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Lori DuVall: Those extra pounds creep up behind you

Recently my Facebook page showed me a post from two years ago, where I wrote, “I went to the gym today for the first time in ages and will never let myself get this out of shape again.” I laughed out loud, because I hadn’t been to the gym in, oh, two years. At that point I could have pulled a muscle just thinking about working out.

People who know me scoff at the notion I am overweight, but when a person is 5 feet 3 inches with a small-boned frame, there isn’t much room for additional baggage. An extra five pounds is akin to 10 pounds for most people, and 10 pounds is more like 20 for me. Thanks to all the holiday goodies, I have reached a point where I used to head for the gym, but that’s not happening so quickly these days.

I put on weight partially because a lot of people gave me chocolates as a gift this year. There were Belgian chocolates, Godiva chocolates, chocolates with nuts, dark chocolate and sponge candy. Also, I bake only once a year, when I make pizzelles for the holidays. This year I ate most of them myself and had to make a second batch to give away.

After a couple weeks of this behavior, my clothes started getting snug. My button down shirts weren’t buttoning up or down, and the getups I think of as my “comfy clothes” became things I actually wore outside the house. Of course, that’s when you run into the old flame, whom you know is thinking, “phew, dodged a bullet there.”

The final straw was the day my partner was playing fetch with our dog while watching him on the tablet. Ken had just installed a camera system and called me to look, as Dusty appeared like some sort of devil dog with only his eyes glowing. I had to squeeze behind Ken’s easy chair to see, and in the process saw my behind filling up a fair amount of the tablet screen as I passed in front of the camera. I was appalled.

“Oh my God,” I said, “it’s worse than I thought!”

“What is?” asked Ken, who had been throwing a ball and not watching the horror.

Thinking I had been mistaken I squeezed back out, only to see the moonscape once again. “Why does my tuchis look so big?” I whined.

“Probably the chocolate and pizzelles,” he answered, “though if you’re talking about the screen, it’s a fish eye lens.”

Mind you, it’s not the weight per se, it’s the fact that I was so agreeable about letting myself go. Part of me didn’t care to acknowledge that my changing metabolism no longer permitted me to eat anything I wanted. Part of it had to do with getting older and less enthused about the gym.

Manners aren’t what they used to be, and it irked me when I sat in the sauna watching someone shave her legs, or slather on some odiferous lotion that made me wheeze. I also swam laps frequently, until the day someone jumped into the water without looking and landed on top of me. After the near drowning, my enthusiasm for working out waned.

That led to my current predicament, where I reached critical mass and finally forced myself back to the gym. When I was in the locker room afterward, I overheard a conversation between two women. The one sounded like me, complaining about getting heavier. The other woman reminded me of my mother, saying, “You want to lose weight? Stop eating.”

Maybe I should give that a try.