Friend, have you ever needed to take a break from being healthy? Binge watch K-dramas on Netflix, eat popcorn for breakfast and cake for dinner, skip the gym for like a month…or nine? I feel you. But eventually you’ll have to come to terms with that out-of-shape body of yours or drag your saggy butt back into the gym. Okay, here’s the situation…
I have come to the conclusion that Honey is better than me. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s true. If we listed our best qualities side by side, Honey’s list would look like an epic poem and mine would look like a haiku. Before I explain, let me give you a visual.
This is Honey. Not a model. This is my actual husband. He’s freaking gorgeous! I mean, look at him. It’s not fair.
Not only is he so pretty you wanna lick his teeth, he’s also a great guy. He cooks dinner for the kids, while I’m fumbling through take-out menus. He planned my 40th birthday surprise party for months, while I bought him a pair of socks on his. He works with math symbols that I’ve never seen, while I’m proud that I still remember “a squared plus b squared equals c squared”. He’s the guy everyone seeks out in a crowd, while I’m the weirdo following people around saying “please talk to me”. The difference between us is like eating canned tuna in your basement and dining on tuna steaks in Japan. That’s right. I’m the canned tuna.
I’m okay with that. I understand my role in this relationship. I’m the reacher. He’s the settler (don’t tell him, he’s smug enough). I’m cool with it, because I know that I have redeeming qualities. Though he’s the statistician, I’m better with finances. Though he’s a billion times stronger, I’m the handywoman in the family. Though people naturally gravitate to his charm, I am the one they turn to when they need a sympathetic ear or shoulder on which to cry. Though he has a flawless face, my body is ROCKING.
My body was rocking (past tense). I was born with the genetic disposition to have a naturally athletic and toned physique. I have always been effortlessly fit. Well, that is not entirely true. Yes, I have been blessed with great genes that predispose me to maintain long, lean muscles. However, I have been actively sculpting my body since I was a teenager and making healthier food choices since my mid-twenties. Just like everybody else, I can get fat and unhealthy if I quit taking care of myself.
That’s exactly what happened over the summer. I stopped working out, because I was involved in remodeling our new 1950’s (oxymoron hehe) home. I had a six-pack like whoa! My shoulders and arms looked like they’d been chiseled out of clay. No matter how much I ate, I kept losing fat and gaining muscle.
Then, the renovations stopped…but I kept eating. I was scarfing down donuts, pies, cookies, brownies, chips, candy and all types of junk I hadn’t eaten in years. I was downing a pint of ice cream daily (lactose intolerance be damned!). I even started drinking sugary juices, which I don’t really like. At the same time, I made these giant salads under the pretense that I’d eat something healthy later. Yeah, right!
I kept fooling myself into believing that I could easily get back on track. Meanwhile, my heart raced when I climbed the stairs. My walking pace slowed to that of a tortoise. I couldn’t even stand up for ten minutes without needing to find a wall to support my weight. I was too afraid of stepping on the scale to confirm what I already knew. I had gotten a little fat.
Life has a way of making you face facts sooner or later. My moment of reckoning came on an unseasonably cool day in early September. I had to grab a pair of pants to go out with friends. All summer I tricked my brain into thinking I was fit by wearing loose skirts or dresses and yoga pants. Clinging to my state of denial, I put my leg into a pair of khakis that usually fit loosely over my hips and thighs and snugly at the waist.
When I finally squeezed all of my meatiness into the pants, I looked Like a lumpy, beige water balloon. My ass created stretchy creases in the back. My thighs were two chubby kindergartens fighting to be first in line. My hips looked like two slabs of dough somebody punched in the middle while the rest spilled out over the top and down my pants legs. No matter how much I held my breath, my tummy kept making the waist band flip over. I looked a hot mess.
The worst revelation wasn’t until after I peeled the pants off. I took a long stare at my butt. When had it started melting down my thighs? What the heck was up with the potholes and mounds? It used to bounce when I poked it. Why was it soft and squishy and jiggly around my touch? My booty was the best part of me, and it had transformed into a hideous monster. It was big, but not in a good way. If my ass were a movie, it had morphed from a fun, 3-D flick into a panoramic horror story. I wanted to cry.
Another way that Honey is better than me is that he has the annoying ability to look past my flaws. It’s a quality most women appreciate. I’m not most women. I was pissed at him for not telling me that I was harboring an alien on my backside. Would I have been mad at him for pointing it out? Probably. But I’m sure there is a tactful way of telling your wife that her butt is dragging to her knees, right? TBH, I think he was trying to sabotage me, so he could add another victory to his side of the list.
I started lifting weights with Honey. There was no way I was admitting defeat without a fight. He had me pushing more weight than I had lifted in decades. After a week, I was bigger than I was when I started. Oh, heck no. After the second week, I wanted to quit. Dude, what’s going on!? I would have stopped except that I noticed the lift in my booty. By the end of week three, I peeped Honey’s plan. He was trying to make me thicker by coercing me into low reps with heavy weights! Aww, hell no! Saboteur!
I blame myself. I already know how to condition my body, because I’ve been getting great results for years. High reps, low weights. Why did I listen to his malarkey advice that was obviously intended to throw me off my game? It’s because I’m more honest and trustworthy than him. Add that to my side of the list.
I’m back into the swing of things now, but it is not easy. I still get tired climbing stairs and speed walking through stores. I keep going back for the torture, because I have to. I’m not about to give that smug, beautiful man another reason to think he’s better than me. Wish me luck. I’ll send pictures soon.