Since my return from the States, nothing has been normal.
Well, granted normal for me is constant dieting and a continual battle raging between my Brain and the rest of the body parts residing in this bloated prison I call My Body. (Click here to see The Party Within for details.)
Sometime in the months prior to boarding a plane for Texas, my Butt had a serious talk with my Brain regarding our excess baggage. “Look, Brain,” said Butt, “I hear there is some kind of weight restriction aboard a plane. Airport taxes and all… is this true?”
Brain nodded and sighed. “It is, Butt. It is. They’re now charging for excess weight.”
Butt looked around the seams of her Levi prison, noting the strain. She felt like something was going to rip, and soon. And it was not going to be pretty. Her glutes were atrophied and tired, her fat cells packed in like so many oversized beach balls. There was so much junk in this trunk now it was being stacked right up into her muffin top, a room labelled “Emergency Fat Stores Only.” Well, this was, in Butt’s opinion, an emergency. There was simply no more storage, and the junk was going to have to go.
“You and The Legs should have got to the gym more,” said Brain sagely. She’s smart about these things, being an expert on all things to do with a healthy lifestyle. (Brain reads a lot.) Sadly, she was also warden over an unruly prison population made up of rebels and ne’er do wells. “After all, we’re paying for a membership…”
“Ugh. Don’t remind me,” replied Butt. “But Legs and I are under so much strain these days, who wants to go to the gym? It’s all on account of Stomach and Tongue. You know what they’re like, partying all the time, sending us too many calories to burn. Poor Colon is a nervous wreck these days, the Kidney Twins are driving me nuts crying all the time, The Knees are groaning like an ungreased hinge… There is no more room for all this fat!” shouted Butt. “Tongue and Stomach are killing us!”
Brain decided it was time to take drastic action. She slapped Tongue and Stomach into solitary for six weeks and force fed them a strict diet of shakes and low calorie meal bars, punctuated only occasionally by very rare treats. With the party animals out of the way, Legs, Butt and Knees were oh so much happier to see the weight shifting to the tune of a ten-pound weight loss. Hey, ten pounds is a lot of beach balls!
Tongue, confined to her chocolate shake prison, merely bided her time. She knew once she landed in Texas it would be five o’clock somewhere, and there was a sombrero with her name on it. “Don’t fret, Stomach,” she whispered in the chocolatey darkness. “We’ll be in Margaritaville soon… the land flowing with cheese and guacamole. I hear the streets are paved with tortilla chips, and we can bathe in salsa fountains.” Stomach groaned and munched listlessly on her 139-calorie lunch, dreaming of fajitas buried in pico de gallo.
True to form, from the moment I landed in Texas, Tongue put in an immediate request for a margarita, frozen, hold the salt. (Such a thing simply does not exist in England. At least, not good ones.) Tongue promptly donned her sombrero, took up her maracas and cued the Mariachi band to start playing. Loudly.
Stomach was awakened from her 139-calorie slumber by the sound of trumpets. Thrilled, she grabbed her hat and joined the party, making a festive pass around the salsa fountain before diving in head first, a tortilla chip clutched in each hand. Tongue had been right! This WAS the land flowing with cheese and guacamole! Stomach was last seen doing the backstroke through a pool of chilli con queso. It was a very slow backstroke because… cheese. And, well, Stomach!
Preoccupied with holiday shopping for her svelte new figure, Brain turned a blind eye to the fiesta raging within. With all conscience and sensibility out of the way, the festivities raged on. And on.
No taco was left uneaten. No cheese was left to congeal.
Until today, one month later, when Butt found herself squeezed into the unbearably tight confines of a brand new pair of jeans, purchased on her second day back in Texas. On holiday day two, they had fitted like a glove! Butt had been so pleased with the comfortable space, and while there had been quite a few beach balls of fat hanging around still, at least Butt could breathe. The Eyes informed Brain that they looked pretty darn good on an old girl like me, as I turned this way and that to check out the view from every angle.
Ah, yes. Holiday day two. When the party had only just begun…
Somewhere within, Brain is storming her way into what remains of the fiesta. The Mariachi Band has long ago stopped playing and the festival lights are hanging at crazy angles around a dancefloor covered in piles of confetti and crepe paper. The salsa fountain has dried up and been abandoned, and empty bottles and plates litter the place. Tongue, in the absence of authentic Tex-Mex food, has ordered in Chinese, and Stomach is draped over the buffet table, sleeping in a puddle of Kung Po Chicken.
Brain despairs. “Right, you two!” She says firmly, pulling out the leg-irons, “The party’s over…”
“No!” Says Tongue. “Not… not the shakes. Anything but the shakes…” Seeing that Brain means business, Tongue becomes desperate. “I’ll eat lean protein!” she shouts. “I’ll eat lettuce! I’ll lay off the salt and the bread… I’ll behave myself, I swear!”
Brain knows better. She’s heard this story too many times to be fooled. “Well, you two, I hope you enjoyed your fiesta,” she says firmly, marshalling her unruly charges back into their cells. “That will be your last party for a good long while.”
The diet starts in the morning…
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