The tot-tamers in our house had two rules, number one—If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say it at all. Number two— Children should be seen and not heard. Over excitement, blubbering, stomping feet, slamming doors and crying, were discouraged. “If you’re going to cry about it— go to your room.” Reprimands either Mom or Dad. The belt and the wooden spoon are a whole other story. We were a Spock household. Assimilate children, emotions are basement dwellers. They belong downstairs, hogtied and stuffed into the potato bin, with all the spiders and spuds with creepy eyes. Our household was normal, it was the way of the world in my era.
My Grams, bless her heart, taught me a strategy to deal with my unruly emotions. It involved cinnamon buns, donuts, cheese slices, and whatever else could crush the howling beast within. Stuff enough food in your guts, and you suffocate the little whiny bastards. In time, I graduated to the chunky kid in the family. My sister called me fat apple, my Mom called me stocky, Dad called me chubby and Grams called me a good eater.
The teen years morphed my body into a fitter form, aided by farm chores, hormones, and leg lifts.
Fast-forward twenty years— My two children dangle off my shirttails, cleverly disguising my butt. A picture taken at my daughter’s birthday brought the truth home to rest. A picture speaks a thousand words, and all those words cried, “Holy thunder thighs, your gluteus Maximus has become super sized.”
I had become portly. For fox sakes, how did I get so roly-poly?
It’s called denial. A person can rationalize almost anything. If you need bigger sizes, its due to either shrinkage from a hot dryer, or the fact my clothes are made in China, everyone knows only slender people live there.
At first I wallowed in misery, a whale in the shallows of despair. Grams— you would have been proud. It was an all you can eat food bash, chocolates, chips, cinnamon rolls and perhaps the most evil of all, a combination of caramel, salted pretzels and dark chocolate. The devil himself devised the diabolical delectable snack. A moment on the lips, and years on your hips, is an over used, but accurate statement.
The binging didn’t last. I soon felt like a bloated corpse rotting in the sun, at the point of splitting wide open. I had enough. Enough of Grams remedy to my feelings, and enough poor me bull crap. As commander in chief of my body, I decreed a life change, a three-part simultaneous adventure of discomfort and growth. Henceforth, pain is pleasure— Welcome to fifty shades of body reform.
Step one was journaling, to release the chained up emotional beasts in the basement of my soul. They howled when I set them free. I fanned them with incense, and sang, “I’m walking on sunshine” until they hollered mercy.
Step two was the month long herbal detox. The eating plan suggested avoiding sugar, caffeine, fruit, dairy, red meat, white flour, white rice, yeast, excess salt, and dairy. Easy peasy, I grazed in the fields with the horses.
Step three, coincided with the other steps. I plunged into jogging. I wish I could say it was a pretty picture— an effortless flow of femininity striding forward with ease. It wasn’t. It was bumbling, panting and far too much sweating. More than one person hit their brakes, thinking I was having a heart attack, or succumbing to a stroke.
The running itself wasn’t the worst of it though, the worst of it, was due to my lovely herbal cleanse. I ran on rural roads, inconveniently five km from home. The nearest bathroom facility was the bush. I should have carried toilet paper. I suggest a short course in plants before using raw forest products. Stinging nettle might make good tea, but it’s a nasty butt wipe. It causes intense stinging, and itching in the nether-regions. I recommend skipping the School Council meeting if it happens to you. The only thing worse than an itch you can’t scratch, is the look people give you, when they think you’re humping your chair. Take it from me; there is no sneaky way to scratch your butt on a chair.
The three step plan worked exceedingly well. I became fit and trim. The locals thought it was due to chair exercises.