May 01, 2008

I've Still Got My Health...

Well hell, if I could do that, I would never leave my bedroom.”

There are some things you just shouldn’t say to complete strangers in a public setting no matter how appropriate you think the timing is.

I’m a master of this act because I don’t have a very good relationship with that little voice in my head that usually begs and pleads with me to not embarrass him or make a scene. No, he’s typically off somewhere sitting in a corner eating Cheetos and watching Oprah. I begrudgingly accept this arrangement because at this stage of the game I’m in favor of anyone who can actually eat Cheetos (or who can actually get through an episode of her royal O-ness without falling into a catatonic state, for that matter), because for the last four months I sure as hell haven’t been able even go near them.

Let me give you a little back-story.

Serial Blonde has once again jumped on the dieting bandwagon. I actually started shortly into this New Year. There have been great days, just okay days, and days when all I want to do is to take up permanent residence in a McDonald’s drive through or camp out in a tree and throw pooh at thin people, but alas, no one has been pelted, I’m Big Mac free and after the longest sixteen weeks of my life, I’m pretty committed to seeing this plan through.

This whole experience I’m learning (or so I would like to think) isn’t just about eating (or not eating more accurately); it’s an emotional and spiritual journey as well. It’s about managing the voice in your head that tells you yes, do it, or no way in hell, you better stop. But as I mentioned before, when you’re not communicating with that voice, mayhem is sure to ensue, which is exactly what happened when yours truly, feeling pumped up and good about himself (which right there should have been a red flag) decided to take his new consciousness about health and well being and enroll into a yoga class.

I know. A yoga class? I’m pissing myself laughing too just looking back on it. Me, of considerable width and girth, doing yoga? Moi, who’s naturally about as relaxed as Joan Crawford scrubbing the bathroom floor, taking a class about meditation and being peaceful amongst the things? Surely I jest. No, I’m serious, but cut me some slack. Like I said, that voice in my head that would normally tell me that this particular idea was a little (okay, a lot) out of my league was way too busy browsing the snack isle at Target than to slap me upside my big head, so I was left to my own devices and thought it sounded interesting.

As I entered the class, held at an extremely reputable health center in the suburbs, I was like a kid at a candy store, full of excitement and wonder, albeit this candy store would be calorie, fat, and sugar free. I was delighted to see there were only a dozen or so people in attendance (I like intimate groups) but a little discouraged to see none of them looked to have eaten anything in the last decade. The instructor, a handsome man probably in his early to mid-thirties with curly highlighted hair and abs of death (screw chocolate, I wanted to eat him!) entered, brightly greeted the participants and took a few moments to size up the crowd. His gaze stayed on me a little longer than I would have preferred. I know I exude fabulousness, but you need not stare! Have I mentioned that the absence of that critical voice of reason I’ve been bemoaning is often replaced by delusions of grandeur? But I digress. The class practiced their breathing, relaxed their minds, and began a series of stretches and poses that would make Madonna blush with envy.

Within fifteen minutes of starting, it became painfully obvious yoga and I might not be such a perfect match after all. Not painful for me really, but for everyone else. While they were downward dogging, hokey pokey-ing, and whatever the hell else they were doing, I simply reached for the stars, touched my toes (like my P.E. teacher in school would holler: if you can’t do this, for God’s sake, do something) and made my usual witty asides. Apparently, my comments were a little bit too much for this particular gathering because when the dude next to me swung both of his legs behind his head, poised to take a big bite out of his Oscar Meyer, I turned out to the entire group and made that darling exclamation that began this column, which pretty much devastated everyone in its wake.

As Rizzo from Grease said, “Some people can be so touchy!”

Needless to say, that was the beginning and end of my stint as a yoga aficionado. I decided that a room full of people who don’t move their faces or open their mouths is not a place for me. Okay, they actually made this decision for me by going on at length about other classes at other locations that may be more my style. But I’m not too broken up about it though. If I’m going to live on water, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and run around like a fucking squirrel for the time being as I continue to get my food and fitness issues under control, I need lots of humor and conversation. Preferably with someone more agreeable and supportive than that voice in my head, who as we speak is sitting on the porch eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Essential Download: "I've Still Got My Health"
Artisit: Bette Midler
Available On: Beaches

Originally published in the May 2008 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.

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