Evidently, my body has reached the age where fat cells take up residence in all sorts of new places and, like the roach motel or the Hotel California, they never check-out. All the usual weight loss fads, like reducing food intake and upping exercise, are no longer working. I’ve also tried binge eating with no exercise. I even gave up alcohol for a grand total of about one half of one day until a fun friend invited me out for happy hour. I’ve gotten rid of my “skinny” clothes, which were never really that skinny to begin with, but I refuse to go on an all-out fat clothes shopping spree, shopping instead at thrift shops and discount stores. I don’t want to invest in this size.
I’ve struggled with weight as long as I can remember. Once, before I turned 40, I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and kept it off for a grand total of about ten minutes. (Just after I had gone on the all-out skinny clothes shopping spree.) My young, thin doctor has started blaming everything that ails me on my age and weight. I just know there is some secret pill that she has access to that will help me both eat chocolate and shed pounds, but no matter how much I hint, she only suggests diets that work for pre-menopausal women. On her recommendation, I tried the South Beach diet. The concept behind South Beach is to eat only mushy foods containing no sugar, carbohydrates or flavor. I lost ten pounds and then the scale froze. I returned to Weight Watchers where I learned a Lifetime Membership is only good if you maintain your skinny weight. So I paid my weekly fee with the riff raff, dutifully counted my points and bought as many point counting accessories as I could, and still the scale would not budge.
Now I sometimes find myself wondering at all the new places the fat has appeared. My arms have always been prone to gather some flab. My mother had some rules about women over a certain age not wearing ponytails or sleeveless shirts. I still like a good ponytail, but I totally get the shirt rule now. I have recently had to learn to wave with one syllable so the flaps above my elbows don’t reverberate too much.
My calves have always been abnormally wide - my boots are so tight they make my face red. But post foot surgery, I have discovered a new friend – the dreaded cankle. Maybe I should just go ahead and buy some denim jumpers and orthopedic shoes to complete this look.
I’ve resolved myself to always having lumpy thighs. I camouflage them with self-tanner because tan lumps look less like cottage cheese than pale ones. The newest thigh revelation is that the lumps now actually show through pants. Every pair except yoga pants, that is. I have learned to disguise my yoga pants so that I can wear them to work and church without the world knowing I have resorted to wearing this generation’s blackstretchypants every day.
And I now have, to use a clever friend’s term, something known as the vagina belly. I think that term speaks for its sad self, but it describes the regrettable stage of life when one’s stomach begins much lower. I now have to choose high or low rise pants – in other words, pants that sit south of the belly or north of the belly. Unfortunately, though, all of my underwear lies north.
I used to have a simple double chin. Now I have the facial equivalent to the vagina belly. My chin starts where it should, but travels straight down to my chest. This does not photograph well at all. I find myself flexing my neck when the camera comes out. Though I do not consider myself flamboyant enough to wear scarves, I have been eying them lately as a last resort to hide this unfortunate chin configuration. In fact, all my shopping these days relies on camouflage of some kind. Perhaps I should start shopping at Bass Pro.