Leg Day: 1.The Muscle-Man Cousin.

Ananthika Anand
May 16, 2019   •  124 views

Once upon a time, I decided to go to the gym, except ‘once upon a time’ was yesterday and ‘gym' was McDonald’s—no, I’m just kidding, was a gym. A tiny, suffocating room of pain on the ground floor of my apartment that had rusty weights, a loose cycle-thing and a squeaky treadmill.

What prompted me to finally make such a rash decision?Well, you know how when you’re stressed, potato chips are your best friend? I had two months of stressing out to do thanks to exams and a dwindling attendance issue in college,and so naturally I turned to Pepsi and a hell of a lot of chips to satisfy my anxiety. I don’t understand the how,but it did help momentarily. Meditation, not so much.

My roommates tried to control it but I was a black hole sucking in junk and only junk,with no ways to burn it off whatsoever. Honestly,the only person happy about this was the shopkeeper at the little store near my hostel. He’d give me the biggest smile and a salute and I’m not going to lie, it made me feel pretty good about myself. His bony little girl and bony little boy would also be running around the shop in their government school uniforms, and that just made me buy an extra packet of chips. Hopefully those kids make it in life. I’m doing what I can, right?

Anyway, as a result of this selfless generosity for the benefit of this shopkeeper's kids, I ended up looking like a balloon by the time my parents came to pick me up for summer. They didn’t say much then, but I second I stepped foot inside the house, I was put on a diet.

Broke my heart really, I was looking forward to some good food but there goes that. All I got was this weight reducing smoothie,which is basically just a fortified powder with a whole lot of nutrients blended into toned, skimmed milk (why not just freaking call it water,huh?) once a day. Then I’m not supposed to eat for the next five hours but what’s worse is that I have to drink a litre and a half of water within that time.

I mean, no thanks.

That’s when my muscle-man cousin came to town. He talked about lean fat and muscles and showed me his biceps, and I was all eh, but then he did the impossible.

He refused to eat fried chicken.

I released a bloodcurdling scream in my head. First thing I wanted to do was grab him by the shoulders and shake some sense into him yelling what happened to you, but then I took a minute and admired his tenacity. He drank tea with no sugar, he ate only rotis, only two of them, and refused to eat anything that was fried or had cheese. I mean... How do you say no to fried food?What black magic is this?

Plus, no pepsi. No pepsi. No soft drinks of any kind.

I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears, but the way he was now able to walk around wearing my younger brother's old t-shirts was inspiring. One of his legs was half of one of mine. I was impressed, but still thinking about some burgers and fries at the back of my mind while I listened to him talk, when I remembered...in two weeks I have to make a trip to visit, *drum roll*,relatives.

Oh the anxiety that hit me...

I ran to look at myself in the mirror and grimaced. To me,I looked fine. Matthew, my food baby, seemed disgruntled at the lack of attention paid to him. I ran my eyes over the length of my body and decided, huh, I don’t look bad, I mean I’m no Priyanka Chopra but I like it anyway. And then I imagined I was there in my little village, I imagined all the relatives I’d have to meet and greet and I could hear them say it already. “Wow,look at you.Usually kids in hostels slim down,no? Mess food is nice or what? “

Spite is a beautiful feeling. That’s when I decided to do it. Walking away from the mirror and into the hall, I called for my muscle-man cousin.

“Let’s hit the gym. “

Part 2: