I know all about the Dubai stone. Been there, done that, got the two-sizes-larger-than-when-I-arrived T-shirt. At certain times during the day, I look like I’m well into my second trimester. I accept the loose, wobbly skin, and I happily sign up for stretch marks, but I strongly object to this inflatable bag that has hijacked my middle region, swelling up steadily during the course of the day. Call it water retention, call it swelly jelly belly, call it what you like. I call it nasty.
So, I finally decided to do something about it. I tried jogging, and would start off down the road with all good intentions, only to get to the corner and collapse in a wheezing heap. There was also this nagging feeling that people would see through my fashion shorts and blister-inducing trainers and recognise me for the jogging fraud that I am. ‘That woman’s not a REAL jogger!,’ I’d hear them taunt as I turned up my nose and my iPod and took a swig of my latte.
I contemplated a spinning class, but quickly ditched that idea after it rekindled memories of a rather unfortunate incident with a mountain bike when, as a student, I foolishly pedalled up and down a few Welsh hills and promptly lost all use of my legs.
Yoga sounded ideal. Good enough for Madonna, good enough for me. So off I trotted to the romantic-sounding ‘moonlight’ yoga session. Unfortunately, so did thousands of mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies, obviously on their way to the Ugly Bug Ball and deciding to stop off for a snack on the way. Apparently the sweat from my exertions was just too delicious to resist, and I spent most of the class frantically swiping them away which, by the way, is not easy when you’re trying to do a headstand.
Not one to give up easily, I moved on to power yoga, only to discover the class had been infiltrated by a rogue group of contortionists escaped from the circus. I gave it my best shot but, frankly, power yoga is like childbirth: way too much huffing and puffing, quite sore and the only reason you’d ever return would be because you’d forgotten how awful it was and decided to have another bash.
So, I’ve decided just to accept who I am and exploit those new-found circus contacts. Roll up, roll up everyone, and marvel at the magical inflatable woman!