I got on the scale today for the first time in a very long time. No alarms went off. No whistles blew. No face plate smashed. But I am pretty sure I winced. I felt alarm, disbelief, even panic. When did that happen? I know I have been a little lazy, and I know I haven’t exactly been watching what I eat, but really? Ouch.
I should have known it wasn’t going to be pretty.
1. As I have gotten older, I have turned into Sweatpants Mom. I never thought I would be this person, but it is so easy to sit around the house in comfy sweatpants and oversized sweatshirts. Nothing is binding. Nothing is squeezing. Oh, and that jelly roll in the front of my body, I can just loosen the drawstring, hike up the sweats, and it’s like it isn’t even there. Sweatpants are an easy way to ignore the lumpy parts and pretend the squishy parts are cuddly.
2. I have virtually stopped wearing any of my pants that fasten. Leggings, skirts, and sweaters, are what I wear to work and social events. I have created a wardrobe around elastic-type waste bands and loose-fitting clothes. When I’m throwing that third piece of pizza down my throat, the elastic is not begging me to stop. If anything, it is cheering me on: “Indulge! No worries. I got you.”
3. I pretty much avoid full length mirrors. If I do check to make sure the colors of my outfit make sense or if my boots fit the look I am going for, I barely ever turn profile. I sense that things may be a bit more rounded than I would like. If I can’t see it, I can’t admit it’s there. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. Pass me the Girl Scout cookies, please.
Summer is looming. It may be 36 degrees today, but it’s out there, waving its 86 degree days in my face. Southern air currents are shifting North. Shorts and skirts, tanks and tees, summer dresses– these items of apparel in my closet want to be worn. I cannot let them down. It is time to recapture my fit, youthful figure. Wait. Let’s not get carried away. I am a working mother of three. I am in my forties. I will never look the way I did at 25, and I am not a Housewife of Beverly Hills married to a plastic surgeon: tummy tucks, liposuction appointments, personal chefs, and personal trainers are not in my future. I don’t need to pretend to be an age I am not. All I need is to age with grace. Note to self: Inform flabby buttocks and saggy arms what aging with grace means.
Today, I turned over a new leaf. Tom has turned it with me. Last year, we dieted and exercised together and Tom lost 22 pounds and I lost 14 pounds. The problem was that after a few months, we kind of abandoned are healthy ways. For Tom, it was like he never left the old ways– sucking down an entire can of Planter’s Peanuts in an evening. I really wasn’t any better– hot pretzels at lunch, McDonald’s on the run, a couple of chips a couple of times a day. The weight crept back on.
We know what to do. As much as we wish it, a magic pill does not exist. It takes discipline, self-regulation, and exercise. This year is the year of commitment. If I can commit a few hours of my day to writing, of course, I can commit to nutrition and exercise.
So to Summer I say, “Bring It! You ain’t so tough with your humidity and heat. By the time you get here, I will be ready!”