I love weddings and was very excited to attend my close friend’s wedding. While I was happily flaunting my new dress at this wedding, this friend of mine appeared from nowhere and blurted aloud “Wow!! You’ve become curvy over the years, I didn’t recognise you at first glance”. Instantly my brain signalled to me…whoa babe she is calling you fat.
I recoiled and my face turned red with embarrassment and rage. She cleverly retracted her stance and said “Relax babes I meant it as a compliment”.
I tried to forget this incident but the word “curvy” kept haunting me like a never-ending horror movie. To help me sleep I started reading the book “The Secret”. This book changed my perspective towards life, inspiring me to take action rather than waste time on self-pity. I furiously searched for different types of fitness programs around me and decided to enrol for a Zumba class which was scheduled at 7am, Mon to Sat. I was so pumped that I wasted no time in enrolling (even though I knew I wasn’t a morning person) and shopped for shoes, track pants, and T’s online. Now all that was left was to dance my “curves” off.
Day 1: The alarm rang at 6:30am…I snoozed thinking just 5 mins more…after 5 mins I snoozed again with the same thought but instead fell into a deep sleep dreaming about the client meeting the earlier evening (that ended around 1:00AM) and how I closed the deal and earned that deserving bonus and party.
I awoke with a jolt at around 8:30am when my client Ms. Smith called me curvy!! (My worst nightmare yet) Sob!! I was to remain curvaceous for one more day!
Day 2: I slept till 8:00am dreaming about looking smashing in a pretty cocktail dress after 3 months of Zumba training. Well the alarm didn’t ring so it wasn’t my fault now, was it? Thought to myself don’t fret, tomorrow will be “the” day.
Day 3: Promotion party happening at office and I partied so much that on reaching home I didn’t even change and fell asleep immediately on hitting the bed. Next day woke up at 9:00am all groggy and sleepy. It was the third consecutive day of me missing my class. Feeling a little guilty I promised myself that tomorrow would be "the" day.
Two weeks later: That promised tomorrow still hadn’t arrived as I hadn't made it for single session yet. I always had a legit reason to not go, at times it was parties, other days it was fatigue of working late. I wasn’t able to wake up on time even once for the class.
Third week: I managed to wake up and made it to class. Enthusiastically tried to catch-up with the moves but 10 mins into the session I was breathless, giddy, and nauseated. I couldn’t stand upright and sat in the corner for the rest of the session watching the others dance and enjoy.
Now I was convinced that Zumba wasn’t my cup of tea and blatantly approached the instructor asking for a refund. When she asked why I wanted to quit I told her I didn’t have the time or energy for this thing. She smiled and told me “Don’t worry you aren’t the first client complaining about this”. Then she said something which my mum had told me whenever I was ready to quit. She said, God helps those who help themselves. With these wise words she handed me a colourful printout and asked me to follow it religiously for a month. This chart had a detailed diet plan with timings for every meal and most difficult was factoring in at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
I looked at it and kept starting at it for several minutes...it looked like a boot camp schedule. Seeing me baffled she said, the secret to succeed is take baby steps.
Back home I thought how, when, and where do I start incorporating these elephant sized baby steps. I wasn’t a morning person so it just made sense to start first by getting the latter half of my day in sync with the schedule. First, I planned my office work in a way that I could leave office by 8:30pm, have dinner before 9:30pm, and sleep by 10:30pm. Initially it was difficult to accept this change, more so for my colleagues as they would make snide remarks when I’d start packing to leave like “Hey half day today?” or “Who is the mystery person? Or “Not partying any more Aunty?” I ignored most of these comments and laughed at some but didn’t let it come in the way of me achieving my goals. To make things manageable and achievable, I hired help to cook all my healthy meals and cut down on deserts, parties, and alcohol.
With all this on my plate I ensured that I got 7-8 hours of “beauty sleep” and didn’t miss a single Zumba class. Initially I would be so late for class that I would dance for only 10 mins or so, but the point was to make it to class each day.
3rd week into this schedule I noticed that I could fall asleep within 10-15mins, wake-up on time without alarms, made it to class 10 mins early, and my days were more productive. It has been 6 months since then and I have fallen in love with my new life style.
I am no longer tired and sleepy all the time, but feel happy and rejuvenated throughout the day.
I agree that doing all this did make me feel better within and outside, but nothing could beat the satisfaction I felt seeing the astonished cum envious look on that same classmate’s face when she saw me wearing “the pretty little cocktail dress” at another party.
Now this is a dream that I wish I could have every night, but alas only nightmares play on repeat mode not the feel-good ones.