It started innocently enough. Rushing to get dressed in the dark of a recent morning, I grabbed a clean pair of jeans out of the laundry basket, eyeballed the length and pulled them on. Twenty minutes later, I was pouring a cup of coffee in the kitchen absently wondering why the pants I had on felt, well, a little funny.
Then it happened.
“Mom. Are you wearing my jeans?”
He may as well have told me that I had a spider crawling on me.
“What? Of course not!” I gasped as I quickly examined my legs wondering how the denim covering them had gotten so torn and worn looking.
I blame the long winter that kept me inside baking cookies and casseroles and away from my walking routine. Nonetheless, it was an unsolicited pre-pool-season wake up call.
While my weight still falls within a normal range for my height, things are starting to shift south. I know this shouldn’t surprise me. I’m finding out the hard way that age and gravity are BFFs (best friends forever). Combine that with the fact that working parents are notorious for putting the needs of others before their own, and I am not sure what to do about my, um, predicament.
Like it or not, the whole “eat-less-exercise-more-reduce-stress” mantra flies in the face of my plate spinning lifestyle. I eat on the go and guzzle coffee like a semi does diesel. Even through all five pregnancies, I credited my caffeine and refined sugar diet for keeping me alert in staff meetings and well within the weight limits dictated by my mortified obstetrician.
My sister, well versed in all things weight loss, recommended cutting back on sugar. After I stopped laughing, I argued the futility of her plan. High fructose corn syrup is hidden in everything from breakfast cereal to shampoo. There’s no getting around it, even if I wanted to.
As for exercise, I attribute my bicep of steel (right arm only) to the coffee curl reps I make a point of getting in each morning. More weight training, really. What I need is regular aerobic exercise. And to stick with something like that, I need a motivating element. Something with a deadline.
My son, a runner and, yes, the true owner of the jeans I had mistakenly swiped, waved a recently-received postcard at me. It announced reduced early entry fees for a 5k race scheduled for early June. “I dare you,” he said, handing it to me with a smirk.
Not one to back down from a challenge, I snatched the postcard and examined the fine print closely. The words “free t-shirts to the first 2000 registered runners” popped out at me.
I returned his smirk.
Now, pass the pasta. I’m in training.