Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today's Post Is Brought To You By the Number 12

197 lbs. Okay, I can handle an 8 oz. gain.

At the grocery store today, the self-checkout couldn’t tell the difference between cucumbers ($1.59 each) and purple asparagus ($5.99 lb.). Yes, I punched the right button. If a “Smart Scan” device cannot differentiate between cukes and asparagus, we have nothing to fear from Skynet. Any terminator gunning for Linda Hamilton is going to end up shooting Sarah Palin.
Okay, so normally, the increase would make me pretty grouchy, but it’s only 8 oz.  Actually, now that I think about it, there really shouldn’t have been a gain since I lack arm strength to lift a fork to my mouth.  Encouraging things happened shortly after my morning weigh-in that made that a very minor irritation.
I opted to go to the 8 AM yoga class today owing to an unchangeable appointment during the usual time (Sorry, Lila) and Amy got a chance to work me over with her yoga-lates (yoga and Pilates blend. Between yesterday’s beating from Torquemada and today, The Great White Belly thinks I’m trying to kill it. It’s right). I went to pull on my size 16 jeans and…
They’re too big.
These are Calvin Klein, no elastic, an honest size 16. And I can pull the damned things on and off without unzipping. There’s room to spare AROUND THE WAIST (that’s the sticking point) once they’re on. Seriously, I was concerned about putting anything in my pockets in case I ended up with them falling off my ass (yes, I know sagging is in, but I’m not part of that culture. I buy good quality underwear, but nobody’s going to see it).
Holy cow. I only got these things in late February and they fit at that point.
Armed with the confidence (perhaps over confidence) of this development, I headed to Nordstrom Rack to test the waters for blue jeans.
There is a scene in “Tootsie” where Dustin Hoffman describes his experience clothes shopping that afternoon. “These women are animals,” he says as he’s styling a wig, “There was this one handbag. I was afraid to get it. The woman who got it, I know did time.” (well, not a verbatim quote). Such is the feeling of a sale at Nordstrom Rack.  I got jostled and elbowed. I can’t be sure, but I think I caught a whiff of blood in the air.
We won’t go over the stupidity or deliberate cruelty of somebody restocking the little 25 waist jeans into the Plus Size 24 rack (Honey, if you cannot tell by simply eyeballing what’s in your hand that it doesn’t belong where you’re about to put it, you really should not be out without adult supervision. Seriously. On the other hand, if you did this on purpose, I hope to God and His Infinite Power that you get to experience and feel the casual cruelty you are perpetrating. And Cee-Lo Green to you).  I wanted a pair of Calvin Klein jeans in size 14 and a pair of the NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) Tummy Tuck jeans in size 14 and size 12.
Yeah, size 12. According to Schoolhouse Rock, 3 is a magic number (Schoolhouse Rock should be part of every American household. They’re on DVD and far superior to any current television offerings for kids). I respect that view, however, when you are 1) female and 2) working your ass off (literally, as it were), 12 is a magic number. 12 is the topmost “normal” size. 12 is not in the Plus department. Lane Bryant’s (on whom I spit) does not carry size 12. It’s too small. The NYDJ Tummy Tucks allow the wearer to maybe go a size smaller than her normal jean size (I say “her” because, after all, these are jeans for women. If a man is wearing them, chances are he’d prefer you referred to him as “she” and he’s got more to tuck than the tummy).  My main jeans are NYDJ Tummy Tuck 14 and were purchased at the same time as the “too loose” Calvin Kleins.
The Calvin Klein size 14 fit. Comfortably. However, these things were fugly (patches, ripping, raggedy capri hems that Laura Petrie wouldn’t be caught dead in. Neither would I).  I was emboldened.
The NYDJ size 14 fit and were cut smaller through the thighs and seat than my current pair. Okay. I stepped into the 12s. Would I be bursting into tears of joy?
Not this week. Where I could pull them up and pull them almost closed, they’re just out of reach.
But that’s okay. A month ago, I couldn’t have even pulled them up. Today, I could. This is serious progress. And the fact that the straight up, no hocus pocus size 14 jeans FIT is a very, very big deal. Yeah, okay, I’m slightly over where I was yesterday, but I now have evidence, STRONG evidence that The Great White Belly is melting and it’s not due to global warming.  This is the whole point. That thing has been the bane of my existence for years. Even though you are told to love yourself and, by extension, your whole body  in order to improve it, I could not bring myself to love that expanse of white blubbery flesh. I could not love seeing it protrude farther than my breasts (which are not small). I could not love the additional risk of metabolic disorders that it carried. I could not love the limitations it imposed: the inability to paint my own toenails because it got in the way, the clothing I could not wear not only because it wasn’t available in my size, but also because it accentuated the monstrosity it covered.  I could not love the license it gave those around me to be cruel under the guise of “caring” about my health and appearance.
Today, though, I got a boost of motivation to continue. I’ll let Torquemada and Lila and Amy continue to torture me.  I’ll put off having another hot dog (sigh) for 90 days. Same for a glass of wine.  I will follow the recommendations of that Pushy Peanut (Torquemada).
And maybe, just maybe, in two weeks, those size 12 jeans will fit.

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