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Going South: Bikram and weight loss

March 8th 2013 / Imogen Edwards-Jones


Imogen Edwards-Jones discovers that now she's lost the weight, she doesn't suffocate herself when practising the downward dog. Who knew?

There comes a stage in any diet when chomping plates of prawns and mango while watching back to back Midsomer Murders on the telly, or crunching your way through a fennel and feta salad while trying to work out how many followers you have on Twitter (too few, damn it!) is not enough. If you really want to shift the fat, so I am reliably informed, you actually have to shift the fat. Take the fat for a walk, take it to the gym for a little visit, or indeed hurl it around the park at great speed only to let it collapse by a handy bench heaving and puffing like a fag-testing beagle with emphysema.

I am, of course, rather reluctant to do this. I am the sort of woman who’d take a sedan chair from her sofa to bed if such a thing were available on the open market. But sadly it’s not. And nutritionist Amelia Freer whose Metabolic Balance® diet I am following, or otherwise known as the #heavensisthatreallyBoyGeorge diet, keeps dropping little hints at my weekly weigh-ins. As if the whole process wasn't hideous enough, standing there, with a tape measure around my gut, only for her to suggest some really ‘fun’ training with some ‘nice’ boys in the park. I think they are called Freedom2Train but quite frankly it is almost like she is speaking whale; the mere mention of it all gives me a slight headache, which obviously like a tummy ache and a sore toe puts me ‘off games’ immediately.

Anyway, so after about the third week of Amelia gently suggesting I do some god-awful exercise, I thought I’d go to Bikram Yoga just to shut her up. Now as a daughter of an erstwhile yoga teacher (see fellow Glossy Scarlett Edwards-Jones) I have always been reasonably adept at the downward dog. I can even manage an up-dog if pushed. But when it comes to a shoulder stand I have, in the past, been suffocated by my own tits. It is not so much that I have gigantic norks, I don’t (a banal 36D) it is just that when combined with all the excessive gut-fat, they create a tsunami of adipose that ripples down my body and cuts off my air supply. The same goes for putting my forehead to my knees. It isn’t so much my hamstrings that get in the way, as the large rubber ring of fat around my middle that prevents me from bending forward.

So you can imagine my shock this week during my Bikram class when I bent forward to touch my toes and my nipples didn’t take my eyes out. In fact, they stayed put. So did my belly. My thighs. Even the back fat was immovable. I ventured a side bend and suddenly saw my ribs for the first time since 1974. Not only was the class easier to do now that I am 19 lbs lighter but it was so much less exhausting. I suppose you only have to look at 1lb of butter on the side in the kitchen to imagine how tiring it is for the body to carry another 19 of those buggers in tree pose. But really, it was a revelation.

I took my son to the park on Sunday and suddenly found myself running after him without the need of four pairs of Spanx to contain my gyrating butt cheeks. I now march up the stairs more efficiently. I can pick my pen off the floor more quickly and bend down to shout at my children without needing to be winched back up again. In short, being a bit thinner, quite apart from being able to fit into my clothes, and looking less like a relative of Mr Blobby, is making my life significantly easier. Who knew? Well probably that bossy boots Amelia Freer…

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