Today I stepped on a scale for the first time in ages. That god-awful little machine and its red LED screen showed me a number that has simply ruined my mood: 175 pounds! At around 145 pounds, I fit nicely in my size 11 jeans, medium T-shirts, and 34-D bras. And for the record: my boobs are not fake they are just PAID FOR, thanks! Lately I have begun to notice actual folds of back fat under my shoulder blades. I have a good handful of tummy chub where I my flat stomach once was. My size medium sweatpants and single-digit-sized jeans have long since been banished from my closet due to the way they seemed to laugh at me as I struggled to get them up over my hiney, and then downright cackled as I tossed them aside in frustration.
I knock things over with my rear when I turn around because I am not accustomed to it sticking out so far. When I lie down at night and cock one hip up onto my pillow, I feel folds of flesh at my waist glob together and make shapes that simply do not align with the way my body “should” feel. Things chafe and leave marks where they simply sat comfortably before. And don’t get me started about all the places that sweat pools! I caught myself sticking a finger down into my own cleavage while sitting at a traffic light the other day just to part my breasts where they had stuck together. And I think I saw a couple of guys in a car beside me looking.
I am not twenty-eight anymore, and that is okay. Getting carded while buying wine happens less often than it did, but maybe I just buy wine so often that the clerk knows my face. When people ask my age, they get a surprised look when I say thirty-one; men and women both do this so I can assume it’s not solely a tactic to get in my (size 13) pants. My sense of humor and confidence overall have grown with my hiney these last few years. When I have sex, it is better than it ever was in my twenties, and I don’t have any reason to feel guilty or ill-reputed for my choices in partner. I am single and have managed to steer clear of married men for nearly a year now. Given my record, these are things to celebrate!
The funny thing about gaining weight (and I think more women than not have this experience) is that one might imagine it would motivate one to buy new sneakers, join a gym, go on a diet, anything to get back to one’s twenty-something form. However the opposite tends to happen: we feel badly about our weight and respond by diving into a tub of ice cream and following with a can of Pringles.
After the scale incident I did what any thirty-something bitter divorcée would do: I came home finished that last of my Bailey’s and Cream ice cream. (My own creation, thank you! Alcoholic ice cream so you can cover two vices at once!)
Yesterday I used Nair on my face for the first time at my sister’s suggestion. Today I can not decipher what is worse: the fact that the suggestion was made, or the realization that it made a major difference. For ages I looked at the dark hair at the upper corners of my mouth and thought, “it’s not that bad!” Now that it is gone, I see a totally new person in the mirror. Every time I touch my face it feels foreign to me, and I can feels every little whisp of fuzz that I did not chemically burn from my face. It’s maddening, really!
It’s Friday night. In a few minutes I will pick my bra up from the floor beside my desk where it sits and wrestle back into it so I can drive my daughter to a dance. Or maybe I’ll just button up my sweater and go braless as I do most mornings! I have finished a glorious meal of boneless pork ribs, leftover twice-baked potatoes, and fresh steamed green beans. The last sip of Sam Adam’s blackberry beer just went down with an echoing belch of pleasure.
This is my life right now. The question remains: can I accept this and move on, or will I always reminisce about who I used to be?