Thursday, March 18, 2010

Too Cool for Dieting

Remember the freshman ten – those ten pounds you gained when you left home for college and started living on Ritz crackers and peanut butter and jelly because you hated dorm food? I didn’t shed them until after college when Weight Watchers or its’ equivalent became my way of life.

For the last 40 odd years, I’ve been successfully fighting the battle of the bulge, but since moving to Seniorville, I haven’t won a round. I went clothes shopping this week and the only thing I dared to buy were pants that can hide the extra weight and, if a miracle happens and I get a virus and can’t eat for two weeks, the pants won’t look big – unless the elastic waist is stretched out.

It’s hard to diet when your social life revolves around dining out or having company over for Bridge or whatever. How can you not serve something to guests? I never had anything I would be tempted to pig out in my old home after my sons left for college unless I was entertaining. Hubby’s and my old life style didn’t lend itself to “come back to my home for dessert” or cocktails before dinner. In those days, my northern friends were still working. Now most have to spend a week visiting me in our new surroundings – and I am truly thrilled they do. Even if I only serve “diet” food, when I sit around the table I tend to eat too much of it, and calories do count – even healthy ones.

The cold weather is also preventing me from sticking to any good weight reduction routine. It’s not conducive to drinking glasses of cold water, something that usually fills me up. Instead, I’m sipping diet hot chocolates and cups of salty broth called instant soup. Northern visitors adore walking or jogging in our brisk weather as the sun comes up over the horizon. Usually I’m out there on the trail with them, but the cold chill has been keeping me under the blankets until the sun has had a chance to warm up the air a bit. Yes, we have heat, but it has to be truly freezing inside for me to use it because it sets off my asthma – as does all the extra pollen in the air from the leaves falling off the trees due to the unusual cold – the biggest reason I’m not walking outside.

Even worse for my diet, the crazy cold weather Florida has had this winter demands cover-up clothing – sweat pants and/or long sleeve shirts. The elastic waists allow me to eat a little more than my zipper-front Capri’s would permit and the long sleeve shirts hide the cellulite on my arms. Gone ate the constant visual reminders to seal my lips when dessert is placed on the table.

This year, it’s been cold here for months instead of weeks. I’ve worn the few winter clothes I have that still fit to the point they are beginning to fray – something that hasn’t happened to my winter clothes since moving South in 1973. Usually they go out of style and are in mint condition when I give them to charity. Tonight, when I took one outfit out of the closet to steam it for a luncheon I need to attend tomorrow, even my husband, who rarely remembers what he wore the day before, remarked, “You’ve worn that outfit the last 3 times you got “dressed” to go out.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I told him. “None of my friends have an abundance of dressy winter clothes, so the fashion rule this year is “if it’s warm and fits, it’s in.”

Even if we wanted to replenish our winter wardrobes, the stores have restocked the sweater department with bathing suits and cover-ups. They’re more optimistic than me. Right now I can’t remember what it felt like to be so miserable and hot last Fall when I prayed for a cold winter. As much as all my neighbors are hoping the weather warms soon, I’ll bet I’m the only one anyone knows who is praying for the return of our hot and humid weather so I’ll be able to shed ten pounds.

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