I now have this thing called a waist. I know; I had to look it up, too. Apparently, this phenomena occurs when deposits of fat suddenly disappear like Christians before Armageddon, leaving you with two curved dents between your lower ribs and hip bones. Having only observed this waist thingie from afar, I’ve always likened it to a mythical creature captured only on blurry video. A Yeti. The Lochness Monster. J.D. Salinger.
And thanks to the miracle that are high-waisted, skinny jeans – the moment I tried on my first pair, I believed in Jesus all over again – my muffin top, if not completely gone, is tucked snugly into my waistband.
A few friends have noticed my new, slimmer figure, but many have been distracted by my hair, which is growing at an alarming rate for someone who isn’t imprisoned in a tower. Combine that with my new waist, and I now have two whole things in common with Gisele Bundchen.
Yesterday, I was donning one of my standard chubby girl dresses to wear to my husband’s office cocktail party…and it was too big. Everywhere. I knew I’d lost some weight. My tees were begin to hang away from my body, rather than cling to my muffin top like cinnamon glaze. Each week, I’ve had to bore a new hole into my belt so that I don’t look like a lank-haired, wanna-be rapper, holding up my jeans with one hand as I lope down the sidewalk. That realization began what I call The Dress Frenzy. Which dresses fit me now? Which ones are too big? Which ones can I donate to Sea World? I slipped on one after the other and, at no point, did I feel like a sausage. It was like Christmas in July…mostly because it is, in fact, July.
For the past two years, my packed dress closet has been virtually ignored, with the exception of a few frocks towards the front, all of which are stretchy, Empire-waisted numbers that have each garnered me myriad versions of the question: So when are you due? When I stepped out in a coral and white, fitted, sleeveless dress last night, I felt fierce. Sasha Fierce fierce. All I needed was a wind machine and some blonde hair extensions, and I was ready to march on stage and rip Jay Z a new asshole.
At one point during the evening, one of my husband’s co-workers asked me what I was doing to lose weight. “Nothing,” I answered truthfully. Hubby and I did move ourselves – and our 17,000 books – into a new place a month ago, so I did engage in quite a bit of exercise for a few weeks, but the weight continues to creep off, pound by pound, day by day. In retrospect, I should have answered, “Cancer.” Or maybe, “Tapeworms.”
“Have you been watching what you eat?” the co-worker asked. Yes, I’ve been watching what I eat. In fact, I stare at my food quite intently as it leaves the plate, balanced on a fork, heading for my mouth. For example, this week I’ve seen beef and potatoes, macaroni and cheese, nachos, freezer pizzas, brownies and candied bacon. Last night, as I was pouring myself a glass of milk before bed, I noticed the brownies, stacked like chocolate bricks of poo in a plastic storage container in the fridge. I told myself, “I’m going to pass on that brownie,” as I closed the refrigerator door. About fifteen minutes later, I decided to make good on that promise – and I passed on that brownie. I passed it on to my stomach and it’s currently lodged somewhere in my intestinal tract.
The other night, my husband asked, “What’s that dark stuff on your face?” I figured it must have been that crappy mascara I’ve been using or maybe stray brownie crumbs.
“Where?” I asked. “Under my eyes or around my mouth?”
“Neither,” Hubby replied. “Under your cheeks.”
I rubbed both cheeks vigorously with the heels of my palms. “Is it gone?”
“Nope, it’s still there.” Hubby’s forehead furrowed with concern.
I dashed to the bathroom, curious about what could possibly cause my husband to look serious, and ogled my reflection in the mirror. After a moment, I figured out what merited Hubby’s worry. Returning to the living room, I flopped down on the sofa.
“The dark stuff is still there,” Hubby said.
“I know,” I answered. “They’re called shadows. I have cheekbones now.”
Yes, I have THREE things in common with Gisele. And one thing in common with actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, now that I think of it. No, wait. We’re all tall. FOUR things in common with the Brazilian supermodel and TWO with the best Sherlock since ever.
Granted, Gisele’s waist is tinier, her hair is lusher and longer, and her cheekbones could be used to saw all the lumber necessary to build a log cabin McMansion, but I can already see myself on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Married to a football player. Smug about an effortless beauty I did nothing to earn. Smugger about all things motherhood even though I’ve only been one for five hot minutes.
Whaaaat? Wait a sec. I hate football. I dig for my lingerie in the 70% off sale bin at Macy’s; if any of it matches, it’s by coincidence, not by design. Certainly, I don’t stand around posing in it. I’m no breeder and I don’t aspire to rank just below Gwyneth Paltrow on the Most-Out-of-Touch-Celebrity-Ever Meter. I’d rather have four things in common with John Green or Elizabeth Warren or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Harper Lee. C’mon, Tom Brady has got to be the most boring slice of white bread on earth. Just thinking about him makes me nod off.
Still…I have a waist, cheekbones and two things in common with Benedict Cumberbatch.
And, probably, not a tumor.
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