So I decided to get healthy. Not a New Year’s resolution because I’ve never had much luck with those. Just my annual, post-holiday self-improvement program, otherwise known as it’s time to stop snarfing every carbohydrate and fat molecule in sight whilst lounging on the couch listening to the winter breeze try to rip off the rafters. Motivation provided by the fact I can no longer breathe with my jeans buttoned.
Along with my usual vow to decrease my sugar intake to less than 75% of my total diet I also took up Zumba, which involves something called ‘power hips’ and for me a case of sprained muffin top, which I suppose I should take as a sign that it’s hitting my target area.
I noticed, however, a disturbing tendency for my belly to jiggle while doing this thing called ‘fast feet’–which mine have never been by any stretch of the imagination but the instructor kindly points out that it’s all relative. And while the rest of me firmed up some after the first month of Zumba the belly was still jelly, so I decided more extreme measures were needed.
So I bought this video.
You know the one, with the woman from the TV show who yells a lot and who I’d probably punch in the throat in person except then she’d clean my clock. But hey, that’s what mute buttons are for right? And I must admit after only one workout my abs felt ten times as tight as before. As did my hamstrings, my quadriceps and my calves. Especially my calves. To the point that every time I got up it felt like someone had clamped a vise grips directly below and behind my knees, but nothing was jiggling, by golly.
While I was at it I figured I might as well get that dental work done I’ve been putting off for approximately fifteen months or maybe slightly more. Hey, the tooth felt fine except for the crack big enough to store my extra piece of chewing gum, but it didn’t hurt so it must be all good.
My dentist disagreed. In case I still needed convincing he mentioned, in passing, the exact process involved in a root canal. I went ahead and scheduled an appointment to get my new crown. A mere three hours later I hobbled out of the dentist’s office on my aching legs with a temporary tooth and a charming streamer of drool dangling from my chin. Yep, the shape up plan was working great.
By bedtime I could feel my face again, which was good. I could also feel that the majority of my tooth had been ground off by a power tool, which was not so good, but I popped a couple of Advil and dozed right off.
Sometime in the past few years I have developed the occasional habit of sleeping with my mouth open. My husband claims it’s not occasional. He also claims this habit is called snoring. Such a kidder, he is. Whatever the case, the end result was a lot of cold air flowing over and around my new fake tooth which was not amused, and when I woke up with my whole jaw throbbing neither was I.
I hoisted myself out of bed, whimpering when the motion aggravated the sprained muffin top that was already plenty annoyed about the super duper ab workout. Then I attempted to walk and my calves cramped and I tripped over the cord to the electric heater that defrosts my bedroom floor and rammed my kneecap into my log bedpost and nearly face-planted into the dresser.
“What are you doing?” my husband grumbled.
“Trying to get some aspirin for my toothache, but my leg muscles are spasmed and I can’t walk,” I said.
He contemplated that for a moment. Then he rolled over and buried his face in the pillow.
“If you’re laughing I’m going to hurt you,” I said.
“You’d have to catch me first,” he said. “And if you get any healthier I’m going to have to buy you a wheelchair.”
So I showed him. Purely in the interests of his spiritual wellness, I gave up cooking for Lent.
Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real