Saturday, January 9, 2010

Make Mine Coach


I did 40 minutes on the treadmill. It pleases me to sticker 9 saturday in the 2010 engagement calendar with four colorful smiley face stickers to mark that I exercised. I plan on returning to the gym three days a week. I bought a scale. While holding it up waiting in line it was so heavy I felt I lost 5 lbs just lifting it. I told this to the cashier who did not laugh at the joke. She did not make the connection between lifting a scale and losing weight. Am I the only one who would connect those dots? It seemed funny to me at the time.

The blog entry I began earlier in the day I trashed. It talked about how women are obsessed with how much they weigh. I do wonder whether this is a universal phenomenon. Or are there some women for whom the number on a scale doesn't dictate how they feel about themselves?

Secret: I gained 5 lbs over the holidays and I feel that's okay because I can get back on track in the new year. I refuse to stress over things like this. When I turned 40 my metabolism slowed so I knew I would have to watch what I eat and exercise more. I'm no longer a tulip stalk.

The new guy was sweet. In City Diner I ordered the mac-and-cheese for lunch and I couldn't finish it. He said: "That's OK you could eat the whole thing your metabolism would burn it off." Sweet.

A friend and other women tell me I'm skinny and I suppose this is true. I'm lucky I'm thin and sane. It would be another story if I took Zyprexa or one of the other weight-gaining culprits because I would likely have a ravenous appetite and be tempted to chow down at every opportunity. I feel for what other people go through living like that. I understand that could be me if my circumstance changed. This friend argues that I eat healthful foods and go to the gym and that I'm skinny through my own effort. Maybe so. That's of no comfort to me when I realize that with one slip of the mind I could become a candidate for another drug and pack on the pounds. Oh God I do feel for women who have to make the sanity versus vanity choice. I feel for anyone who struggles with her weight.

Sometimes: I'll be at an event and there will be a box of donuts on the table. I'll refuse and a well-meaning woman will take one look at me and say, "Go ahead--you can afford it." This irritates me. I don't have the doughnut because I can't afford to. If I ate a doughnut every time another woman told me to eat a doughnut I might weigh as much as she did.

Once: I was driving past one of those churches with a mini-sermon on its message board in front of the entrance. The message du jour touted: discipline is eating just one cookie. How that related to our lord Jesus I don't know. I thought it was quite insensitive even though it is true. The pastor most likely was reminding his flock that they are weak-willed and reining in their excesses involves self-control. I wondered what kind of food was served at that particular hallowed hall's church functions. Hopefully no tempting cookies.

Well: I ordered in shrimp scampi and broccoli rabe for dinner. I regret my weakness is that I love sweets. This year I'm going to try to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains.


In April I turn 45. I can't complain if I weigh less than I did when I was 25. So there you go. 45 is the "oh, hell" birthday because you have only five more years until you're 50. Now is the time to make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. You have no concept of time and know nothing about your life when you're 22. You don't know what the future has in store. All you can think about is next Saturday. I published an article about turning 30 when I turned 30 in 1995 in which I wrote that the future wasn't so large and looming anymore. I talked about how that job interview question--"Where do you see yourself in five years?"--now applied to my personal life.

In 2005 I turned 40 and wanted to be married. I suppose most women set 40 as their deadline for finding Mr. Right. Today I'd be happy to settle for Mr. Right Now.

Two years ago I read Matchbook written by Samantha Daniels--a woman who was a professional matchmaker who set people up if they had $10,000 up front and were gorgeous and successful. She made a point of exclaiming that her matches were all good-looking and that was vain to say the least. One frightful match was a woman who was 39 1/2 and her marriage clock was ticking she was desperate to walk down the aisle before she turned 40.

It was a light fluffy read and yet it was scary that people could be so shallow. I suppose if you were ugly or overweight Daniels would not set you up. At last count she boasted 47 marriages made via Samantha's Table introductions. God forbid the hairline starts to recede on the guys do the women get a refund?

The title of [judge] Judy Scheindlin's book says it all: Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever. Which side of that equation would you rather be on? I thought so.


This is where someone is going to swat me with a pocketbook. Make it a Coach because then I won't mind being conked with it. One should go down to the floor in style.

I'm going to quite while I'm ahead.


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