Anybody know what body defining is? It's a three-pronged approach to flab:
1. Low fat intake
2. Working with dumbbells or machines
3. Superhydration

Since embarking upon this regimen, the thing I find most difficult is carrying a supply of water around with me all day trying to drink a minimum of a gallon of water. That, in case you've never thought about it, is a lot of water. . . ask my bladder.

Alice Roosevelt once summed up life in this way; "Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches." An altogether interesting philosophy, considering she lived in an era not all that conversant with convenient bathrooms. She was Teddy Roosevelt's daughter; you know the feisty gung-ho president who lead his calvary troops into confrontation at the Battle of Bull Run with the rousing "CHARGE!"

You do see where I'm going with this, don't you? Since I embarked upon this hydraulic nightmare, in order to empty what is full, I am frequently forced to charge--or, if you prefer, run to the (very aptly named) water closet. It is there on that marvelous contraption called a toilet invented by Thomas Crapper (don't go there) that I satisfy the second of Alice's suggestions. Unfortunately, I feel then compelled to comply with her first condition, and so I dutifully chug-a-lug more H2O. Happily, I don't itch, for then I should deem it necessary to take care of that as well.

This would make my next strategy a bit dicey, since I only own two hands and that water jug is heavy. It has occurred to me that, in the future, I shall anticipate the mechanics of the situation and sit on the pot while gulping the gallon. In this manner, I will avoid those hasty retreats to the great oval for I shall already be there, prepared in the best possible way, for the great flow of events. Absolutely flushed with the genius of my insight, I look forward to tomorrow when I can begin to put this resolution into practice.

Oh dear, perhaps I should lift the dumbbells in there as well or at least do the exercises calling for the sit and squat positions. Look at the time I could save if, at the watering hole, I integrated the weights with the whizzing! There are probably a lot of people out there with the same problem I have encountered that could benefit from this solution. But I digress.

Why am I doing this? So I can look and feel better, of course. Since I hate walking, and see no sense in aerobics, don't want to go to a gym, and am not inclined toward sports, I need a method I can perform independently and systematically at home. This is why I settled on the concept of body defining with its option of dumbbells should one not care to use exercise machines.

Besides, dumbbells are cheap. No other equipment necessary except a trainer, which I had toyed with the idea of getting but discarded as impractical given my circumstances. What would be an alternative route to a trainer?

A book. Yes, I've always done well with books, so why not in this too? That is when I switched on the computer and hit the Amazon bookmark. In a short while I had researched their considerable bounty of offerings on the subject, checked out the reviews, whipped out my credit card and bought my "trainer." It arrived a few days later and I was ready to go.

Been at it ever since. Well, this is my third week and I do feel better, and because I feel better, I imagine I look better, and that makes me feel better, and round and around it goes.

God, grant me, a firmness of the flesh equal to or greater than the firmness of my resolve. Was it St. Francis who said to the same authority, grant me the courage to change what I can, accept what I can't and the wisdom to know the difference? I have trouble with that last part.


Originally written for and appeared in The Courage of our Confusion

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