Sondang Grace Sirait, WEEKENDER | Tue, 05/29/2012 3:30 PM |
“For an average of one to two centimeters, it usually takes at least 12 sessions, each lasting for two hours,” the friendly woman behind the counter told me. She took a few seconds to do the math. “You’re looking at around Rp 20 million, without the supplements. Oh, but you’ll be eligible to join our cash-back program.”
“Ehm, I suppose I’ll have to think twice. Thanks anyway,” I said. I managed to work up half a smile before dashing out of the slimming center.
There goes Plan A down the drain.
Six months after giving birth to a baby girl, I was on a mission to shed the 20 kilograms I had gained during my pregnancy. I was determined to fit into my jeans again soon, and needed a quick fix.
So when I saw an ad showing a celebrity looking stunning in no time after having a baby, I was intrigued. She confessed to doing it without any hassle – no sweating, no starving. How good was that? But apparently, being pretty don’t come cheap. Overblown, absurd figures were running through my head as I realized how much money would be involved, considering I had way more than a couple of centimeters to lose on multiple parts.
Plan B was to go on a diet.
“Whatever you do, don’t do it the way I did it,” warned my friend Ammalia, whose “high fat, high protein” diet plan worked wonders on the weight scale – and then came the day she was hospitalized for gallstone problems.
“I tell you, the real problem is metabolism. Once we hit 30, it’s downhill from there,” she said, swearing by the green tea supplements she now takes daily. “I still want to lose some more weight, but for now I’m happy.”
Indeed, she has nothing to complain about. Having gone through periods of overeating and other weight-related problems, the 34-year-old now looks better than ever.
Another recipe for success, as many have testified, is caloric restriction. It’s basically a diet-in-disguise that lets you eat anything but in moderate, if not skimpy, portions. If it weren’t for my acid reflux, and the fact that I’m still breastfeeding, I would’ve jumped on the bandwagon.
“You’re just lazy,” my other friend Erna declared point-blank as we chatted on Skype. She had lost at least 10 kilograms by practicing Bikram yoga. Living in pedestrian-friendly Washington, DC, the 37-year-old sports addict is used to walking for hours. Although her story is inspiring, I could never be half the athlete she is. That aside, in this highly congested megalopolis, the only feasible place to do hours of walking is on the treadmill.
Come to think of it, physical activity isn’t a bad idea. After all, exercising boosts life satisfaction, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And that could be key to good living in this society “that is constantly evaluating shape, size and attractiveness”, to borrow the words of Dr. Pam Spurr, psychologist and author of How to be a Happy Human.
Despite my natural desire to lose weight quickly, it started to dawn on me that if anything needed to change, it was my perspective. This was not going to be a short-term goal; but rather, a long-term journey.
I was never comfortable with anything extreme, so why risk my own health? Instead, it was my lifestyle that needed a revamp, by eating healthily and developing an exercise routine. That would mean more vegetable intake, less (or no) fried food and less rice – to the point that would make Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan happy. As for exercise, well, that would mean more sweating at the gym and at home.
After three months, results began to show. Recent fittings show I have gone from size 6 to size 4, from Large to Medium. As a former size 0 and XS, it’s still a long way to go, but like my friend Ammalia, for now, yours truly is happy.