Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Before and after

Seriously, I had a size 24 waistline when I was in college, all the way up to med school.

I remember that when I did my fellowship in Boston, I had to go to the children's clothes section to buy my clothes! My t-shirts were size 16, my underwear had to be for a 16 year old, and my pants were still size 24! I was 105 pounds when I was in college. A weight I maintained up to my fellowship days. During my fellowship years, I would often be mistaken for a teenager, having the need to show my ID when I would buy a bottle of wine. I think I could have been a great poster boy for Cambodia, where you see this scrawny little malnourished boy wearing a shirt that's a size too big for him.

A couple of decades later and I'm 40 pounds heavier. Gosh! Where did all that fat come from?

Seriously, when I hit 40, I saw the fine lines on my face. It's been less than 5 years since I started my private practice. During residency and fellowship, I didn't have these lines. I know that once I could afford those expensive anti-aging cosmetics from Clinique, I would need to get hold of the whole line. And so my first professional fees went into paying for my facials and those facial lotions, cleansers and creams that I prayed so fervently would retard aging.

Call me vain but I wanted to stay young forever.

But as luck would have it, the call of success would take a toll on my physical appearance. It was like, one day I suddenly woke up and couldn't understand what happened to me all those years. Who is this guy in the mirror? He looks so old.

And so I began the search for the fountain of youth. I tried all the different caviars and Strivectins my poor face and skin could take. Then the added pounds started to show. I was not a health buff, but I needed to find a way to get rid of this extra poundage.

Off to the gym I went. I tell you, beginning a work out regimen at the age of 40 is no joke. It's like my body was telling me - who are you kidding? And I was going to beat the odds. (Wishful thinking was driving me bananas!) I hired a personal trainer to keep me disciplined with my workout. The gym dues were not that expensive, but together with the trainer, that was a killer on the pocket! I would shell out almost P7500 every month, and I paid 6 months in advance so that I wouldn't drop out of the gym. It would pain me to get on the treadmill and lift weights. But not as painful as it would hurt my pocket for the gym and trainer dues.

Then there were the supplements. Whey protein, vitamins, arginine, creatine, fat burners, electric stimulators on the abs, by golly, you name it, I've tried it. And there went my credit card bills. I made GNC practically rich!

It wasn't only the body. The face was also taking a toll. Where did these crow feet across my eyes come from? OMG! Clinique wasn't working anymore. It was time to shift from one cosmetic brand to another. Shu Uemura, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Clarins - Where was the magic wand of science?

A friend of mine told me that today, there is nothing that science cannot do.

Sob sob sob....and the clock just ticks and ticks away...

Sob sob sob...no more six pack abs, no more 24 inches waistlines, no more teeny bopper look...

Another look in the mirror...sighhh...how fast time flew, now that I'm 52...and counting down to my very privileged senior citizen discount card...

Science will probably work wonders at preserving my youthful look for, hopefully another 10 years and I will look back and wonder where those abs went or those lines grew and the gray hair started to grow and hopefully laugh and look back in the mirror and say - it was the journey stupid!

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