I have come to the mind-numbing realization that my shape, now that I am 43 and have gained back all the Weight Watchers weight I previously lost*, has never been defined for publication in a journal for any profession that keeps track of such things.
I've become a 360 degree hour glass.
What is a 360DHG shape like? Well, it requires a little history to explain.
Back in the 80's, when I worked in the local Burger King, I ate the same meal every shift, probably, on average, about three times/week: A Whopper with cheese, extra mayo and tomato, an order of onion rings, with mayo for dipping, and a vanilla shake**. Do you recognize the magnitude of calories in this "meal"? Villages in Vietnam survive on fewer calories in a YEAR.
What did I do for exercise? Aerobics, which were just coming into fashion***, and tennis****. Weight? Constant. Brother's friends? Gawkers, much to bro's disgust. Stomach? Flat as a pancake. Body shape? Perfect hour glass. I had reached the peak of hotness not realizing there was nowhere to go but down.
In college I gained the requisite poundage but managed to avoid eating by drinking at fraternity parties*****. Strange how that paradigm works. Hour glass figure maintained by beer and shots. AHEM.
After college I found a friend who loved to run. Not just around the block, but around the world, ala Ironman triathlons and such. She whipped my post-partying butt back into shape with 5Ks. I could see the hour glass again!
Then I met, married and had babies. Each subsequent munchkin added his own brand of tattoo to my body: stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite. I had reached a low point in my body's ability to bounce back.
So, when I looked in the mirror today, and did the "twirl" to see what Mike might be seeing, I was aghast. I was still an hour glass head-on, but when I moved from due North to due West, there was ANOTHER hour glass. This one was accentuated at the top by a view of my sagging breasts and at the bottom by my protruding post-birth tummy in the front and my J-Lo-challenging hiney in the back! The waist, an ever consistent, smaller part of my body, was the anchor in the midst of the storm. Truly, the more I twirled, the more I realized I was just ROUND at the top and at the bottom, just like a REAL hourglass.
I twirled more. Maybe the movement would change things!? I rubbed my eyes. Surely, this wasn't happening to MY body? When did it become so, so, FRUMPY?
In case you aren't understanding, ladies, try this exercise at home:
1. Strip buck naked.
2. Look in the mirror.
3. Use your right hand to close your jaw. Yes, that's YOUR body.
4. Examine what you see facing forward. The world wants an hour glass--think 36", 26", 36".
5. Tell the world to "GO TO HELL!"
6. Turn to the side. If your tummy isn't as flat as a board, your bottom has dimples in it, or your nipples face South, put on your robe, find one of your children, and spank him/her. He/she did this to you. Good luck finding the other culprits, time and gravity.
Needless to say, I fail the criteria for a "perfect" body. Even my skin has decided to revolt and go through puberty again. Just last week my face presented me with a zit worthy of the night before prom. WHAT gives?
In just a few weeks I'll be seeing my doctor. I've made the decision that I am going for "healthy" this school year, not just thin. So, I'll have blood drawn, and listen to a lecture on all the things I'm neglecting and should be doing for a woman of "my age". I might even act on some of these things.
But, more importantly, I'm going to listen to what Mike says and be as happy as he is with what is left of my once stellar figure. I won't pass up every bite of cake or glass of wine or worry about getting to the gym every day just to try to keep nature from taking its toll.
As Stuart Smalley would say, "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and, Doggone It, People Like Me!"
Even if my body resembles a 360 degree hour glass.
*NEVER move and try to renovate two houses all at the same time. You'll find yourself eating out at places that have a steady stream of grease being pumped in their backdoor and straight into YOUR meal.
**I always restrained myself and got the medium size.
***I looked really cute in my leotard and leg warmers. Not Flashdance cute, but close enough.
****Yes, I was on the team. Until I had bunion surgery my Senior year. What a dope.
*****Hate to break it to you, Mom and Dad. It wasn't all about the studying....