Gaining five pounds is alarming. Gaining fifteen or twenty is terrifying. Gaining thirty pounds, on the other hand, is a walk in the park. (Of course, you don’t actually walk in the park per se, which is part of the problem). You see, five pounds is nothing you can’t fix with a few hours on a skateboard and three days of eating lentils. Conversely, fifteen or twenty spell “major dietary changes.” But thirty pounds – the magic number, in my opinion – thirty pounds say, “My bum is big and I don’t give a damn; so piss off.” There’s nothing you can do in the immediate future to rescue yourself from this sort of tonnage. You must either learn to love your curves or consent to being a tub of lard forever. Because you will be. For the foreseeable future, anyway. It’s not going to melt away while you’re sleeping, is it?
For me, it started with the Butter Diet (®?). You can’t make this stuff up. I heard about this diet on the news and pledged to put the whole family on it, starting by grating it onto everyone’s dinner like cheese that very evening. I know how that sounds, but this woman claimed to be a nutritionist. Since she was on a respected television program touting the benefits of a delicious foodstuff I already love, naturally I believed everything she said. Those were the days when I still thought A Current Affair was a credible news program. (Boy did I pay for that one).
In the interest of full disclosure, I am going to tell you how much I weigh. Not how much I tell people I weigh, or even how much I claim to weigh on a medical chart. I’m going to tell you the truth. Okay. Here goes. I’m telling you now. This it it. At the time of writing, I weigh 148 lbs. or 67kg. I can tell you this without embarrassment since I am entirely convinced that at the time of publication, I will be back down to a cool 125 lbs. Silly really, since that’s ten pounds under my normal weight – 135 lbs. – the amount I weighed from my baby-fat teens to my health-crazed twenties, right up until my my-boyfriend-thinks-anorexia-is-sexy adulthood. Whew! Glad that’s out of the way.
The other magic number, 125 lbs, is the amount I always imagined women my age were supposed to weigh. As in, “at this weight every employer will be clamouring to hire me, all the local hipsters will want to be my friend and Pedro Almadovar will make a movie about my life.” (Yes, I know how that sounds too.) Coincidently, this is also the amount that the average movie star is said to weigh on www.howmuchdotheyweigh.com. (Yeah, I looked it up. Sue me. But someone had to email the editor and let him know there is no way in hell that J.Lo weighs 121 lbs. Her behind is way bigger than mine.)
Now I sincerely hope they will correct me if I am wrong, but I have always assumed most of my female friends were in the 115-125 lbs. range, correcting for the years where there were bad break-ups, lost jobs, failed projects or some other Haagen-Dazs/Sofa situation. It’s not that I have skewed views about what women weigh (although, that may also be true); the truth is that these women are very small things. It is my lot in life to be surrounded by petite women. Some of them are Asian, granted, but the rest were simply born that way. Needless to say, I dump gallons of oil on their meals whenever they come to my house, pour double shots into their drinks, and serve them twice as much cake and cheese after dinner. I consider it the duty of large people to sabotage smaller people.
I’m not very large, truth be told. If Doctor Oz put me it his truth tube (of course, I personally never watch this show), I bet I would score pretty high. Or low, whatever the good score is. I’m quite healthy. I actually like lentils. I am likewise fond of green vegetables, flax seed and coconut oil, but no amount of mashed lentils can paint over the fact that I now weigh more than most of my ex-boyfriends and at least two of my older brothers. (It is also my lot in life to be born into a family of No. 2 pencils and forever falling in love with starving artists who are rail thin, despite eating cheeseburgers exclusively, always after 3am.) My last boyfriend told me he weighed 155 lbs. but I’m fairly certain he was lying about it. I bet it was more like 145.
Fortunately my current partner, Matthew, is even more rotund than I. Better still, he loves KFC. Despite how many elaborate speeches I make about chickens being bred in tiny cages, stunned in electrified water and boiled alive in great vats of feathery, horror-movie chicken broth, he cannot resist their popcorn chicken wraps. Worse still, because they are made with flatbread, he believes they must be somewhat healthy. He will deny this of course, but if you ask him to clarify he will probably say that, in the world of fast food, it’s one of the better choices. (It’s not. It’s one of the worst. I know this because I am a nutrition fact Nazi).
When I said that large people often try to sabotage smaller people, I should have added that we also like to see those larger than ourselves grow larger still, though we are less likely to actually intervene to this effect. We’re like smokers who, while not strictly encouraging cigarettes, breathe a collective sigh of relief when a recent quitter eventually takes up smoking again.
I am quite sexy, if you want to know (Check me out thirty pounds ago). Thirty pounds be damned, those ANTM women have got nothing on me. The truth, dear Reader, is that I’ve always wanted to know what I would look like had I been packing a bit of junk (I would add, “in my trunk,” but actually it’s quite nicely spread out. You can hardly notice, which is another reason I am in this predicament.) Still no matter how sexy I feel, I am always a little worried someone might see me rambling down the driveway, left hand reaching across to fumble around in my right pocket for the keys, while my right hand is busy stuffing an oversized spinach roll into my already full mouth. (I may be a little pudgy, but I still choose spinach over sausage in my pastries, which is probably why I look more like Christina Hendricks [minus the boobs, obviously] than Kirstie Alley).