My bubble had officially been burst. I had just sat on my rose colored glasses and the view was not a pretty one!
The first step in any recovery process is recognizing the extent of one’s condition. I was now officially “over 40”, and I was substantially more than 40lbs. overweight. The first pitfall I had to avoid was succumbing to the knee-jerk tendency to crash diet. For the first time in my life I was actually riveted by all those ads for “Slim Fast” this and “Ultra Weight Loss” that. Thankfully I had enough sense to realize that any of those methods would only succeed in causing my skin to sag in unflattering places until I gained any lost weight back with a vengeance.
It goes without saying that transgression of such magnitude could not be attributed to any holiday binge – I was facing the culmination of years of improper eating habits and over indulgence magnified by a sedentary life-style. How I would have liked to blame some external force. To insist that those evil pounds had crept up upon me and caught me unawares – but that would have been BS. There had been a whole series of red flags which I had opted to ignore, placating myself with the old “No big deal. It’s just a couple pounds. Easy to lose…” Yeah right!
To all of you out there turning a blind eye to weight gain, there are some red flags you really shouldn’t ignore:
Red Flag 1) Larger breasts
Yeah I know that extra cleavage can take your (and your man’s) mind off of an expanding waistline and hips, at least temporarily. If you are over 30 however, there is no such thing as the “Breast Augmentation Fairy” who comes to boost waning feminine self-esteem. A friend once told me, “As long as your tits stick out farther than your gut you aren’t overweight.” She was delusional.
There are only three possible reasons for breasts getting larger after 30:
As for you men, you aren’t supposed to have breasts in the first place. We know pregnancy is not an option so give your heart a break and start burning off those bubs with sensible eating and exercise!
Clearly any of the above can have a substantial impact on your health so don’t let that decollete distract you from the reality of potentially damaging changes occurring in your body. It isn’t just men that are obsessed with breasts these days, so if you want to hang on to your newly acquired airbags for as long as possible there two things you definitely SHOULD NOT do: A) do not crash diet – your boobs will be the first to go. B) do not wear synthetic “push-up” bras – the polyester and polystyrene materials don’t breathe, so it’s like putting your breasts in a sauna suit all day. Stick with breathable cotton lingerie which is best for health all around and save the slinky, shiny stuff for when you won’t be wearing anything else 😉
Red Flag 2) The Traitor Jeans
How many of us keep, stashed away in the depths of our closets, one or more pairs of pants that we just can’t bear to part with? It is that age old certainty that any day now we will shed those “couple of pounds” that will allow button and button -hole to finally be reunited under the auspices of our belly-button.
I remember it vividly. The school year was starting and the time had come for the bi-annual clothing storage ritual. For those who have never traveled or lived in Europe allow me to explain.
In the “Old World” anyone with a walk-in closet is either an aristocrat or is renting it out as a student apartment. In general, houses and apartments are much more compact and in those quaint older buildings there may be no closets at all! As such every spring and autumn one goes through the sorting ritual:
- warm weather clothes
- cold weather clothes
- clothes for mending/alteration (like I’ll really have time for that)
- clothes that don’t fit
So that fine September morning there I was unpacking my long pants so I wouldn’t need to keep explaining to my students why jobs that keep you standing and/or sitting for long periods of time cause those unsightly veins. I fondly extracted my favorite pair of jeans which had gone from “loose” to “roomy” to “snug” to “tight”. After using a pry bar to get them up over my butt I faced the moment of truth: the button. Even splayed out on the bed no matter how hard I tugged button and button-hole flatly refused to have anything to do with each other.
Did I admit to myself that I had gained weight? Noooooo. Who gains weight in the summer? Right? “I must have washed them in hot water by accident.” Stupid excuse #127 in the Self Delusion Handbook.
What was truly pathetic was that I totally dismissed the possibility that it could have had anything to do with my having become the epitome of sloth – getting up from my beach-bed only when the heat became unbearable. I didn’t even actually swim, I would only get wet to cool down before ordering another Corona.
Later in the fall it came home to me how much letting myself go had deteriorated my health and my attitude.
Victoria Andre King is a freelance writer and audiovisual professional her novel The Führer Must Die is available for pre-orders and will be released on November 8th 2016 with Yucca Publications, an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing NYC.