While some may beg to differ, let me go out on a limb here and state that I’ve never been that overweight. However, I’ve never really been thin, either. I’ve always hovered in that middle ground affectionately known as “chunky.”
Although “chunky” is a term used by nice people trying to avoid the more offensive descriptor “fat” – let’s face it — there’s really nothing good about being called “chunky.” Considering the root word, it essentially means that one has a body abundant with chunks, and who would want that?
Decades of yo-yo dieting have failed to realize my lifelong dream of being thin. A couple years ago in frustration, I tried to change my way of thinking. As much as I’ve winced at the sight of bulbous bellies bulging brazenly over bikini bottoms, I’ve always been jealous of overweight people who think they are hot. They have found the key to true happiness – loving oneself as is.
Despite a valiant effort on my part to re-characterize my excess poundage as desirably “Rubenesque,” my effort has been futile. I just haven’t been able to love my lunch lady arms, my ever-present double chin, the back fat that pooches over my triple-hook bra, my dimpled gut that wobbles with the slightest motion, and my armpit chicken fat.
A month ago, I decided that a compromise was in order.
I made a modest goal to lose ten pounds (preferably before I have to go on a July beach vacation with my lean brother and his naturally thin family, where I will undoubtedly be photographed wearing a bathing suit.) In the interest of equitable compromise, I would gladly agree that, if I could lose merely ten pounds, I would be totally comfortable with my fortysomething body. Sounds reasonable, right?
Having set a realistic bargain, I needed to decide upon the method. I knew that portion control and exercise were the smartest weight loss strategies, but why do all that work when there are so many dunce-proof fad diets out there that promise the thrill of drastic temporary weight loss in a few short weeks?
Sure, if I were Oprah Winfrey, I’d order my staff to serve up gourmet diet meals in my mansion in between sessions with my personal trainer in my fully equipped home gym. And if Weight Watchers paid me a couple mil like Jennifer Hudson, losing pounds would be a piece of cake – rice cake that is.
But nobody is inspiring me with piles of money or gourmet meals. I have to make my own cabbage soup, peel my own grapefruit, and stir my own powdered diet shake. And I have exactly seven dollars and forty-three cents in my wallet.
Furthermore, with my hectic lifestyle, I needed something easy, so I picked one of those diets where one can eat simple meals, like pork rinds dipped in mayonnaise, hamburgers dripping in bacon fat, and blocks of cream cheese.
A couple of weeks into the diet, I was five pounds of toxin-flushing water weight down, and other than extreme constipation and debilitating fatigue, I felt fabulous.
However, during week three, the needle on my scale wouldn’t budge. I ate more eggs than Cool Hand Luke, but the only thing I was losing was motivation. Without the stimulus of weight loss, I just couldn’t take it anymore. In a frantic binge of epic proportions, I raided the kids’ lunchbox treats. Before the night was through, I had eaten 24 cookies. Yup. Twenty-four.
Bloated and guilt-ridden, I contemplated my dietary fate over coffee the next morning. Why is it so hard to lose a few lousy pounds? I thought. I’m not asking to be hot, sexy or even mildly attractive. I just want FIVE MORE POUNDS. Is that so much to ask?
Just then, a drop of coffee dribbled from my lip, down my chin, just missed my ample bust, and landed squarely upon my gut. Bulls-eye. I realized that life is a lot like my gut – despite its frequent ups and downs, at least I can always count on it to be there when I get up in the morning.
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