Losing those Last Five Pounds
There it was in the mail…totally unexpected and leaving me totally unprepared. Two of the old gang from college had decided we needed to get together for another “reunion weekend” since we’d not seen each other forever. After graduation, we’d vowed to get together once a year. This was later changed to every five years, then ten, etc. After we limped into our 60s and are now galloping headway into our 70s, I was asked to check my faithful diary to see just how many years it has been since our last meeting. I wrote the writer of the note back and said it had been exactly “a breast removal, a shoulder surgery, two stents and 12 pounds ago.” She wrote back and said the date had been set…only four weeks away.
This spurred me into high gear. A complete overhaul of my body in thirty days! What on earth had possessed me to agree to this?
I went to the mall to find clothes for the big event. Why were all the cutest outfits in such tiny sizes? Somewhere along the way, “lean” and “firm” had replaced “voluptuous” and “ample” while I wasn’t looking!
I was blessed. I found a skirt that was fairly flattering to the mature figure. I was also blessed to find that “tunics” were definitely “IN” and could hide a multitude of sins around tummy and thighs. This brings me to a chief complaint in aging…
Why weren’t we prepared by our mothers for certain hazards that accompany the “golden years?” ANY poundage that comes along clings to two places, settles, and makes a home there–the stomach (waist line) and the thighs! Why did Mother never tell me I would lose hair in my eyebrows and they would be the first to gray? Now, I can handle that with eye-brow pencil but the waist and thighs are a whole ‘nother matter!
How long ago had I stopped wearing skinny tee-shirts tucked inside my jeans and begun wearing loose-fitting over blouses? Had I, like Rip Van Winkle, gone to sleep while real life passed me by?
The second note arrived giving the schedule for the event. One sentence stood out as if it had been written in 24 point bold–“We will meet at Dee-Dee’s place on the lake so BRING YOUR SWIMSUIT!”
Though we live on a lake, I’ve not bought a swimsuit in years. Diet was suddenly becoming foremost in my planning. I began to consult family and friends regarding my dilemma. Had they any ‘fast-track’ diet recommendations? Melissa answered first. She suggested I try the old “Dolly Parton Soup Diet.” It was popular when she was trying out for drill team back in the 80s. Nope, I hadn’t, and asked for the ingredients. “Mainly cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, and garlic–Remember to open all the windows while it’s cooking!”
I did this for two days and lost only 1/4 lb. I asked a friend for another suggestion.
She’d found success with the “Weiner/Banana” diet. One day you eat only 6 wieners. The second day you eat only 6 bananas. On “banana” day (the second day) I found myself, like Erma Bombeck, licking the furniture polish off the end table by 4 in the afternoon! I tried 4 more “miracle” suggestions and, together with more exercise, I lost 7 pounds, BUT I was so edgy, cross, cantankerous and miserable to be around that Freemon threatened to leave me even though I am his “care-giver!” And…there were that last 5 lbs. to go.
In the meantime, I’d looked back at Jane’s Christmas card. Her skin looked flawless but her eyes did not look quite the same as I remembered. Her expression showed a very wide-eyed look that Freemon said appeared to be saying, “Oh NO!!” Or, perhaps someone had just “goosed” her. Could it BE our little Jane’s had “some work” done? I immediately went to Wal-Mart and bought a bottle of Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair, expecting to see “a difference in only 7 days” as advertised. I didn’t. I added a dab of soda mixture for good measure. Nope! Must have been an old wive’s tale.
Now…to the final humiliation. Purchasing a swimsuit. I entered the department store as if I was headed for a root canal. I became even more depressed at what I found. In my younger (and thinner ) life, suits were boned, cupped, underwired, overwired, and reinforced. Today’s suits are made of spandex and designed for malnourished, prepubescent girls with bodies carved in granite! No flab found neath underarms or elsewhere.
I jerked one off the rack and headed for the ‘fitting’ room (BIG oxymoron!) I finally fought my way inside the suit with much tugging, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I was exhausted by the time I snapped the shoulder strap in place and turned to face the mirror. WHERE was my bosom–my one remaining breast??? After a careful search, I found it flattened and frightened beneath my rib cage at the bottom of my sternum!
Brenda Miles is an award winning columnist and author who lives in Hot Springs Village. She welcomes your comments on this column at [email protected]