Huffing and Puffing

Once upon a time there was a girl who used to be very physically fit. This chick could crack walnuts between her thighs and hurl coconuts clear to the moon. Then the girl grew up to be me.

I don't know what happened to my competitive drive but I lost it about the same time I gained the jello roll around my middle.

It's not like the jelly rolls appeared over night. They took some time making their presence known. It was a slow transition from firm and fit Tanis to soft and sloth-y Tanis. Heck, I managed to harbor three baboons babies in utero and squeeze back into my regular sized jeans within days.

*Yes. I was one of those annoying broads who looked like she never had a baby moments after giving birth. I have made up for this by now walking around looking like I'm five months pregnant permanently.

When Shale died I lost a crapload of weight. I was already thin, but I got thinner. Gaunter. Sickly looking. Apparently a child's death is not conducive to eating. Within a year I was down to almost a hundred pounds. I made Tori Spelling look fat.

It wasn't till my husband told me he was getting tired of feeling like he was poking a bag of bones when we engaged in carnal activities that I noticed how thin I was. It was hard to see anything other than a haze of grief let alone how I had suddenly transitioned into an over-sized prepubescent 12 year old boy. Minus the dingle berries of course.

So I began to eat.

And eat.

And eat.

While sitting on my laptop typing out glorified stories of blue bushes and beaver fever. Contrary to personal delusion, sitting on one's duff pecking at a keyboard while slurping back cans of soda and munching on pistachio nuts is not exercise. No matter how hard I try and sell it as such to my darling Boo.

Eventually I gained back all the weight lost post death and packed on about 25 pounds more. That's when the jelly roll appeared. It's fantastic. I can hide a burrito in the cavity known as my belly button. This baby has back. And back fat. And a jiggle in her wiggle.

Now my husband, the man who can't make up his damn mind, tells me he's scared to poke me and get lost in my rolls. Or wake up to find himself smothered by the growing girls on my chest.

There is no pleasing the man.

But since it would be nice to fit into the wardrobe I have thoughtfully purchased over the years which is now just hanging in my closet collecting dust, I decided it time to de-jiggle. Not a lot. I like actually having curves. Just lose enough to be able to bend over and put my socks on without wanting to duct tape the roll of flesh around my middle so that it doesn't get in the way of my knees.

Or maybe, set my goal a wee higher and not break into a full scale sweat and start wheezing when running from one end of the house to the other when trying to find the cordless phone my children seem to like to stuff under their pillows or in mounds of laundry.

It's a health thing. Really. It has nothing to do with the fact my father recently commented to my husband that I used to be thin and attractive and now resemble a pasty marshmellow stuffed into a too tight sausage casing.

(Oh yes he did say that.)

So I took the proverbial bull by it's horns and I cowgirl'd up. Taking into account my over active schedule of chauffeuring my children between here and there and the fact I paid for a gym membership only to go twice and have the old people laugh me out of the gym, I decided the best way to get fit was to try to do it at home.

On my own terms where no scarily fit geriatric people will point and laugh at the middle aged mom I've become.

So I emptied out my refrigerator of all things soda related and fed the pistachio nuts to the dogs.

And then I bought my very own personal overpriced clothing storage system treadmill.

To which my husband rolled his eyes and explained that owning a treadmill won't get me fit unless I take the clothes I've tossed on it off the dang thing and actually get on it myself.

treadmillHe literally spoke slowly when explaining this to me and offered to illustrate his point. It was then I hurled a pillow at his head and threatened to sit on him and smother the life out of him with my giant jelly rolls.

He promptly shut up but he was still smirking.

Like the road to good intentions, my road to fitness and healthy self-esteem is a miserable trek to hell. This body? Is not as young as it once was. Age and a few too many cheese burgers have caught up with me and the once physically fit machine I called my body.

I find myself no longer motivated by picturing myself in a bikini or wanting to fit into a svelte pair of jeans.

I'm old enough to know I don't need to base my self worth on my waist size. Although it would be nice to be able to see a bowl of cottage cheese and not be immediately reminded of my backside.

Still, I was am determined. I figure I got myself into this larder, I can sweat my way out of it. Which would be infinitely easier if I enjoyed the trickle of boob sweat that springs up whenever I take three steps on the damn machine.

My children aren't much help either. Encouraged by their father to help inspire (and by inspire I'm sure he secretly meant mock) me on my path to glory and health they've taken it upon themselves to demonstrate how physically superior they are to me and run marathons on the damn machine while I start huffing out of breath just watching them.

They haven't figured out that showing me how it's done isn't inspiring me to try harder. All it is inspiring me to do is to think of creative ways to make them work harder since they apparently have so much energy to burn off and rub in my face.

I've now banished them from watching me run after a few elephant comments were made and my son decided to bring in a skipping rope and use it as a faux-whip. Every time I started to slow down he thought it would be hysterically funny to flick it at my arse and tell me to 'giddy up.'

Funny he wasn't laughing when I chased him out of the house and threatened to give him a wedgie moments later. I would have too but my lungs exploded and I saw stars.

Still, I'm persevering. Slowly. One treadmill step at a time. It's not pretty. I have to keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times for at any moment the friction of my thighs rubbing together could start a small fire, but I'm doing it.

I'm 34 years old and I'm running in circles on a treadmill. Oh how the dreams of my youth have evaporated with time and fat. I no longer dream of winning Olympic medals or climbing mountains while flirting with a sherpa.


Now my dreams include being able to buckle up my pants without feeling like I'm about to lose circulation in my lower half.

How far I've fallen.

But I'm not going giving in to middle aged complacency all together.

No. I'm going to do what women all over are doing to fight off the doldrums of getting fat and old.

I'm going to buy some damn Spanx. After all, I have a treadmill I can store them on when I'm not using it.