An old high school classmate (a guy that I used to like until today) posted on his facebook wall that he lost 6 lbs...SIX WHOLE POUNDS! I was overcome with envy. I have been going to the gym four days a week for the past two and half months. My reward? I gained 3 lbs…THREE WHOLE POUNDS!!!! This has not pushed me “over the edge” on the scale, but it leaves me teetering on the brink. My trainer told me that it’s because muscle weighs more than fat. No Mr. Dumbass, a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh EXACTLY a pound, and now I have three extra ones. I hate that SOB too. I especially hate him on Saturday mornings when he is killing me with ab exercises. My conclusion on the whole “ab exercise thing”? I need a tummy tuck, topped off with a little lipo. That should do the trick.
Why is it that we, as women, are so wrapped up on that magic number on the scale? Every woman’s magic number is different, but when any particular woman reaches “her” magic number, suddenly every other woman’s “magic” number is adjusted. We look at each other, size each other up – “Is my ass bigger than hers?” “My magic number is bigger than her magic number…does that mean I’m fat???” I don’t know about you, but I can drive myself batshit crazy pondering “the magic number”. And when I go OVER my magic number? It’s not pretty, let’s just leave it at that.
I look at my friends and I wish I could be as accepting of myself. To me, they are all beautiful, with their own styles, their own individualities. I appreciate them for exactly who they are, and can find beauty that is unique to each of them, no matter what their shape or size. I am not so kind when it comes to critiquing myself. I've tried to overcome this personality flaw, but it is my mountain to climb. I wish the mountain wasn't so high. Most of the time, it just leaves me exhausted.
For me, my magic number is my happy place--I can still eat, my clothes fit perfectly and I do not look like I’m pregnant at that weight. I've weighed more, much much more, and was miserable. I’ve weighed less, and was thrilled with my accomplishment, but as a magic number, it simply wasn’t realistic. A girl can only eat so much lettuce and drink so much seltzer water before she wants to gnaw her own arm off to fight off starvation.
For some reason, the male population only adds to the magic number angst. They, no matter what their age, simply cut out soda and drop ten pounds. It’s not fair, if for no other reason than the fact that they’re not all that wrapped up in their magic number to begin with, at least for the most part. They are not tormented by their need to be a certain weight. They are not plagued with “do I eat that piece of chocolate and exercise for an hour to burn it off?” syndrome. They simply eat the chocolate and that’s that. I eat the chocolate then punish myself for being weak. Sometimes I swear that I can see the piece of chocolate residing right there on my hip, clear as day, mocking me.
I will continue going to the gym, despite my three pound gain, because it is GOOD for me. I can see that I have made progress, I feel stronger, and I could be imagining it, but I seem to look better in my clothes. I will continue to watch what I eat during the week, give myself a bit more freedom on the weekends, and I will try to reinforce in my head that I’m “slightly beyond 29, so it’s all good.” Above all, I will remember that life is short. If I’m gone tomorrow, no one will ever notice those three pounds. Hopefully they will simply see someone who loved with all her heart and did her best. That’s really all any of us can ever hope for, on any given day.
To my old friend Thom, whom I still adore…congratulations on your six pound loss, now shut the hell up.