Oct. 7, 2017
If you put the heels of your hands on your temples and your fingers in your hair, that’s generally accompanied by a sort of “Arghh!” soundtrack – right? Maybe you’re massaging in the fruitless attempt to banish a headache. Or maybe your great big skull is just too heavy on your neck and you’re looking for a moment’s relief.
I can’t remember which of the above motivations caused me to assume this pose, but there I was, doing a melodramatic, thrilling little pantomime of Oh What I Suffer Through For You, and I suddenly felt something…
My temples divot inward.
Not like I took a two-by-four to the head; more like a never-before-identified little puddle of fat had quietly evaporated, leaving the contours of my head a tad more in-and-outy.
(Yes, I am a professional writer. Kids, don’t try to pull off a phrase like “in-and-outy” without parental supervision, and certainly not without stretching first.)
My scale is stubbornly stuck at 236; it seems determined to sit there, mocking me for the fact that I was 234 a few days ago… but I’m also feeling like my belly muscles are made of that super-dense goo they put in heating pads; the kind you microwave. Even at rest, my stomach muscles are… I’m searching for a good word to make up for the dismal failure of “in-and-outy,” and the best I can come up with is “quick.”
Not “quick” as in “I had to be quick or someone else would have grabbed that last chocolate chip cookie.” No, I mean “quick” as in “quick with life” – vibrant. Vital. Very much alive. (This now-archaic definition makes sense of the phrase “the quick and the dead.”)
My stomach muscles feel quick. Dense and strong and lively. And I think all this focus on working on the core is burning fat but adding muscle, which of course weighs far more than fat, as any fat person will rush to tell you. My pants are baggy, my belts are on the last notch, and my temples dent inward. So giving vent to a deep and heartfelt “argh!” wasn’t as satisfying as it might have been, as I was suddenly bathed in a feeling of victory and startled delight.
And I’m good with that!
The image is from the time Jonathan tried a chiropractor, who x-rayed his Atlas bone; isn’t his skull gorgeous? And isn’t it curious that once you get past superficial things like skin color and weight, we are all held up by this stunning, elegant skeleton? Just below the skin, we are every one of us absolute marvels, and very, very beautiful. That’s a nice thing to remember.