Body weight. Gaining it. Losing it. Bearing it. The burden so many Americans live with was never mine.
As a kid I was able to see both ends of the body weight spectrum. My mother’s family, all of German descent, were large people. As they gained years, they gained girth until some of them resembled human walruses. On the other hand, my father’s family, all of Scottish descent, were wiry folks, barely able to sit still at holiday gatherings.
My brother, sister and I all seemed to be somewhere in the middle. None of us had a weight problem and all three of us were athletic, preferring physical activity to sitting in front of the TV.
Actually, I never paid much attention to my body because it was always firm, shapely and did exactly what I wanted without pain or protest. While other friends acquired pounds and lost energy with the passing of years, I seemed to stay the same.
Until I hit 47.
One morning as I was curling my hair, I noticed that my body was beginning to sort of melt. My firm, trim sides were softly bulging around the edges of my bra. What was happening?
The changes since then have all been (how shall I put it?) disappointing. Aging works an array of unwelcome changes to the body, from stripping the color out of hair to growing new, strange hair in all sorts of unwelcome places.
And, for me, one of the changes is gaining weight. Very easily. Summer has become a weight gain time of year for me because I love ice cream and lemonade and corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake and coffee ice cream (did I mention ice cream?)
I exercise almost every day and I’ve done my best this year to cut back on ice cream (I haven’t had one coffee ice cream shake all summer long) and I still see the scales increase ounce by ounce, pound by pound.
This morning I discovered that I weigh more than I ever have. And it was a sad discovery.
Entering the kitchen, where Sweetheart Al was making coffee for us, I announced, "I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. Ever. In my whole life."
He turned to me. "Let me see," he said and came over, scooping me up in a huge, warm hug. "Seems to hug just fine."
Then he kissed me.
"Whatever you’ve gained it looks and feels very good. I like it."
Then he went back to making coffee.
Need I mention why I call him "Sweetheart Al"?
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