From since I was a young, I was overweight. I can vividly remember a
photograph of myself dressed in a pink hot pant suit. Hot pants were in
fashion those days. It was basically a semi mini skirt with a short
pant attached under the skirt. The skirt had slits on the sides. That
photograph was taken at my ninth birthday and I think I was already
During my high school days, following my mother instructions, I wore my
underwear, girdle and short pants on top of that! On one of my visit to
our family doctor, she was really surprised to see how many pieces of
clothing that had to be removed before she was able to get to my skin
to do her examination. I can't really remember what I want to the
doctor for at that time. The doctor did say that I should not be
wearing so many cloths - we live in the tropics and the vagina needs to
Well of course the topic came up that I was overweight so I was put on
a diet and I started attending Keep Fit Classes with my mother.
Keep-fit classes generally use a variety of mainly aerobic exercises to
encourage cardiovascular and muscular fitness and increased
flexibility. Often, an instructor stands at the top of the room and
runs the students through stretching exercises, step routines and
circuit training. Aerobics workouts are great for building a stronger
heart and leaner body, lowering cholesterol and improving sleep
The venue for our Keep Fit Classes was at a Chinese Association
building located on upper Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The outfit that we wore was a black short sleeve leotards and thick
dance stockings that reached up to our ankles. We wore no sneakers.
And now we have Unitards! What is a Unitard?
A unitard is a
skin-tight one-piece garment with long legs and sometimes long sleeves.
It differs from a leotard in that a leotard does not have long legs.
The garment can be considered to be a combination of a leotard and
There were approximately four guys at each session beating their
African** drums while we did our keep fit exercises. When they started
to play their beat was so addictive that we had no alternative but to
move. We exercised to the rhythm of the music.
My mom and I occupied a spot in the middle of the floor. The ladies (in
those days, only ladies attended these Keep Fit classes) who were more
flexible, would position themselves to the front of the class. While
the others who had some difficulty completing some of the exercises,
occupied the back of the class. But that did not mean that the
instructor did not observe them. He would walk around the group and
assist anyone who seemed to be having problems with the exercises.
We did a simple routine at the end of each class while we chanted, "THE
BEST WAY TO KEEP FIT IS TO EXERCISE, EXERCISE!!!"
**African drums are typically carved out of logs of wood or made with
wood strips secured by iron hoops. Their heads consist of dried,
stretched animal (example - goat) skins. Other materials used for the
base are clay, metal and calabash, or hollowed out gourds.