Monday, February 09, 2009

The Mummy Thing

I am trying very hard to lose the weight I put on during our furlough time in the US. I am sure that the very air in the states has calories because all I have to do is step off of a plane and the pounds start adding up lickety split. (Or maybe it's the banana splits?)

I have done so many different diets in my life, some to good success, some not so great. I have tried Weight Watchers and I even had 'fat reducing massages' in Venezuela. My husband and several friends here in Paraguay all went on the Cabbage Soup diet. I stuck to my own diet but I think the entire country of Paraguay smelled like cabbage that week. I do not ever want to cook cabbage again. But I must say, they all did lose weight even if they started sprouting green leaves on their heads!

For Christmas, I informed my family that I would like to enroll in a weight loss center here as my gift. You get to meet with a nutritionist who makes you personalized menus and you weigh in every other day. They keep track of your weight loss and I have lost 7 kilos since I started the plan. This works for me because, I know how to diet, I know what to eat and what to avoid, but I need accountability.

Two weeks ago, I began the second stage of the plan. I did not really know about this part and it caught me by surprise. I call it "The Mummy Thing".

Here's what happens: After meeting with the doctor and doing your weigh in, you are escorted upstairs and shown a dressing room. A nurse comes in and proceeds to wrap you, mummy style, in wet strips of cloths. She asks where are your specific 'trouble spots' so she will concentrate the wrappings in those areas. For me, that is easy! Pretty much from my neck to my knees! These strips are drenched in some kind of 'thermo genesis' something or other, that smells like seaweed and makes you feel cold. It feels like you have been wrapped in Vicks Vapor Rub!

Then you sit in the waiting room with all the other ladies. All of us are there for obvious reasons, so you have a room full of 4 or 5 plus size Egyptian looking mummies. Our arms stick out straight, unable to bend at the elbow and we walk around with stiff legs. Trying to sit down is quite an ordeal, but getting back up after the 30 minute treatment is hilarious! I am always afraid I will be the last one left and will have to figure out how to get up by myself! If no one came and checked on me, I could very well turn into a real mummy!

All of this is supposed to break down the cellulite so that you can lose the fat faster. I have no idea if it works or not, but we do laugh a lot in there so I guess that burns a few calories! Speaking of which, a room full of laughing mummies is an experience in and of itself! Usually it is the same group of ladies as we go at the same time. They always have the TV turned onto a Venezuelan, or Colombian, soap opera. Talk about drama!

The Paraguayan ladies often do not understand the accent or idioms the Venezuelan actors use and ask me to 'translate'. Sometimes the Venezuelan actresses speak so loudly and quickly, usually while angry and in a manner only possible for a Venezuelan female to do, that the Paraguayan ladies declare not to understand a word they are saying. So I do the translating. One particular episode had the actress walk in and find her husband cheating on her.The women in the room all became animated explaining what they would do in such a case.

Finally, they turned to me and asked what I would do if I discovered my husband had cheated on me. They know I am a Christian and a pastor's wife. One girl asked me if I would consider 'divorce' in such a case.

I was so excited to answer her because years ago I heard Mrs. Billy Graham asked the exact question in an interview, and I had always wanted to borrow her answer. I had waited years to have the opportunity to use it.

Very piously, I answered, "NO! I would never consider divorce. Murder perhaps, but never divorce!"

The ladies started laughing so hard we all had tears streaming down our faces and thought we would rip our mummy bands! The nurse came to check on us, it seems we were being too rowdy. The ladies all pointed accusing fingers at me! Always blame the gringa!

And so, that is how I am bonding with some new Paraguayan friends as I try to lose some weight to improve my health! May as well have a little fun with it!


Pam said...

Oh this is so funny! I'm happy to FINALLY understand all those references to the Mummy Diet! Remember when I said "Peep" to dad and blamed it on you!??

The Localmalcontent said...

Alright- you've convinced me finally to send you some body wash.
That mummy diet sounds kooky. Vicks VapoRub? Yuck.
Feeling better nowadays, Mom?

MightyMom said...

PICTURES Rita!!! I want Pictures!!!

that's just tooo great not to have pictures!!!

I'm quite skeptical by the way...but if it got me able to goof off for a few hours I'd probably give it a whirl.


good luck with that weight. I'll keep my accountablility in blog land!

Jane said...

That's a hoot! I'm dying to know..did it work????

FJ said...

....and I'm sure Yekwana Man knows he'd be likely be murdered...

Jungle Mom said...

LMC, Yes, I am feeling much better!

MM, I am skeptical as well but since it is included in the plan, I figure,why not?

Jane, I am consistently losing centimeters , and weight. Who knows?

FJ, Yes, I think Yekwanaman understands the hazards of being married to a red head! He once asked me what was the quickest way to a man's heart. I told him, "Straight through the rib cage!"

Betty said...

hahah, I can just imagine this! You are so funny! I think they will respect you and your beliefs even more, for the answer that you gave.... :)
And I agree with MightMom....we want pictures! :)

Charles said...

Fad diets...

For years I've heard the way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. I really need to heed that advice, but that seems too harsh to me.

So when you find a magic pill ...let me know

Glad you are better.

You know I wonder if Vicks and band-aids would work?

Becky said...

Bwahahahaha! THat was the PERFECT answer!

Gringo said...


If you can "translate" Venezuelan Spanish into something that your cohorts understand, then you have apparently changed your speech patterns to fit those of your newly adopted country. Like going to NYC and saying "fuhgeddabotit."

Years ago I met an Argentine co-worker in the US shortly after I was transferred from Venezuela. After I had worked over a year in Argentina, I met up with again in the US. "Your Spanish has improved," he informed me. Since I had been proficient/fluent in Spanish for over a decade, I interpreted that to mean that I was speaking more like him.

I have eaten a lot of cabbage for years. Love it. To lose weight I need to resume walking 2-3 miles/day, in addition to keeping eating plenty of cabbage. That simple.

The Hermit said...

You sure have some strange experiences down there. At least life is never dull.

Brenda said...

I really want to do the mummy wrap with you one day! It sounds so fun!

But I think you are on to something, the minute we step off the plane on US soil, we automatically gain 20lbs! It must be the air!

Liz said...

Rita, this is so FUNNY!! Here, I remember it's called 'las vendas'. It's supposed to make you thinner in size not weight.

The best example is: after you wear a band-aid a couple of days, isn't your finger a little thinner? The wraps do the same... A cousin of mine did it and it worked. The trouble is to follow the diet afterwards!

Keep it up!!!

Julie said...

What a hilarious, bonding time with women! I love it! I hope you reach your goal, but at least you're having fun along the way :)

Dawn said...

That sounds really bizarre - and with all my studying on the subject, I would have a strong guess that it really won't do what it's supposed to do~!

I'm reading a great book now called "Never Say Diet" by Chantelle Hobbs - she weighed 350 - more than the Miami Dolphin linebacker that her husband and his friends were making fun of. She turned to God one night in her car and never turned back. She lost 200 pounds and is drop dead gorgeous! She's been a personal trainer and writer and speaker now for 7 years. I'd love to meet her.

Brooke said...

Good luck to you with the diet! Weight loss is hard, but the results are rewarding!

Siberia Tom said...

Ok Rita i am so thankful for my HS typing teacher as I can reply to your post through the tears in my eyes now that I have managed to crawl back to the keyboard after rolling around on the floor unable to breath from laughter.


Thursday's Child said...

Definitely need pics here!

Yalla! Hurry up!

Rebecca said...

How fun!

Sarah Halter said...

Way to go on the 7kg! And the story is hilarious.