A few months ago, I got the bright idea to lose weight. I don’t look half bad … I actually look pretty good. But the BMI chart online says I’m overweight. At 5 foot 5 and a half inches and weighing 73 kilos, there’s some work that needs doing. It’s kind of annoying, because unless you’re in my bathtub, you can’t really see where those 73 kilos are!

The last time I consciously weighed myself, my baby was 2 years old, I weighed 55kg, and I had just shaved my dreads to be an air hostess. Luckily, the interview didn’t work out, so I grew my locks back. A few years later, I moved to Dar. Between kisamvu, Morocco burgers, and cheap ice cream, I eased up to 60kg in six months. Then my baby came over. We moved to a house five minutes from the office, and we also got a mboch. I didn’t notice the difference until the landlord’s kid said how lovely I was getting. In Dar, beauty is proportionate to weight, so I got a weighing scale. I was up to 69!

I kept meaning to do something about it, and when we moved back to Kenya, I launched into Operation Lose 1okg. I joined the gym next door for maybe three months before life and depression happened. I’d stockpiled exercise videos and I figured I was fine, since I still looked great and I weighed the same. I’ve been at 70 for a year.

But a few days ago, I weighed myself. The point was to goad my princess into eating more, since she hates food and she’s all ribs. She gets that from me, unfortunately. I was 5 inches high and weighed 2 kilos until high school, then I morphed right up to 5 foot 80kg. Still, she needs to gain some weight before she turns 18, so we often have this food debate.

The idea was for her to see how light she was so I could bully her into eating more. At 4 feet 6 inches, she weighs just below 30 kilos. The doctor says that’s fine, but I want to see some flesh on those bones, so out came the bathroom scales. Instead, she made me mount the scales, and I saw … *gasp* … 73!! I was sure the thing was broken, so I picked it up, turned it over, shook it, and tweaked the dial. Nothing doing. Still 73. Aw crud.

I’ve been saying I’ll save up to rejoin the gym, but in the meantime, I could probably use my exercise videos. So this morning, as soon as princess got on the bus, I popped in the DVD. I lingered at the belly dance section then decided to skip it and go right into Billy Blanks. It was pretty much like the last time. I had fun until they reached the cross-kick-punch combination, then I ended up on the floor. It’s like playing Twister by yourself … and losing.

The video was 45 minutes long, and I made it through to minute 30. I really feel that girl in the Easy FM advert, since I have trouble coordinating, but I did sweat, so I know I did something right.

The video showed off different kinds of beauty. The main girl, Shellie, wears a stylish burgundy gym thingie. Her legs are in loose fitting capris, and her top is a halter neck. She has the most awesome six pack, has barely any chest, and is rather on the slim side, but she has this thing going that is hot hot hot! I’m guessing it’s the X factor.

There’s a second girl behind Billy who’s older. She’s curvy, though well built, and she looks beautifully feminine. The camera has a habit of zoning into her … um … the bits that support bras can’t hide. You know, the bits that stick out sometimes? Yeah.

Then there’s the Amazonian woman in black. Her body is kind of … square … and I bet you any mugger would see her and run the other way. She’s kind of beefy, but she exudes a power that says, ‘I’m still sexy.’ Or maybe what it means is, ‘Don’t wink at me, I’m Butch.’

There was this one guy on the video whose shirt was soaked. His skin was all wet and shiny and if you ask me, that’s brilliant video editing. They must have stopped the tape to dunk him in some water, but I can’t detect the splice. Me, after 30 minutes, only my face was sweating, and I had a stitch in my chest. Yes, it’s possible to have a stitch in your chest. I sat through the last fifteen minutes, then watched the opening sequence of the salsa section. Interesting.

The ladies in the tae-bo video made me think of girls in Kenya. No matter how … large … we are, we almost always have good shape. I’ve seen women that weigh 120kg but they still look like an hour galss. Or a five litre coke bottle. It must be African genes.

And I still say a Kenyan-themed video would rock. Just think of a workout based on Isikuti, Chuka drums, Kamba footwork, Ramogi backbends, Mijikenda hipwork, Kisii shoulder moves, and Maasai jumping. We could do it to a genge soundtrack, burn more calories than three hours in Lewa, and have a lot of fun too.

Tomorrow, I try again. Hopefully I can make it through all 45 minutes without tripping. As for bellydance, I’m sure that I can do it … as long as I hide from the mirror. Ever since I watched the dance of the seven veils on Lois and Clark, I’ve wanted to learn it myself. It comes in handy as a birthday present … or something.

I’ll just wait until my abs are set. By the time I’ve gathered washboards, I should have picked some grace as well. If nothing else, I’ll be able to do the camel without giggling myself to death.


30 thoughts on “Billy Blanks and bellydance

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