There was only one time in my life that I felt good about the way I looked. Four years ago, having been single for far too long, I started a strict regiment of exercise. After all, I can't change my face, women obviously cared nothing for my wit or intellect, so only my body could be worked on. I would bike, lift weights, and take yoga and pilates classes. Within the year I had done it. No, I wasn't a buff stud or anything, but I was trim. I simply don't have the body type for huge biceps or broad shoulders, but when my abs started to take shape I was happy. It was the first time I ever liked the way I looked; it was also the last time I would ever look that way. Just over three years ago, following the moronic advice of my nutrienist, Tina Y, I stopped taking Nexium. The purple pill is evil, I was told interminable, it interferes with digestion. This was important as I needed my meals to support my exercise regiment. Within no time my stomach acids, which I produce an overabundance of, ripped away my stomach lining and an ulcer bore a hole through it. The emergency surgery required that part of my stomach was sewn back together. To do that meant cutting a half a foot long hole through my abdomen.

It took months before I could stand straight, and even more months before I felt secure about working out. I started slow and without the pilates or yoga as the crunches and stretches were simply too much. I went back to school and the studying/working routine made a normal gym regiment almost impossible. A year ago I was determined to start again, to return to the body I had not so long ago. Certainly, it would be harder, and my scar would always disrupt my stomach muscles, but surely this could work. Couldn't it?

To date my body has remained stagnant. Currently, I have torn muscles in my shoulder and hand; a pinched nerve in my back; and four, yes, four hernias related to my lacerated midriff. I will never regain the strength, or the appearance, I once had. Yoga and pilates will do more harm than good and without them I lack the flexibility and core strength needed for a more productive work out. I miss the way I looked, and more importantly, the way I felt looking as I did.