Weight of the World

July 5, 2022

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Some days, it’s difficult to write about tragedies in one’s life when there seem to be so many more tragic events happening out in the world. I start to wonder, are my challenges simply trivial next to other people’s?

One of my concerns is posting some really ridiculous item on Facebook the same day a war breaks out. Wouldn’t I look completely self-absorbed and out-of-touch if I show myself toasting with a frozen daiquiri just after a gunman shoots up a school? Needless to say, I post very little on social media these days.

But today, I’m giving myself permission to write something trivial with the ardent hope nothing more tragic happens today. Maybe I can thread the needle through the brief window of time when there’s no natural disaster, politically motivated attack on our democracy or celebrity death to concern ourselves with. I better be quick.

My musings today are about weight. Like many others, I put on a few pounds during the pandemic. For the last two years, I got comfortable lounging in triple X drawstring pants that never got tight as I got flabby. I liked wearing a tent and may have developed a lifelong fetish for oversized clothes. They really hide the weight. Only now I’m finding myself a little plumper than I’d like as I venture forth into the world. My skinny jeans are not having it.

I decided I need to do something about it since I’m not about to buy a new wardrobe. In order to get back to a healthy weight, I’ve added exercise to my restricted diet and I’ve been using a fitness app to keep me on track. Today, I logged 10,699 steps (maybe I should carry the phone to the bathroom to push it over 10,700), which the internet tells me is more than 5 miles (figuring 2,000 steps per mile).

What do I get for my five mile hike? A bonus of — 85 calories! That means I get to eat an additional 85 calories over my regular daily budget because, according to the exercise gods, I’ve already burned them off.

Eighty-five fucking calories? That’s like one cookie. And, not even one of those giant-sized birthday cookies, which you’d think would be worth a five mile hike. No, just a plain, ordinary everyday chocolate chip cookie 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It makes me want to skip the cookie and just take a nap!

Instead of my cookie bonus, I’m having two cuties, which are those mandarin oranges you see in the red mesh bags at the supermarket. Two of those are 80 calories, but somehow feel healthier.

Next, I’ll get on my Peloton, which has been largely idle since I got it (still working up to one of those challenge classes with the trainers who are just way too excited about sweating). I’ll ride it for a half hour and earn another bonus — of 90 calories! Woo-hoo!

Meanwhile, I weigh myself every day only to see my weight float up and down while I maintain a very strict regimen. While I’m not a professional nutritionist, I understand a little about caloric intake. Supposedly, it takes 3,500 to either put on or take off a pound. How then can I gain weight while eating less than 1,200 calories a day? I would really like an answer!

And, don’t give me that b.s. about muscle weighing more than fat. I just walked five fucking miles for a damned cookie! I need results!

The older you get, the more difficult it is to loose weight. At some point, you just give up — that’s why you always see older people hanging around the buffets eating ice cream. They’ve learned the secret of a happy life, and it doesn’t involve hiking to Alaska and back.

But, in all seriousness, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things I can do for my body. I’m not into fat shaming, I’m into science. I need to lose weight in order to reduce my back pain, help my asthma, and have more energy. Not squeeze myself into a pair of Levi’s.

In the past, I’ve used weight as a defense against sexual harassment, and I’ve decided that has to end. It hasn’t been easy coming to terms with that revelation, but there it is. I plan to write more about it in my memoir.

In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away at the “plan.” Because I believe in science, I know eventually physics will win out over frustration and I’ll loose the weight. It just takes longer than I like. But, it will be worth it.

With the extra pounds gone, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to carry a little bit more weight of the world on my shoulders.

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Booliban Productions

Booliban Production was founded by Elden Rhoads with the mission of empowering women who are forced deal with harassment both in the workplace and elsewhere.