Monday, January 12

The Yoga Incident

As I begin my weight loss journey, there are a few key elements to getting a diet plan in place. First of all, you need an actual diet. So I signed up for Weight Watchers online. I get 28 points a day. Check. Next, you need to get all your "diet" food in place so you won't graze the fridge and eat leftover icing because you are craving something sweet. 2 hours at the grocery store and $200 later? Check. Now, you need a support system. With the rousing success of the "Operation Shrink Charlie's Big Butt" on Facebook, I cry gleefully- CHECK!

Now, what is missing? I have a diet, food, support....oh, I guess I need some form of exercise. Um......this was going to take some serious thought.

As I began to explore all of my cardio options, I had many things to consider. Mainly that I am not in shape. At all. I'm not even a round shape anymore. I look like a lopsided blob of playdough. With big boobs. It's sad really, those gravity defying mounds of moosh that have lost all motivation to stand up for themselves. They keep me from jogging, for fear I will snap a strap and cause catastrophic damage to an innocent bystander.

So running and jogging are out. How about a great exercise video? Well, I still own an original copy of "Swearing" to the Oldies, on VHS, but it never really was as fun as Richard made it out to be. No, no, I need something nonstressful, something easy...something that won't leave me yelling at the TV, begging for mercy. And Billy Blanks, while fantastic to watch, would leave me immoble for days. This I knew from past experience. So it had to be something that was mild, calm, and not to extreme. The answer seemed easy. Yoga!

Thankfully, we have video on demand, which offers an array of exercise routines, including yoga. There was a great option that promised it was "perfect for the beginner." I excitedly watched the first few minutes as the skinny instructor promised many serene health benefits from yoga, and it seemed peaceful, cozy, and easy. So I took off my shoes, went back to the beginning, and dove right in.

It started with some easy stretching. "Swing your arm up and around your body!" No sweat! "Other side!" Easy as pie! "Now, bend down, touch your toes and breathe deeply."

Hmmm, this is a bit problematic. First of all, I can only touch my toes if I remove the girls from their harness and let them swing free. Touching toes is not a viable option. Then there's the issue of my tummy. You see, when I bend over, my "chubby tummy" compacts into my chest, which as I understand, houses my lungs, making a full breath a bit tricky. OK, well I can gloss over this one. I raise up a little like the hunchback of Notre Dame, and breathe. That's much better.

"Next, put your arms behind your back, lace your hands together with your fingers, bring your hands over to your left side and touch your elbows together behind your back."

OK. This is do-able. She's doing it and it looks really easy! So, with the vain imagination that I might secretly possess circus-like flexibility unbeknownst to me, I attempt to follow her smooth as silk instructions. I got my hands behind my back, laced the fingers together, and brought them to one side. Sort of. My arms didn't warm up enough, apparently. The room, however, was warming up quickly. I tried to at least bring them them over as far as I could. But fitting them around my plus size hips was tougher than I anticipated. Never the less, I was determined to at least touch the elbows. I gave them a good "ooomph" and there they were. One inch closer to each other than where they started from. Who knew they were so opposed to meeting one another? At this point, with my shoulders searing in pain, I paused the routine and rechecked the description. "Perfect for Beginners." The term "beginner" was quickly rising up for philosophical debate. But desperate for 30 minutes of exercise, I pressed play and pressed on.

"Now, we are going to do the downward dog. Lay on the floor propped up on one knee, bringing it under your chest as far as you can, keep your arms as far as possible on the floor, and lengthen your core by stretching your entire body as long as you can."

I paused the show and checked the information again. Seriously, this is for beginners? What do you go through in the advanced yoga routine? Do you have to work out on a 15th century torture rack?

