Oh, I know it sounds ridiculous but they are. Ever since, say, late October my jeans have been slowly shrinking. Oddly enough, they look the same but when I put them on, I have to tug a little harder and suck it in a bit more drastically than the last time I wore them. The really scary thing is that I am not doing anything different to them. I wash them in the same detergent and dry them on the same setting.
My girlfriend made the offhand remark the other day that I might be eating just a tad more than I normally do. "Maybe that has something to do with it," she suggested helpfully. I made a mental note to re-gift to her the horrible plastic picture frame that lights up and sings "Holly Jolly Christmas" every time it senses someone looking at it. Very creepy. It's still in the box.
OK now just between you and me, I have been doing what I do every year. I eat in accordance with the holiday. Halloween? I practice the one-for-you, two-for-me method of passing out candy to the little ones. At Thanksgiving, I cook for the three or four days leading up to Turkey Day, then eat for three or four days following it. Of course, once Thanksgiving has come and gone, it's on as far as Christmas goes. Now cookies and candy aren't really my thing, but I always take one for the team at Christmas. Meals and parties with friends, cookie exchanges…the list of reasons to eat never seems to end. So okay maybe I have over-indulged just a bit. I would like to make a couple of points in my defense, though.
First, up until earlier this month, I have worked out consistently at least 5 days a week for years. In early December, which oddly enough marks the "eve" of my 50th birthday looming large this week, my body began to disintegrate. My neck refuses to turn to the left and right; most days, I have to pick one side or the other. I find myself driving around in circles, literally, out of necessity. My ankles and feet are so far gone that I may as well begin picking out wheelchairs in colors that flatter my skin tone. Every moving part on my body aches – all the time, and for no apparent reason.
Trying to be a responsible steward of my body, I began to address these health issues one at a time. My efforts were rewarded with endless hours of physical therapy, the ultimate outcome resulting in my not being to raise my arms over my head. A cool conversation starter, but not conducive to exercise. In my attempt to correct the non-stop pain in my ankles and feet, I spent thousands on orthotics and sensible shoes. Walking is so painful now that I avoid it at all cost. I am four inches taller though, so in my head, that redistributes the extra weight over a taller frame. And the pain in every moving part I own? Nothing helps that, but red wine helps me forget that I have it, at least in the evenings.
My daughter actually laughed at me when she got a glimpse of her mother trying to cram my lower half into the jeans that were betraying me so cruelly. I took the opportunity to explain to her that her generation has no idea of the sacrifice, the gyrating and stuffing and breath-holding, that ours endured just to wear a pair of jeans. You see in my day, there were no such things as "stretch jeans," and Spandex hadn't even been invented yet, at least not for the general public's use. I think it was still strictly a NASA secret at the time. In other words, in the 70s and 80s, jeans either fit or they didn't.
I've gotten off-topic again. Sorry. I will do this year what I do every year. I will eat my way through January 1, then I will go back to my usual regimen of well-balanced nutrition and sweaty, vigorous workouts. Here's to hoping that those same efforts will bring about the same results I've come to expect every year. I've been hearing nasty rumors that no amount of vigilance and dedication will make any difference after 50, though. I sincerely hope that's not true, but just in case it is, have you heard of these awesome new things this year called "jeggings?" They're a clever cross between jeans and leggings, Spandex dyed blue baby. I love science and engineering.