkie-perfect.deviantart.com/art/Wicked-199960784