Now that I have plane tickets to go to Spain, and not a lot of time before I use them, I feel the imperative need to do what in Spanish we call “La operación bikini“. In Spain the general population seems to be leaner than here, and you can see how a winter in the Midwest doesn’t necessarily fit the gastronomical and physical activity requirements that conduct to leanness.
“La operación bikini” consists in depriving yourself of food for a couple of months while trying to squeeze in all the exercise you should have done in the previous eight months and then some, with the only purpose of being hot when you first put on a bikini this summer. Or, in my case, at least to be in any shape other than round, which is all I can aim for at this point in my life.
Mine started two months ago, when I got a gym membership at my friends’ repeated requests. But it turns out that I don’t have actual time to go to the gym, so the only exercise I am getting out of my membership fee is due to the extra weight from the gym card on my keyring.
The second stage on my “operación bikini” was to start using the pedometer in my cell phone, hoping to make the proverbial 10.000 steps a day. It was helpful, as I found out that even in the days I walk to the train on my way to work and I seem to go up and down the stairs 327 times, at most I make it to 9000 steps. At least the fact that something called pedometer exists truly amused my second grader. In Spanish, pedo means fart. And being as bilingual as he is, as soon as he heard about it he started giggling, thinking on how cool it good be to have a fartometer. Because, you know, eight year old boys love that kind of thing.
Going back to “La operación bikini”, step number three was trying to eat better. If there is an aspect of the Midwestern life that I have embraced with gusto is the food, and the eating. When I arrived to this country on August 2003 I was, at 104 pounds, a very skinny 24 year old. That very same December, when I landed in the airport to spend Christmas home, my family didn’t recognize me, thanks to the 30 pounds I had gained. There is no level of slenderness that a few months of American college life cannot fix, right?
But eating well is not that easy when you cook for four guys who like their foods swimming in sauces and can get away with eating anything. Mr FA can eat as many doughnuts as he wants and he still weights the same than he did in high school. I eat half a doughnut and I can trace its silhouette on my hip. Add to that the fact that I am breastfeeding, and even the though of trying makes me laugh out loud. I have heard that some women lose weight due to breastfeeding. After seven years of nursing I am living proof that it doesn’t apply to everyone. When you are breastfeeding you are hungry, but not normal hungry. You are I raid the fridge and serve myself a whole TRAY of food hungry. I could eat a cow hungry. I could actually eat the baby hungry. And that kind of hunger is not solved with celery sticks and some hummus.
As little as I like salads here, and as bad as I am at making them, especially compared to how good I am at cooking any calorie loaded dish you can name, I will try for a bit. Just until I get on that plane. Because once I arrive back in Spain, the pounds shed off on their own, breastfeeding or not. It may be the food, the cooking, the swimming, or the healthy air of the countryside. Certainly, there is no effort on my part involved. I suspect that my dad’s vegetable garden may have something to do with it though.
So, from now on, and just for summer’s sake, and to keep my very fit mom’s comments at bay, if you don’t see me around, you may find me in the gym. Maybe. At least for the next two months.
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