The great battle of the bulge

No prize for this one but I did get a special mention at the Blogadda contest 'Good over Bad'.. yay yay yay. Here's what judge Vidya Sury had to say...

Tulika (yes, I scrolled your blog to find your name) – more power to you! You’ve proved that one of the really ‘good’ qualities of an individual is the ability to laugh at the self. Humorously presented – and fun to read, you’ve waged the battle against that “bad” xxl and emerging victorious on the path to looking “good”. Yes, when you talk about health, good is certainly better than bad. Listen to your body talk to you!

This is what I think I look
like when I exercise

 This is the story of the war I’ve been fighting for as long as I can remember -- the battle of the bulge -- the biggest battle of my life. There has been no truce for nearly thirty years.

For many many years I had been on a winning streak... till my twins happened. The enemy, finding my attention diverted, attacked with full force. By the time the kids turned four and I took cognizance of the situation, the enemy stood waving its victory flag all over me. My cholesterol was soaring and my knees hurt from carrying the excess weight. My ten chins showed themselves off proudly like the ten heads of Ravana. I needed to take charge. It was gym time.

I took on aerobics six times a week. I loved the music and thought I’d have fun. My mistake. Ten minutes into the session and I was spent. I stood panting by the stepper. “Giving up?” Taunted all of my seventy kgs? “No way,” said I and on I went driven by will power alone.

There were days of kickboxing, which I thought I would enjoy till the instructor told me to do sixty kicks in a row followed by sixty punches…. My shoulders protested, my thigh muscles cramped but on I went kicking and punching away at the enemy.

Then there were Fridays.. bhangra days. Now, I NEVER dance, never ever. Not even a casual step or two. But I was a woman on a mission. Fridays saw a resolute me boogeying to bhangra beats. I thought that was as far as the War would take me.

My mistake again. The instructors introduced Salsa every Monday. Slasa and me??? My friends laughed … but did I back out? No. On I went. “One two three.. five six seven..… move your waist,” exhorted the trainer. I struggled to move my feet, my waist and my hands in time to the music holding on to an imaginary partner. Once I lost my self-consciousness it wasn’t so bad. I began to have fun. And the icing on the cake – it wasn’t hard work like the bhangra.

After a well-rested Sunday I entered the gym thinking of a cool Salsa session. But is a war ever easy? No sir. The gym replaced Salsa with Hip Hop. Gawd I don’t even like watching that. But where was the choice? Shahid’s song boomed out -- Dhan tanan.. Half a dozen youngsters shook, moved, jiggled and jogged. I thought I would die before I’d try those jerks. But I didn’t. The second week there I was again, yes all of my 40 years and 70 kgs, trying to keep pace. I never dared to glance at the mirror at my ridiculous self. I hated it.. every bit of it. But I did it… again and again every week.

For two long months the weighing scales refused to budge. Then slowly.. very very slowly.. gram by gram.. they moved. Within four months people were commenting.. my XXLs are now XLs and I’m waiting for the Ls.

I war with fat because I love myself. Oh yes I intend to be around for a long long time.. my kids need me and I like being alive.

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