Well, er actually no, we’re not…
It’s an accepted wisdom in the Dubai expat community that after a certain amount of time living in this bauble of the Emirates one is likely to obtain what is wryly dubbed the “Dubai Stone. ”
Dubai is world famous for it’s bargain jewelery deals, and whilst in my imagination this term elicited gilded fantasies of a lovely chunky diamond or sparkly gem set in platinum and presented to me with a flourish by PD, it seems I was, as usual, living in a self-denying haze.
The Dubai Stone is in fact the charming extra flab baggage that expats grow on their bellies, bottoms and hips whilst enjoying the excessive and indulgent lifestyle that Dubai has to offer*. In case you’re not already aware, this lifestyle generally consists of Friday brunches, hotel cocktails, takeaways and absolutely no walking whatsoever (unless you count mall-walking, which I don’t, because it’s usually done whilst clutching a cinnamon roll in one’s paw).
*This is not to be confused with the better-known, “Heathrow Hip and Thigh Injection” that Antipodean lovelies typically endure after arriving in London – been there, done that, stretched the t-shirt.
Now, I had this witty term explained to me pretty early on in my UAE tenure, and I was determined not to succumb to its pitfall. Living with gym bunnies L&S in the early days was great, as their enthusiasm for working-out was infectious and I was known to visit said gym at least twice a week, sometimes even FIVE times a week (yes, really – don’t choke on your egg nog). I even managed to lose weight in my first three months in Dubai. Of course, the added stress and cigarettes were also a contributing factor. Having said that, since we moved into our new apartment six weeks ago, the sum total of my gym visits has totaled…umm…one (PD’s is two! Woo hoo for him!).
Last week, while Christmas shopping at the Dubai Mall, we spotted the Wii Fit. We’ve had our Wii since PD’s birthday in May, but haven’t really used it, so we figured, as a Christmas present to ourselves, we would get the Wii Fit as a way of getting back into the fitness thing as part of our lifestyle. I’d recently noticed some oh-so-familiar jiggling in the thigh area that I had painstakingly managed to shed during those heady working out days and I am soooo bored of trying to minimise it again.
You may know already how the Wii Fit works, but in a nutshell, in order to get started, you need to interact with it by allowing it to weigh you by standing on the Wii Fit board, so it can calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). It also tests your balance using games and following this battery of tests, ultimately gives you your “Wii Fit Age” .
Stepping up to the board on Boxing Day, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was slap bang in the middle of the healthy BMI and weight range. Yippee for me – let’s have another mince pie! PD was in healthy range too. Bolstered by this good news, we then happily set our Wii Fit Goals and got on with having fun with the cornucopia of silly activities this genius piece of technology has to offer.
Yesterday, L&S came over for lunch and a bit of Wii Fit fun. They too subjected themselves to the Wii Fit test battery. But something wasn’t right. S claimed that the last time he weighed himself at the gym he was at least a stone heavier. Hmm. L supported that claim too…ok…maybe it’s time to investigate…
We had originally positioned the Wii Fit board on the deep pile rug in front of the TV (which, FYI, is now cream rather than grey, due to an industrial deep clean). When PD placed the Wii Fit board flat on the tiles beside the rug and subjected himself to the tests again, it turned out that the rug has been cushioning our weight by about a stone and a half…this made us both officially overweight, and to add insult to injury, my Wii Fit age was deemed “44” – a full ten years older than my actual age. So not only have I gained the Dubai Stone, I’ve also aged a Dubai Decade!
Happy new year peeps!