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?