So, I went for my first session today to the Slimming Centre. And what a day I chose, too! Today apparently is World Obesity Day! I'm not sure if I should be congratulating other fatties like me and sending out a box of chocolates or kissing the hands of the slim'n'trim and worshipping the ground they glide on. Is there a particular greeting that I should be using, like "Happy Obesity!" or something? And more importantly, who do I say it to? The fat or the fat-free? Maybe Archies has a selection of appropriate cards which will throw some light on this issue. Anyway, today was my first day of Operation Blubber Be Gone!
I went in at 9.30 a.m. and was greeted by this short, thin young girl with a huge smile. She was chirpy and bright and thoroughly irritating. I mean, why wouldn't she be sunny? She was thin! I christened her Sunny Chica. She sat me down in the Counselling Room and started talking nineteen-to-the-dozen and giving me a headache. She addressed me with the familiar 'tumi' instead of the formal 'apni' and added a 'di' to my first name while using it. In fact, she told me to think of her as her 'choto bon' (younger sister). Okkkaaayyy! Too much happy-happy on an empty stomach was happening for my comfort. But then, I wasn't there for any kind of comfort now, was I? She took my details again and filled them into another form, congratulating me for using my maiden name as well as my married one. She went so far as to butter me up saying that she had learned something from me today...that women shouldn't let go of their maiden names after marriage. Pooosh!
After all the sugary sweet talk, she went on to tell me what a wonderful day I'd come on and how it was World Obesity Day and all, and therefore they were offering huge discounts on all their services and how I should really, really go for their special schemes and sign up for some more thermoslim sessions for my hips and thighs... Oh boy! I had fallen for it the last time, which is why I was there in the first place. I wasn't going to walk into that one again! I sweetly shook my head and said I wanted to see how these sessions worked out for me first, so thanks but no thanks...and I mentally patted myself on the back for not caving.
Then she took me to her colleagues and they took my weight...again and repeated the instructions for me...again, because hey, if I was fat I must obviously be stupis as well. They all used 'tmi' to address me, which I really am okay with, I just found it surprising that they didn't ask if they could first (it a polite familiarity, you know, "Ei! Tumi bolchchi, kichu money koro naa please!" -- I hope you don't mind me using 'tumi', if you don't mind...) Anyway, semantics be damned, bring on the slim-antics instead!
They finally took me to a Slimming Room. The room had two beds, each with a strange corset-like body suit laid out on top; a TV, and a strange machine that had loads of knobs and pirates eye-patch-like black pads attached to it, looking like octopus tentacles. Here, a nurse-like prototype took measurements of all my flabby areas...yes, butt cheeks, sagging belly, flapping underarms et al! I was then asked to lie down on the bed while she pulled my shirt up and tracks down so that she could strap me into the corset-like thingummy, after which she gelled the pirate patches onto my fields of rolling fat.
I must have been a very scary sight. Strapped up as I was, I probably looked just about less frightening than Hannibal Lector, but give me a mask and I'm sure that can be corrected! Imagine if you dare, a flabulous, short woman oozing excess flesh from ever undesirable quarter possible, strapped into Scarlet O'Hara's lingerie, which is incidentally held together by velcro. Not only is the sight unappealing, unsexy and unappetising, it might make you want to skip a meal or two or all. If that is indeed their intention, then they should put mirrors on the ceiling. I'm sure nothing would work up a resolve to never touch food again in this lifetime more than the sight of fat thighs that I just described.
So as she was gelling me down and strapping me up to black pads all over my hips, butt and thighs, I asked her, "Eitaa diye ki hoi?" (What does this do?)
She very helpfully said, "Eitaa on korle, ektu feelings hobey." (You'll get some 'feelings' once this is switched on.) 'Feelings.' Oooh! Intriguing! Feelings as in...? Of a sexual nature? Of the spiritual type? Of the emotional kind? Man, was she a bundle of knowledge and information! 'Feelings'! Phooosh!
And then, without even giving me a chance to count-down, she switched the contraption on. No blast, no bubbles, no fanfare, not even Aquaguard type of music to signal the start of Operation Blubber Be Gone. The electro-whatchamacallit was switched on. And I lay there with these funny zzzzzz vibrations zapping me at the places the pads touched my body. They came at one second intervals and lasted for about a second each time. So this is how they 'mobilise' the fat. Well who would have thought? But here's another thought...wouldn't it just be easier to wire me up to my fridge or microwave? Imagine the sizzling of those fat cells! Wouldn't that cause one helluva meltdown?!
So, as I lay there with the Ballet of the Buzzing Bees happening under my skin, I decided to follow the antics of the interns at Grace Hospital. Something was just so wrong with the entire picture in that Slimming Room. Me half-naked, padded up with tingly sensations swirling around my cells as I focused on Doc McDreamy's gorgeous face floating in front of me. It was like a weird S&M bondage fantasy gone all wrong!
After 45 mins of shock therapy, where I didn't even get to see how the episode ended, I was unstrapped, ungelled and fully-clothed once more. I was asked to "go to toilet" after which I would be presented with a Daily Diet Diary and have a session with the physiotherapist. Another broad-smiling dame called me into the counseling room, where I was handed the said diary. I have decided to name it, "Mamma Mia's Daily Remembrances of Gluttony and Guilt." Now, I know that's quite a mouthful, so for short, I'll just refer to it as my Fat Book. She explained what I had to do and then she started off with the World Obesity Day discount spiel too. I smiled and repeated what I had said to Sunny Chica.
And then it was the physiotherapist's turn. A young guy walked in. A definite cutie, but not hottie. He started flipping through my chart and measurements and obviously I cringed inside thinking about the figures of my figure that he was checking out. He then asked me to touch the floor and clasp my arms behind my back (one over the shoulder, the other via the side). I did both with ease. I may be a fat momma, but I'm a flexible momma. He then asked me about body image and I gave him a duh! look and then after that, he hit me. Oh no! Not physically, of course, but with, wait for it...with an exercise regime! Yes!!! Half-an-hour of brisk walking, spot jogging for ten minutes, jogging on a step for ten minutes and 20 counts of a particular asana.
Hellllllllllooooooooooooooo!!!! If I did this on my own everyday, anyway, I wouldn't be flabby in the first place! I wouldn't be coming to you guys at all! I wouldn't need your presence in my life! If it was all about the exercise and the eating right, I wouldn't BE HERE!! If suckers like me actually follow the "physiotherapist's" 'suggestions' no wonder there are these great big hoardings allover India proclaiming miraculous results! Geez!
So this is why they took so much money out of me. To sham me into working out everyday, to shame me into thinking about what I put into my mouth on a daily basis and to collect rent on the use of their TV sets for an hour-and-a-half three times a week. Boy! Am I stupid or am I stupid?
Am I going to lose weight after my 17 sessions? Well, if my Fat Book guilts me into moderation, maybe. If I follow the physiotherapist's orders, definitely. Will I be happy about the kilo-kill that I hope to achieve? If I can get into my pre-preg clothes, then of course. Will I be happy about this very expensive method that I've chosen to go from Fat-n-Flab to Fit-n-Fab? Nope, no, no, nope.
And here's why...
I think I would have gotten better results at a gym or playing a sport or simply by taking evening walks everyday. I definitely would have been healthier and in better shape at the end of sixty days, rather than having the fat buzzed out of me and being conned into a work-out regime at home.
At least that's what I feel right now. I may have to eat my words. In case I do, I just hope they're fat-free!