Winter pounds can really creep up on you. My first hint that I’m losing the battle is subtle. I begin to avoid certain items in my wardrobe, wash my jeans less frequently and embrace leggings and skirts. Most years things level off at a certain point and then the advent of spring motivates me to eat better, get out and start moving and those pounds recede. It’s just a yearly cycle. Not a big deal.
This winter, however, was different. It could be my new-found conviction that if chocolate has peppermint in it, it doesn’t count as chocolate. It’s really a breath-freshener or perhaps a digestive aid. Or perhaps it was peri-menopause or just plain old piggery. I don’t know. I do know that I pushed past that first, well-known phase with gusto and moved into a new one. I call it the “Sausage Stage.” Certain clothes (Ok, most of them) began to feel like sausage casings, restraining the extra poundage or at least rearranging it.
“Oh my God,” I told my husband, “I’m getting a muffin top!”
“What’s a muffin top?” he asked, thoroughly puzzled.
When I explained, he asserted that I was not getting a muffin top. (Good boy!) Still, I knew that things were getting out of hand—mostly because I could fill my hand with the newly acquired flesh around my middle! I began to seriously consider investing in some Spanx.
And then I realized my annual physical was fast approaching. It was time to pay the piper.
First I made the necessary call and postponed the physical. After gaining this few weeks of reprieve, I pulled the dusty non-digital scale out from under a pile of damp towels and stepped on it. That’s when I saw “The Number”. I shook the scale a little, set it back down, played with the dial and then stepped back on. No change. I had not weighed this much since I was pregnant or postpartum and “The Number” was now emblazoned in my brain. In neon orange. Flashing sparkling neon orange. Drastic changes were in order.
I immediately began considering my food intake and made a huge effort to incorporate more greens, cut out cheese, and limit fat-laden calories. Blah, blah, blah. At one particularly low point, I had a dreadful epiphany when I realized that venti Starbucks lattes, even made with non-fat milk, are not water and hence have calories. Wine apparently does too. Sigh.
Four weeks later, I’d seen some good progress as the scale slowly crept downward and my wardrobe expanded. And today the day arrived…my physical was this afternoon. The nurse greeted me and walked me down the hallway and into a small room. “Time to get weighed,” she said. I took off every expendable item of clothing I wore. Then, s-l-o-w-l-y I stepped toward the scale. I paused, took a deep breath, exhaled all the air in my lungs, and stepped on. And…I was one pound less than last year! I had vanquished “The Number!”
Tonight I think I’ll celebrate with a glass of wine and maybe one of those chocolate peppermint digestive aids. And I will reset my dusty, non-digital scale as it turns out it was off by about 7 pounds– too heavy. Cheers!