Your Mama Has a Big Butt

Growing Up Austin

I was at Sparkles’ kindergarten holiday party, getting the gingerbread house materials setup while the kids watched a video.  Sparkles came to me with a sad look on her face. She said, “Karen said you have a big butt.”

Oh, my. What do I say to that? I DO have a big butt.

We have talked about this before. Here are all the ways I know by butt is bigger than it used to be:

  • I have all new pants in a new size.
  • I have lost half my shirts because they ride up, on top of my new pudgy belly in the front and on top of my love handles on the sides, to show a few inches of skin all the way around.
  • My watch is too tight. I’m so much bigger that even my WRIST has gained weight.
  • I have passed an invisible but very real line across which I can no longer wear skinny jeans.
  • I can no longer cross my legs while sitting up straight.

This last one is freaking me out. When I sit up straight and try to cross my legs,  my legs won’t stay, they pop back apart. So, I pull at the bottom of my pant leg, forcing my right leg over my left, but it won’t stay. The best I can do is to cross my ankle over my knee, but even that doesn’t last for long. I can lean back on a couch and cross my legs, at least I still have that.

I am doing all right it in the exercise department. I do Cross Fit, lifting kettle bells above my head, pulling myself up (partially) on gymnastics rings and power lifting weights, Olympic-style. I say just ‘all right’ because I’m not lifting that much weight and I look like a dork on the gymnastics rings, not doing anything recognizable at all.

I am doing all right in the healthy eating department. I eat my veggies and I avoid fast food. But, I snack more than I think I do and I have a drink most nights after the kids go to bed.

On 30 Rock the other day, Liz Lemon saw herself in a video and her butt was twice as big in the video as in real life and I totally got what she was thinking. When I see myself in the mirror, I think, whose big butt is that?

At the same time, who decides what is big? Really, I have a pretty average butt, given how 45-year-old women’s bodies are sized and shaped in real life.

Am I going to do anything about it? Will I have  New Year’s resolution to lift more weight and never snack again?

No, not really.

I’m going to keep exercising and eating right, most of the time, to be healthy and feel better. But I’m not going to worry about losing the skinny jeans and I’ll get used to not crossing my legs at my desk. Getting older and getting a slower metabolism sucks, but I’d rather write or be with my kids than try to fight my new body.

SO, SWEET KAREN, my butt really isn’t THAT BIG and even if it is, it isn’t THAT BIG of a deal.

I told Sparkles, “You go tell Karen my butt is just fine.” Sparkles smiled and marched off to deliver the message.


A Few Pieces of Lettuce and Two Cherry Tomatoes

Growing Up AustinI told y’all about how I can’t wear clothes I used to wear. Here are some follow-up thoughts on the evolving shape of my body.

Her name was Brenda. She was older than me, I was about 35 and she was about 50. I saw her take out her lunch at work one day and this was what it looked like. (No, I didn’t take a picture of her lunch then. That would have been weird. This is a re-enactment, like on the History Channel.)

Brenda’s lunch was a few pieces of lettuce and two cherry tomatoes. I don’t even think the salad had any dressing.

I asked her if someone stole her lunch. She said no.  She said that her metabolism changed as she got older and this was all she could eat now without gaining weight.

Oh, my.

I remember the day when I realized my metabolism had changed for the first time. I was 28-years-old and the same jeans that I had always worn were too tight. This was the series of thoughts that came into my mind…

  1. My dryer must be set too hot because it is shrinking my jeans. (But then I noticed my tummy was pudgy.)
  2. My tummy is pudgy, oh no, maybe I’m pregnant. (But my pudgy tummy felt more like fat than like a baby.)
  3. Hey, wait a second here, am I gaining weight for no reason while eating what I’ve always eaten? (But how can that be fair?)

I can’t complain much about my metabolism. I don’t lose weight easily, but I don’t gain weight easily either and I don’t have to work too hard to stay at a healthy weight.

But every seven years or so the math changes and I gain weight for no reason at all, eating what I’ve been eating for the last seven years or so. It just happened again. My jeans are too tight and no, my dryer isn’t too hot and I’m definitely not pregnant.

I’m passionate and equally committed to 1) being fine with my new weight and 2) losing weight.

One the one hand, I don’t buy the story that we all have to be skinny. I see the women on America’s Next Top Model and how they are a size 8 and then my teenager tells me this is the Plus Size season. To that I say, Whatever. I just don’t believe in a measure of beauty that makes almost everyone ugly. Besides that, my tiny boobs have gotten a little bigger and that is fun! Maybe I’ll gain more weight and then go shopping for cute bras!

On the other hand, I sometimes turn into an idiot around food, usually when I’m anxious. I wish I ate what I needed and what was healthy, but I do a good amount of eating that isn’t that. It is strange that my mind thinks that ice cream or a glass of wine will make me relaxed/happy/content when this same mind knows for sure that when these feelings come from food, they are temporary. What isn’t temporary and what does help me be relaxed/happy/content is eating healthy and exercising, but only in the loooonnnnggg run, not in the short run, know what I mean?

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to eat less and exercise more. I already run, what could I possibly do more than that, except situps and push-ups and no one who isn’t training for the Olympics should have to do that. And I don’t like salads without dressing.

What do you do when your metabolism changes? How do you know when to let it be and when to step it up?


Too Old to be Cute

Growing Up AustinThis used to be one of my favorite summer outfits. It’s casual with earthy colors and a cute cut.

It’s not my favorite anymore.

My husband brings up in conversation all the time, even when completely unnecessary, that I’m almost 50.

I’m 44, but 44 is close to 45 and 45 rounds up to 50.

Which is why I’m too old to be cute.

I was shopping for flower girl dresses for Sparkles and Buttercup the other day and you know how they have the wall-to-wall mirrors and bright florescent lights at bridal shops? Every time I turned around I saw my legs in the mirrors and they were shocking. Maybe someone else’s legs, I thought. But no, they were mine, with cellulite that you could see from across the room. Then there was my pudgy tummy sticking out from under the blue t-shirt. This might be cute for a teenager with a belly button ring, but not for an older Mom with a little beer belly.

(Dear Shiner, Your Shiner Light Blonde apparently isn’t light enough. Love, Carol.)

I’m old like somebody’s Mom, one of the older Moms, which I guess I am.

Next week, I’ll share my response to the evolving shape of my body. For now, I bought some skirts and t-shirts from Old Navy which are a little good looking, without being too cute.