Monday, July 28, 2008


I think I need to lose some weight. I’m not very excited about it. The problem I have starting and succeeding is my warped body image. I suffer from a rare syndrome known as Absolute Total Fat Denial (ATFD), which fools me into thinking I’m thinner than I truly am. It’s only when I see my reflection in a mirror or a car window, or have a picture of me thrust in my face, that I have to face facts.

That’s precisely why I run past mirrors and refuse all photo ops.

They say that alcoholics have to “bottom out” in order to start the road to sobriety. It’s the same thing with chocolate-Dorito-peanut butter-addicts. We need a “harshing.” I’ve ignored several stark, unmistakable nudges in my life recently:

1. Shifting Toilet Seats:

I actually told people while on vacation of my conspiracy theory. Some practical jokester is trying to “punk” me. I have unwittingly been “tagged” so every time it looks like we’re going to stop at a rest room, a buzzer goes off somewhere and a notification is sent to the rest stop, stating, simply: “LOOSEN THE SEAT.” Every single time I sat on a public toilet that whole week, the seat would shift unexpectedly to one side, leaving me shaken and MAD. Maybe Michigan is the “Shifting Toilet Seat” State with a single-bolt maximum law. It can't be that I have a big butt.

2. Sweat = Enlarged Body:

I took a Pilates class at our YMCA. It was a half hour of killer “AB” work, which left me sweaty. My plan was to take a water aerobics class right after Pilates, for a combined 1 ½ hour work out. I stopped in the dressing room, to put on my swim suit. My body must have swelled from all the heated working-out because my suit was “hot-glued” to my hips. Biceps screaming, I tugged the “exercise band” suit, trying to unroll it. My hands cramped. They should warn Pilates participants of this distressing phenomenon! Again, it can't be that I have a big butt.

3. Bottom….out:

My friend had the audacity to put in a backyard pool with no exit ladder. The sides were too high for me to get good elbow leverage. I “ali-ooped” my daughter out on my shoulder a few minutes prior and thought,

“Oh my God. How am I going to get out of here?

I quickly brainstormed putting on high-heeled water shoes, getting myself up on a raft and then rolling over on their deck. I had just laughed myself sick watching my friend launch herself up-and-out like an elephant seal. Now….

“Oh my God. I’m next.”

I tried to jump up and lift myself out of the pool. Nope. Tried again. Nope. Started laughing, which rendered my muscles weak. Tried again. Nope.

“Is she going to live in our pool?” my friend’s 5- year-old said.

“I’ll bring you a chair” my friend suggested. She fetched a green plastic lawn chair which was light and highly un-immersible,” so she jumped back in to help me hold it under water. As I stepped on the chair, the two front legs broke off and rose to the surface.

At this point, my friend’s son starts crying:

“She broke our chair!” he sobbed---Baby Bear to my Goldilocks.

“It’s o.k., we can fix it.” she soothed.

No she can’t. It’s one of those cheap plastic chairs. If you glue it, it will break again, probably when some grandparent sits on it, and then they’ll….

I’m starting to shrivel in the water now. I’m thinking the worst thing is not having to stay in the water, but….far more horrifying, was the prospect of having to call my husband, Fred*, to help me out.

That did it! If I have to get Fred to come and use his engineering brain to figure out a way to add more water or finagle some deep-sea fishing pole or…worse—a tow rope…to get his wife out of a 3-foot pool, there’s no denying it anymore….

They just don’t make pools like they used to!

*Fred is not his real name.


Jenie said...

I am laughing so hard I am crying. I just said to Vin tonight "No, I am not dieting, I am not fat, I love the way I look." Could it be that I too suffer from a rare "fat denial" genetic disorder??? BTW - just wolfed down my second bowl of strawberry yogurt cheerios before going to bed...

Bev Spicknall said...

You actually SIT on a public toilet seat?! I know your mother taught you better.

And, as a life-long sailor, who can get in/out of a pool WITHOUT a ladder?!

As for the genetic fat denial disorder, that's alive and well in our family too!