And Let gooooooooooo……………Hand in de air everybody!!
Call it what you want:
- Mid life crisis
- Lapse in judgement
- Backsliding, or
- Meds wearing off
It doesn’t matter. I decided last year, at the prompting of some friends, to play Carnival (mas) for the first time in *cough*cough*cough* (sorry) years. In case you couldn’t make out how long it was since I last played mas; let’s just put it this way, when I did, there used to be a band called Poison. Nuff Said!
Anyway, for those who have started praying for my soul and gossiping about what I am doing, let’s clear the air:
- Jesus and I are fine
- I know what I’m doing
- I have always been responsible for MY actions
- I needed a goal.
Now that those issues are out of the way, let me say “I had a BLAST!!”or as the uneducated masses tout “It was BESS!!” Who knew that being on your feet for over 8 hours a day could be so much fun and contribute to so much weight loss and toning. I recommend anyone trying to lose weight to try this special two day weight loss program. You don’t necessarily have to wine down to the ground like you have no owner, but keep moving for the entire period while remaining hydrated and I assure you that the pounds will fall off.
It is only on Carnival Tuesday mid-day did it dawned on me that this is why most vagrants in Trinidad are “ripped”. They walk all day. Who knew!
I digress. So I played mas with Fantasy in the section called Rio Azul and I had a really good time. The process of deciding to play mas came about as I needed to set goals for myself for my weight loss. From April to August 2012, I was working out with my trainer and I had not lost a single pound and it was frustrating me to no end. When some friends came up with the idea for me to play mas with them, I realised that I found a goal. I found a reason to ensure that I stuck to what I needed to do.
And so it began. Results weren’t as forthcoming as I had hoped but somehow in December, the weight started to drop off. In January, my trainer said: No Carbs, No Sugar!” I obeyed (well as much as I could) and I saw some improvement. Can you imagine me going to all-inclusive fetes and all I dared to eat was meat and veggies? No curried dumplings, no doubles, no fries, no pasta, no (gulp) roti! It was difficult but for some reason I kept hearing my trainer in my head whenever I would go near to carbs and the thought that he might give me harder exercises for eating carbs made me stay clear. Sigh ..it didn’t matter anyway, the bastard still had me sweating up a storm during each session! There was no let up in sight.
Carnival Friday came and I collected my costume and then the fear set in. I was going to be bareback on the road for all to see. Anyone who knows me, knows that to take off my t-shirt on a beach requires a small ritual involving breathing and me taking off my shirt and running into the water as fast as possible before anyone sees me. (as if they could miss a hippo running on the beach!. Yes, yes, I do possess some measure of body shame.
Normally, while looking in the mirror in my apartment, I approved of how my body looks, however, my eyes seem to get distorted when I looked at it on Carnival Tuesday morning when the costume was donned. BTW -I am still trying to find the root of all these body issues within my mind. I may have to undergo hypnotherapy to find out!Internally I started to scream and I grabbed a vest quickly to cover up my perceived “tut tuts” and belly. I also had issues with the fact that my section was called Rio Azul but the pants for my costume were blu-ish purple with pink rings. It looked as if the band didn’t care about this section at all and just threw together whatever they had left over from last year. .
Anyway, the vest never made it to the car and I took my “fat” self to meet my friends and head to the band.
The first hour in the road with my body exposed seemed like an eternity. I was panicking internally and smiling outside but overall I was just fidgety. It felt like I was watching “The Hours” all over again but this time the Nicole Kidman’s character took an exceedingly longer time to change her facial expressions and Julianne Moore’s character!Good Lord that movie was long!! ..
Between the THREE HOUR wait on Charlotte Street that the band made me endure coupled with them having being NO BREAKFAST for the masqueraders, I stopped fussing over my body and weight issues and started to concentrate on other stuff.It is amazing how much of yourself you have to deal with when you don’t have a camera to distract you. Oh wait! I did have a camera! A small point and shoot Panasonic Lumix with the battery life of an AA Eveready!
So I began snapping pictures and fear subsided and I stopped having the urge to pull in my stomach when I walked. When the damn camera battery died, I resorted to jumping and dancing and making new friends in the band. Some women weren’t as welcoming but the few who were seemed to take to me like white on rice. A good time was had.
In the end, I stopped fussing over a lot of things and just had a good time in the band. I ignored:
- the long wait on a smelly street,
- the fact that we did not cross the stage,
- the lack of breakfast (3 months earlier and I may have staged a protest for this one),
- the uneducated staff on the “Drinks” trucks that perceived that whenever you asked for a drink you wanted Johnny Walker! (Sigh….we as a people are in a mess when it comes to drinking!)
- the costume that kept falling apart, and
- the speed at which some of the music trucks moved – this negro was not running behind anything after being on his feet for the whole day.
I laughed and danced so much on those two days with my friends that whatever troubled me was so not an issue. It made me realise that I fuss over nothing and I do allow too many people and their opinions to rent space in my head for free!
While Carnival may be considered the “devil’s work and playground”, it provided much needed therapy for me in terms of clearing my head and understanding that one can have a good time, sober (reasonably) and just being amongst friends.
There are rumors that I may have been seen dancing on a street sign/ pole or two but since I have no recollection of this, (and the fact that no pictures have surfaced), I believe these things to be lies from observers looking to tarnish my good name and character. Plus they were probably drunk.Ash Wednesday met me in work without any pain in my body or tiredness. For this, I must thank my trainer, Stefan Charles, as I really don’t think my body would’ve recovered so well had he not been torturing it for three days in every week leading up to it.
As of today, I weight 218 lbs and I am proud of it. While I think the 20 pounds lost is a lot, I would like a tighter firmer body and so I begin the gym again from today.
My new goal for an improved body is now geared towards Tobago Jazz Festival (April 22-28th), so wish me luck!
Me thinks, turning 40 has either set me into panic mode about my life or it is just forcing me to have a little more fun than I normally do. Whatever is happening, I embrace it!
How was your Carnival period?