Saturday, December 5, 2009

Battle of the Bulge

I am always perplexed by the glut of articles at this time of year about avoiding holiday weight gain. All of this focus on not overeating just makes me hungry. It also presupposes that I am mindful of caloric intake in the first place and make healthy choices at all other times throughout the year.
I am in a major sugar phase, unfortunately, especially for breakfast (see the "Pour Some Sugar On Me" post) so I am off to a bad start daily. I have been better about eating lunch and making it something nourishing. Dinners have always been fairly healthy, but portion control is foreign to me.
I guess that's why the idea that eating gets somehow ramped up for the holidays makes no sense to me. If the vegetable lasagna that is supposed to feed a family of four barely satisfies my husband and I, is Thanksgiving dinner really any more of a threat to my waistline?
Actually, my waist is the least of my problems. It indents at the proper places so I have a curvy shape. I've always liked my waist. Oh no, wait a minute, I take that back. I like my waist for its proportion to my big chest and fat stomach; it seems pleasingly small to me in comparison. Sadly, I am apparently what is called short-waisted, and this is a major problem.
Short, curvy women with big chests need a torso. Too often, they don't seem to be blessed with one; I sure wasn't. Basically, my breasts slide down like tear drops onto my muffin top which rests comfortably on the blubber covering my C-section scar. My midsection is like a melting snowman, each roll blending into the next and increasing in size on the way down.
You'd think that looking like a beach ball head perched on top of this melting snowman middle would compel me to diet and exercise. Of course, you would be wrong. I hate almost every photo of myself because it makes me think of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from "Ghostbusters." Although the snowman analogy works well for me, too. My dark, deep-set eyes with the black circles sink into my round face just like two lumps of coal on Frosty (yummm, I love the Frosty at Wendy's).
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not some self-hating obese ogre (although I might be medically defined as obese by current weight charts given my short stature). I have my good features, too; it's just easier to harp on the not-so-good ones. I was never a SkinnyMinny, so I guess I should have seen it coming. The massive upper arms that give new meaning to flabby, flapping arm fat. The back fat. The shelf butt. The cellulite creeping down my thighs dangerously close to my knees, making my nice legs not so nice anymore. At least I still have nice-enough calves and slim ankles. I never thought about my ankles until a girl in college complimented mine, lamenting how hers were so fat. Who has fat ankles in college? This girl is a waif, a tiny wisp of a thing. She should have seen my postpartum ankles after weeks of bed rest, then she would know about fat ankles.
But isn't that how women are? Never satisfied with their own bodies, always admiring someone else's whatever, wishing theirs were more like hers or hers or hers. Isn't that how cosmetic surgeons stay in business? Body dysmorphic disorders and the vain quest for lost youth?
I had peace with my body once. For a very brief time after having my first child, I had newfound respect for my body and what it was capable of. It was the closest I ever came to that "I am woman, hear me roar" feeling of empowerment I had read about some women having during pregnancy. (These must have been the same women suddenly craving sex more than ever while pregnant.) Alas, the blissful contentment I had with my physical form did not last long. And that was about nine years and 25 pounds ago.
Actually, I have no idea what I weigh. I refuse to own a scale. My husband bought one last year when he decided he wanted to lose weight (and did so effortlessly by changing his eating habits somewhat ~ no big exercise plan, no drastic measures ~ men suck like that). I was tempted to get on at times, but never did, for fear that the offensive number would remain there somehow and be revealed to him when he weighed himself next. What if I weighed more than him? How embarrassing would that be?
I believe your clothes are as good a guide as any. Having the whole host of double-digit sizes in my closet, I can safely say that you know how you are faring weight-wise by how your pants fit. I don't think I will ever see a single-digit size again, and that is OK. I weighed 118 pounds at my physical for college, and even then, I was at the upper end of the 5-7-9 store at the mall in my podunk town. I'm really not into numbers anyway.
So bring on the latkes, the Christmas cookies, the peppermint bark and all the alcohol at all the parties. I eat crap I shouldn't all year long, so why should now be any different? Eat, drink and be merry!

1 comment:

  1. Michelle - I love it! I laughed throughout this whold blog! What's even more funny is that I have so many of the same thoughts! I have to call my Mome and read this to her; I think she'll love it as well. Please keep writing and keeping me posted. If you ever want to go on a diet or go walking, give me a call...I need someone to push me too. Sue