Weighty Matters

September 22, 2013

In a world where everything is becoming open for discussion, there are still a few topics that make most people uncomfortable. The first three that come to mind are death, lice, and weight.

Of course, there are the brief conversations about who died when and how bad everyone feels. And whose kid came home with lice (and how glad we are it wasn’t ours.) And weight? I’m are always comparing notes on the latest diets, and what I ate or didn’t eat on any given day. But these tend to be brief forays that lead into the serious stuff- “adolescence, doesn’t it suck having teenagers”, “I wanted to kill my husband when…” and “what the hell should we do about Syria,” (I am not a total idiot, and neither are my friends. Between us, we have actually come up with a solution to most of the worlds problems. That’s another post.)

And when it comes to weight? I read the magazines. I watch the talk shows. Our weight is a subject that consumes a lot of us. I know that I can wear a smile for an hour after hopping on the scale and discovering I’ve lost a pound. I might kick a kitten if the reading is a few pounds heavier than the day before. Yet I don’t think I’ve ever had a real conversation with anyone about the actual number.(And doctors offices and health clubs don’t count. Though there is’t really a conversation. Just a statement.”You weigh —.” “oh.”)

I weigh 162 pounds. When I was pregnant I reached what I think was my all time high- but I don’t know because when I’m really heavy I don’t weigh myself- of 220 pounds. I would like to weigh 145 pounds, which according to those statistics in the fitness magazines, is kind of high. But I work out. And I like lunch.

Ok, it’s 168.

When I look in the mirror I see a pretty woman. I like my face. I have a waist line. My breasts are small, so there isn’t much gravity can do with them. I’ve got field hockey player thighs, but they could be defensive line football player thighs. And my belly is just a tiny heart shaped curve, it actually looks kind of cute.

And then, I’m walking in the mall. I catch a glimpse in a mirror. Staring back at me, is a chunky, middle aged women who really should hire a personal shopper to help her buy blue jeans because the ones I’m wearing make my rear end look the size of the Kardashian’s garage.

Maybe the mirrors in the mall are trick mirrors designed to make shoppers head screeching into the local department stores in search of Spanx.

Weight matters, but not nearly as much as we think it does. My life isn’t going to magically improve when I weigh 142 pounds. Shopping will be nicer. But I don’t think my friends are going to like me more, my kids aren’t going to start cleaning their rooms without 97 gentle reminders when I weigh a little less.

Lice doesn’t really matter at all, and death matters a lot. I use it as a cattle prod when I am tempted to spend the day at home eating chocolate instead taking my dogs out for a long walk. Not because I’m afraid of the damn calories. Because life is short, and I’d like to spend as much of it as I can walking in the woods with Sophie the Magnificent Wonderpup.

At the end of the day, I guess it’s not what we talk about or don’t talk about with the people we love. It’s how we live our lives when we aren’t busy comparing notes with our neighbors.

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