I’m in pain right now. Pure agony.
It’s a deep, throbbing intensity that is aching from the inside out – of my legs.
Just the thought of moving my body fast in any kind of motion makes me whine and whince, causing who ever is nearby to shudder in headache pain.
I’ve managed to lose about 30 pounds this year thanks to my modified version of the Atkins plan (Oh yah! Sugar free instant pudding made with heavy cream!), but I’m still on the chunky side. Most of my weight is channeled into those two lovable limbs that extend from my waist.
They are wide, thick, soft – yet very dense. They feel like two large tubes of wet concrete. Or like big dinosaur legs. TMI? Sorry. When I walk, I can’t just take off fast. Thanks to these mushy pillars of flesh, I have to begin with a slow and steady stride before I can work my way up to a power walk. And at that point, I can’t stop abruptly due to the laws of gravity. My heavy feet will crush anything on the ground that dares to cross my path. Even if it is something I don’t want to crush – like a pretty lady bug or an unopened packet of ketchup.
My legs are cursed like this only because I don’t get off my pleasantly plump nalgas and exercise. Not even a jumping jack. Exercise is so overrated!
A few weeks back our company opened up a new hi-tech gym facility for the employees. Many of my co-workers have been going daily. I see them come out of the elevator, all happy in their work-out attire, sweating with bottled water in hand. Show offs! A couple of my comadres in my department have been trying to swindle me into joining them on the treadmill to distract me from taking the easy way out with gastric bypass (which I have my first appt for in two weeks). It kinda goes like this:
Friend: Kathy, dear. Tomorrow I’m taking you to the exercise room and introducing you to all the equipment. Just 20 minutes a day before you leave for home and you should be able to get back on track and lose more weight. You’ll love it. You have no reason not to exercise now. No reason!
Of course, this is coming from a skinny girl who doesn’t know how difficult it is to get physically motivated when you feel like an oversized sideshow freak like Anna Nicole Smith, pre-Trim Spa. Why did homegirl have to go and do that anyway? First she was hawking plus-sized clothing for Lane Bryant, giving all of us chubbies hope that we were A-OK, then she went and got super skinny. What a traitor! Anyhoo…
Me: Hell no, I ain’t doin’ it. No exercise fer me!.” I say inside my head. “OK, Just let me buy some exercise clothes first, and I’ll join you!” I reply out loud with a big scary grin. “I promise! I’m excited for this, really I am! “Yeah. As excited as walking out to get my mail in a bikini.
My attitude did a 360 yesterday when Maya and I went out to tackle the weedfest that had conglomerated in our front yard. Our front yard is an ugly blank canvas right now. When we bought the house five years ago, there was a huge Palo Verde tree that towered over the property. I called it “The Nightmare Before Christmas” tree because it looked so evil and it had so many prickly thorns that sprouted in every direction. Every time I walked by it, I cursed at it, I hated it so much. My hatred must have speared its roots because one day we came home and they entire tree had fallen over, blocking our way into our otherwise beloved house. The creepy thing was it was not a windy day and there hadn’t been a storm in months. We paid someone to clean it up and get rid of it. Since then we haven’t had time to come up with a game plan for the yard. It is just an oversized rectangle of sparse beige gravel. I want a flowery desert oasis, Patrick wants green grass for the kids to play catch on and roll around in. But that’s another story…
However, the weeds made the decision for us. Throughout the past month, they decided to have a national conference in our yard. It started with just a manageable few. Then they told two friends, and they told two friends and so on. It got so bad that I cringed everytime I left the house or came home. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought. The worst part was I knew no matter how much I hated these ugly and uninvited botanicals, they wouldn’t fall over and die like the wicked tree conveniently did.
“Maya, we’re on a mission this morning…”, I told her yesterday. “We are going to remove every last one of these buggers, even if it kills us.”
I spent four hours – up and down on my knees, bending over to pull them out, each one by it’s long hairy root. Maya diligently followed behind me with a plastic bag to collect and dispose of them.
At first, it was therapeutic. I thought about how to apply this process to my life. How many weeds did I have in my daily activities and on my mind these days? How can I go about pulling them from their roots so they won’t come back? How would that clean up and brighten my days?
That lasted for about five minutes. “This REALLY sucks,” I concluded. When we were done, we headed into the house and to the master bedroom. Right then the pain shot through my body like an earthquake. I teetered back and forth, as my two bags of wet concrete, otherwise known as my legs, began to quiver like cooked spaghetti noodles.
Maya who was standing up after just removing her shoes and socks, stared at me with sheer panic. “Are you gonna be OK, Mommy?, What’s wrong?” She put her arms out to me. Yeah. Like her pint-sized 10-year-old frame would really be able to catch me – Dinosaur Leg Mommy.
Right then I staggered and tried to catch a handful of air to hold my balance. My legs were so stiff, sore and tingly, I couldn’t control where to put them. It was too late.
“OOOOWWWW! Mommmy, you’re on my foot! GET OFF! Hurry!,” she cried at the top of her lungs while holding her face up and squeezing her eyes shut.
I couldn’t move! My thick leg was like one big dumb heavy tree trunk that had planted itself in that spot for good. “I cannnn’t, it hurts!” I replied, tears building up on my lower lashes. With all my might, I channeled my inner energy to please help me lift my leg off my little girl’s precious pretty foot that had toes decorated so dainty with pastel pink glittered polish.
Slowly, I lifted my foot from hers.
She got my arm and led me to the bed, limping the whole time. “Stay here Mommy, lay down and rest. I’m going to get ice for my foot and then I’ll lay down next to you.”
FOOTNOTE: OK, I have to mention that Maya (sweet and adorable as she is) is somewhat is a hypochondriac. She gets a tiny bruise on her elbow and her face lights up as she runs to the bathroom to find the Ace bandage. Yup. She was gonna milk this “Mommy stepped on my foot’ thing for all she could. We make a good team, alright.
I slept for a while and when I got up I was in sheer agony because my lower body was so sore. All up the fronts of my legs, down the back, on the sides and even my butt. I whined to Patrick and Theresa (my sis), but neither had sympathy for me. Maya would giggle under her breath and pat me on the back. Finally I convinced Patrick to give me a massage. Can you say reluctant accommodation?
“Your body is trying to tell you something,” Theresa said coldly. “Get off your fat ass and exercise already. Your legs are jacked up because they freaked out because you for once gave them a work out. You should keep it up to get them in shape.”
Today she took me to Target and I slowly waddled my way to the plus size department and to its workout clothing area, balancing every step on my heels to avoid as much pain as possible. I bought a pair of – gulp! – stretchy exercise pants – the sporty kind with a red racing stripe down the side – and a white T-shirt that says “breathe, stretch, move, smile.” I imagine I’ll put them on tomorrow and give the treadmill a whirl. Maybe I’m just traumatized because last time I used a treadmill, no one told me you have to turn it on before you step on it. What a sight that was.
Overall, the yard is weed-free, my dinosaur legs have awoken from their cozy slumber, Maya’s foot is not deformed and I guess I’m about to reap the so-called “benefits” of increasing my heart rate, thus speeding up my metabolism and shaving off more pounds. Yippee?
* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.