I bought a dress two years ago for an author event I was in. It was too big for me at the time, but the style was retro – straight from the 50’s, one of the few eras of ladies fashion I am in love with. Anyway, I know I’ve gained some inches since then but good grief. I put the dress on a couple of days ago for another author type deal. I zipped it up, tied the belt then looked at myself in the mirror. WTF? I didn’t want to believe the strain my waistline (HA! More like waist oval.) was putting on the side seams. Fortunately, it has a wonderfully full A-Line skirt so the excess hips and ass I have didn’t cause the dress any further grief. But still, I found myself feeling…well…
I mean, I know that at my age, my metabolism isn’t the “full speed ahead, burn any and every calorie that comes in” steam engine it used to be. And I know I’ve been a little, well, lazy when it comes to doing anything that resembles regular exercise. And well, yeah, there’s this writing thing that I do sitting down. A lot. Every day. For hours. Oh, and let’s not forget my slight addiction to all things internet. SIGH. When I graduated from college in ’92, I was in my mid 20’s. I weighed 155 lbs., and had what was called way back in the day, a “coke bottle figure”. Measurements were in relative proportion, roughly 38 – 28 – 39 or so. My weight and my measurements stayed pretty much the same even after I dropped the few pounds I’d gained during my one and only pregnancy. Flash forward to 2009 – a couple of years into my 40’s, several desk jobs under my belt and I’m weighing in at 199 lbs, measurements are around 38 – 32 – 42. Still curvy, but definitely carrying a bit more fluff than I’d ever had. I changed jobs the next year, went from being a desk jockey to managing inventory in a warehouse. Go in for my annual physical in 2011 and what do you know? I’m down to 165; measurements hadn’t changed much but the back fat was gone and my lower body wasn’t causing my “skinny” jeans to cry out in distress when I put them on.
But look at us now. Not sure exactly how much I’m tipping the scales, but at that last check-up, I was in the 185 range on the poundage. I haven’t taken a tape measure to any part of my body but I can assure you, I’m shopping for bra sizes in the 40’s, my jeans are sporting 38 inch waist bands (or higher depending on the style of jean), and good googly, who are clothing makers cutting these size 16s for? Definitely not women with any kind of “junk in the trunk” or football player thighs, I tell you what.
Mind you, I knew this was a growing problem (ha, ha) last year. In fact, I joined a gym that was on my way to and from work. No excess driving required, just toss the bag in the car and make sure to be in the right lane on the drive home so I wouldn’t have to fight traffic to turn into the gym parking lot. I had some decent looking work out gear (that was from a previous life but still fit…sort of…SIGH). I pulled a work out program off the internet, packed my bag, and was ready to go. And I went. For three weeks straight. Then life stepped in, schedule got disrupted one time which lead me to find some of everything else to do but go to the gym from then on out. I popped in a couple of times in hopes of getting back into the work out groove, but by then, folks where gearing up for summer – you know how it is, right around March everyone gets hyped about getting into swim-suit shape so the gyms are packed. I couldn’t get my work out done in a timely fashion and well, PEOPLE! My goodness, it’s hard enough as an introvert to get out into the daily fray, I mean, flow of humanity. Now, you expect me to do it in ill-fitting spandex? So not happening, lol. But. I keep looking down at what I’m trying to lovingly call my Buddha Belly. Thought maybe if I gave it a positive based nick-name, I’d make peace with it, but uh… (I’ll direct your attention back to the large red Ex)
No matter what I call it, I’m increasingly unhappy with the way my body is shaped. I’m also increasingly afraid I’m opening the door to some health issues I could well do without. Both my parents had cancer in some form, my dad actually died from his. Almost all the elders in the family suffered from some form of high blood pressure or diabetes. I don’t want ANY of that. I want to die of plain ole, ordinary OLD AGE. Preferable peacefully in my sleep a few years after I’ve turned a sprightly, and surprisingly healthy, 100 years old. I want my organs to be used, but still in good enough shape to be donated to someone who could use them. Well, all except my liver. I think I’ve taken that poor thing through its paces to the point where it may not be suitable for use outside my system ;-). I don’t eat all that bad – in fact, I eat healthier now than I have at any point in my life. Sure there’s room for improvement. I could stand a few less carbs, a little less dippin’ sauce, a gallon or two less of the sweet tea. And okay, I don’t need french fries or potato chips with every meal. I get that. But considering in my youth it was nothing for me to enjoy a Big Mac or Whopper meal twice a day on a daily basis, I think my current eating habits should not be rewarding me with thighs that rub together and heartburn that wakes me up at night.
I know, I know – you’re right. Stop whining. Shove the introversion in the closet and get my ever-expanding butt off the couch and into some form of regular exercise. Nothing’s going to change unless I do, so okay, FINE. Sheesh. Wonder if there’s a way for me to combine the writing / web surfing with an exercise routine I could do all within the relative (anonymity) safety of my (cave) house?