Christmas came and went like a typhoon, wreaking havoc on finances and personal health. I wonder how long it will take for me to undo last Christmas.
The aqua-aero exercises that we aqua-bellies had been doing three times a week had continued until Christmas Eve, and resumed as early as Jan. 5. By then, as Annabelle, our hostess with the mostest, had correctly hoped, the minor repairs on her pool would have been done.
Annabelle had, of course, put all our minds to rest—the little cracks were not due to the pressure of us jumping up and down the pool with our combined weights, but to ordinary wear and tear. But, in that short span of time, my proper water-exercise suit, which also hides bulges very well, felt somehow snugger, and that was yet before our post-exercise breakfast buffet.
At Commons last Sunday, we decided to replace our liar bathroom scale, after my son Robert, who used it to weigh his luggage, was charged at the airport for an extra weight of nine kilos.
Naturally, before we bought another one, we had to first test the high-tech-looking scale, digital for one thing, not analog as our old one. Vergel got on it, and the scale showed his weight at 139, where he has been for the past decade, and this was after coffee for him, but, for me, after a grilled ensaymada topped with Laguna white cheese and a cup of hot mint chocolate, just a little over an hour after lunch. The scale screamed 142 pounds!
At my age, I’m healthiest at 130, forget my old weight; that’s in another life, when I tipped at 130 before giving birth.
I got on it right away, drinking a lot of water to quench my cravings for munchies, and having a healthy dinner with just two spoonfuls of rice.
This morning, I was down to 139. The idea of eating for pleasure had been heightened by the holidays and seems to be lingering on; a wide array of Christmas comfort food in my ref still waits to be consumed.
Until the supply runs out
But what is the New Year for if not munching on properly round castañas while watching TV, breakfasting on interminable fried Chinese ham lightly brushed with sugar and pan de sal, merienda-ing on queso de bola and ensaymadas with hot chocolate, until the supply runs out?
Thank God for the gift of two boxes of pomelos, equally round but less fattening than grapes! As of now I’m still surrounded by special home-baked cookies from my daughter and my many other expert baker cousins, who show off their specialties precisely at this time. I’m still on my last fruitcake and on my last stock of Pote Gallego.
Why is everybody suddenly celebrating a milestone in January, or is every birthday after 70 a milestone? Even my dear departed friend, Nena, seems in on the conspiracy; her would-be 75th birthday party was hosted by her children, and it started me off on my first lauriat of the year.
There are yet the must-do trip to classmate Baby Lucas’ famous restaurant, Dalampasigan, in Nasugbu, Batangas, with balikbayan classmates; homecomings; and a book launch through the end of January.
Too many birthdays fill February, including my own and Vergel’s. I might really have some serious fasting to do this Lent—to save my life! Of course, there’s always our aqua-aerobics, not just for a good workout, but also for what we need at this time of life, the gift of friendship and laughter. One day someone should film us getting into and out of the water—it could win top prize on Funniest Videos!
But at our last session, after our lone member of the clergy stood up from breakfast, Angelo, Annabelle’s hairdresser, who makes regular house-calls at Annabelle’s but can sneak in one or two of us on emergency hair repair, arrived to desecrate the once holy ambiance at table.
I was hoping he could do an emergency blow-dry on my hair for a lunch, but we forgot about everything as he regaled us with for-adults-only, very graphic, and well-acted-out stories of his adventures in Saudi and his experiences in the service of celebrities. I didn’t realize how fast I could get “swardspeak,” and found myself having to translate for the virgin ears of some of my fellow aqua-bellies.
Nothing like a good workout, a sumptuous breakfast with good friends, sharing memories and laughter and, most important, a husband at home, just getting ready to wake up. I dare say, I’m having the best time of my life!
I’ll certainly get over Christmas; I’m giving myself 11 months and nine pounds, to be exact!