Losing a National Landmark

At the beginning of 2010, I had 17 pounds to lose. Between January and February, I lost 7 pounds by dieting and going to the gym but then quickly put on about 5 of those “dieting” pounds near the end of February. So, at the beginning of March I had 15 pounds to lose.

Well, thanks to having a wonderful mountain nearby me called Mount Tatekoshiyama to climb regularly, and changing the way I eat, I now have only 5 pounds to go. I am on the homestretch. It is kind of cool because I’ve been carrying around that extra weight for about 4 years.

This morning I was looking in the mirror, looking at how things are coming along and heard myself praying a ridiculous prayer: “Dear Lord God, could you please help me out so that when I lose the last 5 pounds I lose them in my stomach and nowhere else.” I say “ridiculous prayer” because there’s oil gushing in the gulf, wars looming, serious problems going on in the world and I’m here asking God to shift his focus over to my stomach.

However, I think it is worthwhile to mention why I felt moved to pray that prayer.

A little backstory.

Several years ago, I put on more weight than I have ever put on in my life. I put on 25lbs! One day, I made up my mind to lose the weight. I just decided to do a boxing workout and cut out sugary drinks. I went to the basement and did the boxing workout I designed for a month, and the 25 lbs came off like that! I mean, it just flew off. I remember saying to someone, “That weight must have just been dying to come off me because it came off pretty fast.” I wasn’t very particular about the diet part either. Sometimes I cheated and had sugary drinks or whatever else. The pounds just flew away!

So, I was really enjoying my slim, trim new figure until one day I was in a washroom (Canadian word for restroom) in Toronto. I looked in the mirror then turned to the right to examine my profile. I knew something was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then, it suddenly hit me: “Where’s my ass?”

That’s when I realized where the 25 pounds had gone. You see, instead of losing a little weight from my behind, a little from my stomach, a little from my hips, a little here, a little there, it appears 90% of that weight loss came out of one important area.

Now, you may think I’m exaggerating here but let me explain. Even though, I didn’t give it any thought or appreciate it back then, back in my teens and early 20s, I had a behind that was like a National Institution, a truly landmark achievement in assitecture. Little did I know, it had been written up in several tour books and destination guides with the heading, “If you’re ever in the Peel Region, do try to stop by and have a look at Carol’s behind. It’s worth the drive to Brampton.”

I didn’t think about it or appreciate it until it was gone. When you’re a Black woman and you wake up one morning and your behind you’ve had your whole life is gone, I don’t even know how to explain it you. As far as I’m concerned, technically speaking I wasn’t even Black for two years. Wouldn’t even show my face at Caribana or my local West Indies Store.

I thought no one in the world really understand until I met an English teacher in Okinawa who told me about a similar experience.

It was pretty traumatic.

But thanks to the miracle of carbs, I was reinstated into the Black community in the latter part of 2007.

Now, you may be wondering, “What kind of behind do you have now?” Well, it’s there, but it’s nothing special, nothing to write home about, nothing the average white girl doesn’t have these days if she’s willing to invest the time at McDonald’s or do a million squats.”

So, having said all that, this is my explanation for why I was praying that ridiculous, but as you can see not so ridiculous prayer this morning. I remember what happened before. I remember how it felt and I just don’t want to go through that again.

This article was originally published on June 17th, 2010.

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