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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

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Gone, Baby, Gone

There was a time when all that it took for me to drop five pounds was to think about it. Going to a party on the weekend? Swimsuit season coming up? Getting married in a half a yard of charmeuse and no panties ( a story I am saving for our tenth anniversary, this fall)? No problem. I would just decide to be thin, and electrical signals would run from my brain to my fat cells and zap them.

Then I went and had three children, and sometime while my back was turned to change one of 6,570 diapers, my metabolism went out for cigarettes and never came back.

I mentioned last month that I was going on my annual spring diet, in anticipation of swimsuit season. I also mentioned that I hate to bring up dieting, because a) is there anything more boring, and b) I don't want to insult people who have serious weight/food issues with my whining about five or ten pounds. No matter how much I insist I have more energy when I don't eat sugar, or affirm that I needed to eat more raw vegetables anyway, you and I both know the distinction between a size 4 and a size 6 is one of vanity, not health. (What if I point out that five extra pounds have nowhere to hide on a short-waisted, 5'4" frame? Crying me a river yet?)

I did the two-week, no-sugar, no-starch, no-joy, "purgation" phase of Dr. Arthur Agaston's South Beach diet, and quickly shed about half of the part of myself I was wanting to ditch. But then I hit a wall. And now I am leaning up against it defiantly, with a chocolate bar tucked under my rolled up t-shirt sleeve and a soft breadstick dangling from my lip. Bring it, Agaston.

It has dawned on me that watching what I eat is no longer something I only have to do in between having babies. It has been nine years since my first pregnancy began. My youngest and last child just turned three. I thought I had gotten over this, but guess there is residual part of me that still believes things will soon return to "normal," including my body. That indefatigable spirit watched me light the third candle on the baby's birthday cake a couple of weeks ago, turned around and said, "Whew. Okay, now where was I?", expecting to just pick up where she left off at 29. Like a coma patient who wakes up and learns her true love didn't wait around.

It isn't just the old metabolism that's gone MIA, either. It ran off with my sleep cycle, my hormones, and my sex drive, and before they all split, they stuffed their pockets with collagen and hair pigment.

If you see them, call me. I am offering a sizable reward for information leading to their capture and return:


In the meantime, I am contemplating my options. For a dire moment it was looking like I might have to pick up the pace on the elliptical trainer, which would make it hard to read magazines and talk on the phone, but then Lesley ran this item at Fashiontribes, which hails the revival of old-timey bathing suits (I want the kelly green one). Some of them have more coverage than my wedding dress did. And why tone your belly only to cover it with ruching? In fact, some of us can just wear our regular one-pieces and say that the ripples are ruching.

It's a positive trend, and I hope it's the beginning of a long one. Perhaps by the time I am forty, they will have rediscovered the allure of the Edwardian "bathing costume". Then I could dispense with sunscreen and waxing, as well as dieting. I'll want the one with really deep pockets for soft breadsticks and magazines.



Blogger sgazzetti said...

I want the one with the horse-drawn changing cabin, for the FULL-ON MODESTY.

This post strikes a chord with me, the idea that things will go back to 'normal' purely by virtue of the passage of time. This year is the first year that I realize that last year was the year I got 'old'. And that there's no going back from that. And that that's okay.


8:39 AM  
Blogger Kyran said...

sgazzett, my father said as he got older, he noticed he would go to weddings and find himself looking around, thinking, "Where are all the old people?"

9:43 AM  
Blogger peefer said...

For one of the dullest topics to write about, you pulled this off with flying colours. And ruching to boot.

(MUST send my wife here. She will empathize.)

12:13 PM  
Blogger jen lemen said...

in my mind, you are 5'10". who knew.

and on this oh-so-boring-yet-endlessly-critical weight thing, i'm with you. i am twenty pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and deciding that i can live with just 10 pounds over if that means my stomach won't lay beside me like a cozy kitten when i go to sleep at night.

pure vanity, but what else can we do? i'm religously eating the core foods and being shamed weekly at weight watchers.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

jen, I have crazy long legs. With a little squat torso planted on top. People often think I am taller than I am.

Peef, by all means, send me your wife.

8:09 AM  
Blogger uberstrickenfrau said...

Heh heh, wait till 45 hits. It ain't pretty.....I've just found you this last week and I lurve your blog! I'll be back!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I found your blog through SweetSalty. I love this post! You have great talent. I'm sure Arkansas was a culture shock for you. I grew up in northeast Arkansas right on the Mighty Mississippi River. I went to school at the University of Arkansas...thought I would never leave the Ozarks. Now I am in South Carolina.

I have boy/girl twins who are 14 months old. My body will never be the same!

9:19 AM  

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