(Featuring on The Huffington Post, August 27, 2015)
It started as a fun golf game with another couple we enjoy. It ended with me wanting to stab myself with a knife. Life is like that sometimes.
We finished our round with a good score and returned to the club house for dinner. As we waited for the food, the man casually mentioned that his wife and my husband were lucky because they didn’t need to lose weight. I know it was an innocent remark by a good, middle-aged man but my ears heard this:
“You are a gross, undisciplined whale and so incredibly fat that you should put a sack over your body and hide in the women’s lounge. Too bad you don’t look like my beautiful, fit wife.”
My first reaction was to pick up my butter knife and slash my gums because 30 years ago I lost 12 pounds in one week after my wisdom teeth were removed. I thought that maybe I could duplicate that instant weight loss if I hurt myself. Obviously, this was a red flag warning that I should immediately leave the club and seek a counselor.
Truth: You never need to tell a woman that she has gained weight. She knows it. She avoids mirrors, hates photographs of herself, and loses the urge to shop for clothes. She doesn’t want to be reminded that her hips, belly, and back are padded with enough layers of protective fat to shelter a family of ten through the winter. She wants to be appreciated for her charm, wit, altruism, and talent. Tell her she’s fat and she’ll write about you.
I languish in good excuses. I was injured almost a year ago, ironically doing a high-impact exercise. My leg bone cracked and the meniscus tore on my knee. The pain was debilitating. As a result, my exercise routine vanished as the extra pounds appeared. The only physical activity I got was when I ambled to the wine rack for medication. But, I still want and need to lose the weight I gained after the injury. I really do, but it’s not as easy any more, and my body seems to like living large.
The day after the golf humiliation, I wiggled into my workout clothes and plodded to the gym. I started with the exercise bike, plugged my earphones into the TV outlet, and found the news. Donald Trump was criticizing Megyn Kelly, an attractive newscaster I admire. I left the gym and drove to a coffee shop that offered fresh maple bars, and I used the butter knife to smear around the gooey frosting. I licked the knife and promised to hit the gym another day.