Let me get the confession out of the way.
Well, the first one at least. I suspect there will be a whole lot more during the next six months here at Calorie Neutral, but I have to start somewhere.
The truth is that before I could even get to Calorie Neutral, I had some work to do.
I had to take two steps back before I could step forward; I had to backpedal to a weight that I could, literally, live with.
I had to go Calorie Negative.
As the old bumper sticker says, it was the worst fifteen minutes of my life.
Clearly, I’m not one of those people who tries one diet plan after another. As soon as I think about not eating salt ‘n’ vinegar chips, they’re all I want. I’ll focus on resisting until I consume the whole bag.
Also, to be honest, I didn’t have that much to lose – or gain – for a long time. However as my hormones established a new pecking order during my forties, my abdomen bellied out while my upper arms blew up like ballpark franks and then, sadly, began to sag.
I began to walk more often and further, to climb the Eiffel Tower instead of just the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the gym’s stair machine, to attempt hammer curls with twelve-pound dumbbells instead of only ten, and if I did all that as well as skipping my post-workout stop at the grocery store for chocolate-covered almonds, I could slow the spread.
Still, I dreaded the change of seasons when delved into the back of the closet for last summer’s sleeveless tops that now exposed arms like lumpy homemade sausages, and last fall’s blouse that gapped over my burgeoning breasts, and the fantastic merino wool sweater I’d scored at the thrift store in the winter but which now made me look like the sheep from which it had come. The old expression “cheek by jowl” took on new meaning as my jawline disappeared and I developed a wattle.
To my horror, I was becoming Mrs. Doubtfire.
The final blow, though, came when I emerged from the shower and glimpsed myself in the mirror. I peered at my reflection and it seemed that my pubic hair was receding in the wake of my disappearing hormones, but when I looked down to double check, I couldn’t see past my belly.
That was the final straw: I was determined to see my body hair once more before it disappeared entirely. All I had to do was figure out how to get rid of the excess tummy without resorting to a (shudder) diet.
Fleetingly I wondered: Would my credit card limit cover liposuction?