Avoiding using my unsocial elbows and fire pulsing shoulders, I plopped on the floor as gently as one can without the assistance of arms. Then I got into a very painful and unflattering position, when I realized I had to unpause the video. Crap. The remote is 3 feet in front of me. But I worked really hard to get into my downtrodden dog, and I needed to get the remote without changing my position. Relying on my "Twister" skills, I tried to keep left foot on carpet, right foot in between boobs, left arm on floor (the whole 4 inches I could) and right hand on grey play button. By the time I got the show back on, I was in such an un-yoga position I had to pause it and reposition my self again. This time, I had the remote safely in my bra, where I could press the play button with my chin.

"OK, you are in downward dog! Now we are going to lift up the leg that is on the floor and hold it there until we feel it burning a little. Try to lift it up as high as you can."

This was an unfair situation, because the leg in question was already burning. As I raised it up as far as I could, I realized that I could still feel the pile of the Berber carpeting. I needed to get it higher. The skinny girl in the video had hers practically above her head!

So I pushed a little further. I didn't look to see how high I got, but it was off the floor. I think. And at that moment, the muscles between my thigh and my hip (right where you stop shaving on a good night) began to quiver and throb. CRAMP CRAMP CRAMP!!! The downward dog became the "down on the floor, panting and rolling like a dog" as I tried to find any position to relieve the cramp in a place I never knew I had muscles.

Laying on the floor, sweaty, panting and unable to move, I was forced to watch skinny finish her routine because I couldn't bend my angry elbows to reach the remote, now buried deep in the inner sanctum of my bosom. Finally, as the video was ending she gave her salute to the sun. I gave her a different kind of salute, but it was quick. The upward motion of my middle finger set my shoulder on fire again, and I had to cool it off by drinking a diet coke and 4 Advil.

I then ordered "Yoga: Just my Size" from Amazon, which promised a fair and equal opportunity to yoga regardless of size and shape, and am praying that my body recovers by the time it gets here. Needless to say, I didn't pay for rush shipping.


Anonymous said...

have you thought of writing for a newspaper column? you are THAT funny! I'm here with you on this journey... although exercise has not made it into my routine yet and i seriously fell off the bandwagon this weekend. but "His mercies are new every morning:)"

Anonymous said...

Commenting on how much I love your sense of humor about everything!

Unknown said...

I was actually going to say, you should submit a proposal to the Comical news. You might be able to pick up some extra money. Or the New Gazette even! :)


Anonymous said...

Ha!!! That sounds SOOO like me! I hate exercise! I do enjoy the Leslie Sansone "walk away the pounds" dvd. And, once I get my lazy self back in the swing of exercise, I also enjoy her "walk/kick" dvd, which is a combo of walking in kickboxing. But, since this week was a wash on WW, I think I'll go eat some ice cream . . .
- Rebecca

Anonymous said...

This was a fantastic read! You have a fabulous writing style and a wonderful sense of humor. I wish you well on your healthful lifestyle, and I can't wait to read your next blog entry!

Oh, and to voice a recurring sentiment: you should definitely write a column. I have no doubt you would quickly pick up a sizable fan base in no time.

W. Todd Reynolds said...

Nice one Sis. I just did some stretch exercises two days ago that I downloaded into my iPhone and it didn't seem too bad at the time. Been sore since yesterday and my inner thigh/groin area has been feeling violated ever since. Of course how does one massage their groin in public without being obvious or feeling like they should be wearing a porn-stache? Weird thing is that I did not realize I was exercising my 'boys' in any way shape or form. And it isn't like I need to lose weight in that particular area. Dang. ;-)

Becky said...

That was one of the funniest stories I've ever read! I took a yoga class in college - I enjoyed it. But I don't really do it anymore.

Anonymous said...

So funny!!!!!!
And I see that your brother Todd (oh, another pretend cousin in law of mine, I guess) has your same sense of humor!

becky said...

I have to tell you charlie that reading this made me laugh harder than I have laughed in a really long long time. thankyou.

much2ponder said...

Oh my gosh! That story was so funny, I laughed so hard it made me cry. You crack me up! I will come back and read some more at another time. You are hilarious!

Autumn Mist said...

That is, without a doubt, one of the funniest things I have ever read. I will be reading it to hubby when he comes in from work.

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