I Look Like My Mother
September 7, 2006
“It’s a process” I’ve heard said over and over to me. Actually, that might have been referring to managing the highs and lows of my portfolio, but no matter, it works for dieting as well. It’s a benign saying meant to calm the dieter, lull him/her into a sense of security that if they doing what they are doing eventually their bodies will transform. I agree with this phrase. IT is a process. Bu that doesn’t stop me from being irritated and frankly p@*!ssed off beyond all reason.
Just a few days ago I had been so happy. I was down to 133.6 pounds and had surpassed my goal weight. My Jenny Craig counselor was shocked. There was much rejoicing. At the same time I was frustrated by the way my body has been responding. I realize I am older and diet and exercise won’t get me the same results as when I was 25. But seeing the proof in pictures is disheartening. More then disheartening. The word is devastating.
A few weekends ago, friends took pictures of me in a bikini. Enough said. Clearly, looking at that photo could do nothing but bring me anguish but like a sucker, I looked anyway. I was shocked at how thick my legs looked. It was at that moment that I was struck by the resemblance between my mother’s legs and mine. I had seen an old photo once of my mother walking along the beach with a two year old “me” running beside her (little sun hat, pail and shovel, it was too cute). I remember thinking then, “thank God I didn’t inherit those legs.” Well, Karma came early this year. My legs looked exactly the same. What once were long, shapely and more importantly, skinny, legs are now thick and shapeless. I am especially nauseated by the fat around my knees making it difficult to determine whether or not I actually have knees. I was so upset by these photos, you can’t imagine. Or perhaps you can. What else can I do? I work out at least an hour and a half a day. Weight machines, treadmill, bike, I do it all. Well, that’s a lie. I draw the line at the elliptical machine and Stairmaster. They either hurt my knees or don’t really feel like they are working any part of my body. Back to my point, what can I do?
I lamented to my Jenny Craig counselor. I felt like I had to convince her that I DID look different before. Eight years and one baby later, my body has simply changed. She asked the predictable questions. Was I using the weight machines designated for legs and gluts? How many times a week? Then she looked at me for the first time with what I can only describe as a look of concern and sympathy.
“You are doing everything you can. Sometimes, we just have to come to terms with our genes.”
She then added, “I’m worried that you are becoming obsessive about this.”
It’s true. I have become quite obsessed about my weight, my clothes, and cellulite. I could go on and on. I expected that my cellulite would go away and my legs would become shapely once I reached a certain weight. But they haven’t. It is slowly dawning on me that this is much more of a process than I initially thought it would be. I can drop five pounds fairly easily. But changing my lifestyle, sculpting my body, these things take time.