As I stare down at the scale, I have that feeling of dread…like when you find a hair in your soup or the man on the bank line in front of you is wearing a ski mask. Uggh!! I’ve gained another pound. How did I do it? Too little rhubarb, too much spiked seltzer! I step on and off the scale a few times. First I remove my socks, then my earrings, and finally in desperation I fling off the wedding ring. But the number doesn’t change. I am packing on pounds faster than a sumo wrestler on steroids.
You know you’re overweight when you step into the elevator and a stampede of people run out fearing the weight capacity has been exceeded. You notice that it’s not just shoes, but clothes that come in wide sizes. You pull a disappearing act with the bowl of Halloween candy. When you go to the car wash, they find Tootsie Roll wrappers under the front seat of your Volvo, a melted Hershey’s chocolate bar sticking to the registration in your glove compartment, and half-eaten candy eyeballs you got on sale at Walmart hidden in the trunk.
Everyone knows your metabolism slows as you get older. So why aren’t I working out? I have been coming up with a variety of lame excuses like: the dryer ate my gym socks, my husband likes a woman with meat on her bones, and I have an embarrassing hole in my sneaker.
Okay, so by now you realize that I make a lot of excuses for myself. All summer long I work hard to control my weight and stay fit, but as we head into the holidays my good intentions fly south for the winter. Like a lot of women, I have gained and lost the same ten pounds for my entire adult life. I was talking to a woman recently at a luncheon. She told me, “I hate looking in the mirror every day and seeing another mole, or fold under my chin, or gray hair.”
“Let me guess?” I added. “You can’t stand feeling over the hill.”
“Yeah,” she said patting the bottom of her chin. “It STINKS!!”
I feel that same way about my middle age bulge. Why can’t I ever get a handle on this? I’ve done some soul-searching which leads to questions like, “If Marie Osmond can do it why can’t I?”
Or this: “Where is Richard Simmons when you need him to tell you how to get a terrific workout from a chair?” And: “Does Dr. Oz know the Wizard of Oz?” Perhaps I just don’t have the motivation or discipline that all the fitness gurus claim you can muster with the latest fad diet, pill or exercise plan.
My idea of a workout is going to the Y and sitting on a mat and doing a few Diary of a Wimpy Kid type stretches. Then I’ll give it a go for a few minutes on the elliptical machine. I barely break a sweat before my bad knee starts aching or my trick elbow starts to twitch. I don’t think Fitness Magazine is going to put me on the cover anytime soon. So next time you go to the beach and think there is a huge, hairy porpoise or a whale struggling in the water, don’t call the Coast Guard. It’s only me.
Editor’s Note:This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been revamped. Unfortunately, my figure has remained the same.