4 March 2015

Dessert Before Dinner

When my sister Sue and I were little we used to explore the particulars of dieting. (Primarily, how many weeks of cigarettes and Tang would help us fit into our  dress pants). We concluded that losing weight was hard because it took way too long to see the difference. We need our rewards more quickly. 

‘What if…’ Sue said to me, ‘you could take a pill to lose weight instantly. BUT in order to keep the weight off you’d have to sign a contract to diet for two months. Yes! Of course it would be easy to keep the weight off if you’re skinny! It’s like dessert before dinner.  Easy peasy!   

Well, I stand corrected.  Not easy at all. As someone who has had their stomach surgically un-enhanced, I take it all back. Not only is it not easy, it’s not realistic.  Especially when a gal is menopausal, taking tamoxifen, and  trying desperately to survive the coldest friggin' February since 1936.  

 My flat stomach was supposed to be my silver lining. Apart from a clean bill of health and a low risk of recurrence, it is the ONLY upside from my bout with breast cancer, and it is the one thing about DIEP reconstructive surgery that is supposed to be fun. Replace the breast tissue with tummy fat and voila! A lifetime of fitting into dress pants.

But here’s the kicker. My fat is coming back, and it’s not going where it’s supposed to. Since my front has be rearranged, and since I was sliced in half like a like a 'Twist 'n Turn' Barbie Doll, my weight doesn’t hang out where it once did. Rather than sit in front of me like a regular beer belly, it collects above my scar like a loaf of pumpernickel bread.

‘What’s that?’ Jim said, gently patting my pumpernickel other day. I sucked in my tummy and feigned innocence, ‘What’s what?’
‘Oh, nothing….’ He said, knowing better than to probe too deeply.
I must admit I feel a little bit gypped. I really liked having a flat stomach, and I want it back. It was a big investment and I was counting on it to maintain itself for a while. And asking for my money back is out of the question since I paid for it in trade, not currency. 

So it's time to get up off my yoga mat and kick some ass.  I'm going to dust off my trainers and go to Zumba (whatever the f*ck that is). And in leiu of dress pants, I'm going to squeeze into linen pants, in in Florida, in a couple of weeks. 

And if none of that works, I'll just go back to Tang (or a smoothie) and cigarettes (carrot sticks). I worked hard for my dinner, and I don't want just bread, I want my dessert.