Swimsuit season has arrived.
Last year, having gained some weight over the winter, I walked around with a sarong around my waist or skipped swimming altogether.
I vowed that this year would be different.
My goal: To fit into one of those smart-looking, long-torso, two-piece bathing suits.
I felt my goal was reasonable. I wasn't attempting to revert to some high school string bikini and thong mentality.
I simply wanted to look respectable in a classy two-piece suit.
Around Christmas, as my pants grew tighter and my belly began bulging over them, I decided it was time to start working on my goal.
Where to begin?
The once-over: A quick assessment while looking in the mirror told me anywhere would be a good place to start.
Instead of a "ripped" stomach, I had ripples.
Where hard, bulky bicep muscles should be, I had soft, hanging skin dripping below that kept flapping after my hand had stopped waving.
When laughing, an extra layer of skin formed around my neck -- otherwise known as a double chin.
And those weren't even my problem areas!
There was absolutely no defining point to show where my buttocks ended and my thighs began.
And on the thighs! Those massive, bumpy, bulging forms of cellulite. If painted, they could have performed in a Jell-O commercial.
I won't even discuss the upper torso. Needless to say, things weren't perky.
As I stood in front of that cruel mirror, I begin to lose hope. I certainly looked hopeless. (This, of course, made me crave a piece of chocolate cake.)
Instead, I determined to look on the bright side.
"Surely, this gravity stricken, bearer-of-four-children body has some good points," I said to myself, searching the mirror desperately.
To my joy, I was right.
I discovered I have great hands and very pretty feet. (For this, I felt I deserved a piece of chocolate cake!)
Exercise machine: Instead, I lumbered upstairs in search of the Nordic Skier I had used the last time I went through this crisis.
That was five months ago.
From then until now, I have faithfully "skied" everyday.
Each time I step onto the skier, the instructions taunt me, "Stop if you feel faint, dizzy or short of breath."
What is that, a joke?
For a while, it took me 30 minutes to ski 15 minutes because of breath breaks. Now, I do 30 in 30. I even bought a pair of 7-pound weights to help with the flapping skin under my arms.
As I ski, the sweat pouring profusely from every pore, I think of all those television commercials and radio ads that claim their weight product "takes weight off and keeps it off."
I contemplate drinking a chocolate shake and watching the weight melt away.
My favorite is the "lose weight while you sleep" remedy.
For some reason, I have chosen to subscribe to the "no pain, no gain" method.
My children have learned not to come near me when I am on this torture mill.
They can tell by my look of torment that it is not a good time to talk. Those that have tried, find that I have no breath to answer them anyway.
Results: So, what are the results of my five months of pain and suffering?
On the upside, my parts are no longer "jiggly," they are more of a "mushy" texture. (In my opinion, everything should be steel by now!)
On the downside, I have gained 10 pounds.
My fit and trim friend tells me that it is because muscle weighs more than fat.
Is there a scale that can prove that?
To add insult to injury, the smart, two-piece bathing suit I saw in a catalog and fell in love with arrived.
It doesn't fit.
Is there a swimsuit anywhere that accents great hands and pretty feet?