It seems throughout a lifespan, us humans are constantly reaching toward a new milestone. Walking, talking, getting food in our mouth and not around it etc, are the ones we could barely remember. The first real milestone I could remember, clear as day, is when at six years old I swapped my back seat booster for a new “feet out the window, cigarette in hand” passenger seat kind of look. Skipping a few years to when you are in your mid-teens and you kiss the days your parents pulled up to the movie theater in their soccer car or broken down Volkswagen goodbye because you just got your driver’s license. Of course this example doesn’t apply to me because I was a grandma and waited till my early 20’s to receive that thing. But you get the gist. Then of course there is graduating college and getting married. Y’know the minor ones. One major milestone that occurs throughout a lifetime, I realized, usually always has something to do with weight. Losing ten pounds, gaining 5, always ends up being a major (catastrophic or not) event. After spending my last few weeks of summer on the beach, I grew accustomed to watching the stick figured teeny-boppers run around as if this were a perpetual Baywatch episode on repeat. After watching them strut their stuff for all of Miami-Dade to see, I had caught myself becoming a little envious. And then it hit me; the wave had knocked me down. I can’t even remember the last time my weight range was in the 120’s through the 150’s. Was I in Middle School? Junior High? High School? Definitely not my year studying abroad when there were fresh baked goods for the equivalent of a U.S. nickle steaming outside my apartment. I returned home to my size-two sister cooking in the kitchen. The following conversation with my sister is what preempted this blog in the first place.
Me:”Jackie, am I fat?”
Jackie: “No way am I answering this question. Every time I do I get in some sort of trouble.”
Even though I knew she was right, I continued to badger her until she finally caved.
Jackie: “You’re not fat but… you do have ‘poulkes.'” She said with a grin and a shrug.
Me: “I have…what?” I asked rather confused. Was that some kind of meat entree?
Jackie: “You know…’poulkes'”
Pronounced: Pull-kehs. Pointing down to the area just above and around my knee cap. Poulkes? I thought to myself. Does anyone else coin it that? If they don’t, then there is no way anyone else could have noticed. Right? Wrong.
As I solemnly said “alright” and began to walk away, Jackie snuck in another source of access adipose tissue on my body. The girl was having a field day.
Jackie: “…and thunder thighs.”
“Oh, come on!” I said turning around rather annoyed. Even though I did sign up for it. “Where else, Jack? Anything on my arms you would like to comment about?”
Jackie: “Well, we all have a little flab there.” She said lifting up her own and jiggling it with her dainty fingers. “But your stomach is pretty flat!”
Thanks Jack. The imagery that went on in my mind was gruesome. But I managed to turn my humiliation into determination. And thus begins my journey on going from 156 and down to my goal weight of 128…Welcome Aboard. (And for the record, Jack was right, I didn’t speak to her till the following morning…)