Ever since I started putting on weight almost 20 years ago (and like so many other women) I flick through magazines looking at celebrities’ flat stomachs and buff bodies and – rather than feel sad or depressed – I feel a sense of relief that one day, I too will be like that again. I will look good. Fit into anything. Men will flock. I will be successful. At everything.
Twenty years later I am still doing that. Sure now as I turn the pages, I feel a sense of remorse (for opportunities lost) and perhaps a slight glimmer of panic as I realise I am now 42 years old and time is no longer on my side. But it is there; this underlying assumption that I will lose weight and not just a bit as I have done many times during the intervening period, but enough that I will look better-than-‘normal’, that I will look good. And, like my evening glasses of wine, it allows a peace to settle over me… a sense that all will (one day) be well in my world.
Of course, the sane part of me wonders exactly when or how I expect this to happen given my apathy and complete lack of motivation and commitment.
I am currently at the beach on holidays and while passing through my hometown my mother loaded me up with women’s magazines to satisfy my bathtime reading needs. (I don’t buy these types of magazines myself so rely on her to supply me every few months. Of course one needs to be careful to read them in order, cos… I mean, how else will I know if Spencer and Heidi are on or off, or if another actress’ pregnancy belly is actually just because she had a good feed!)
But, it means that over the past few days I have read magazine after magazine. The covers say it all “Too Skinny”; “Beware, Curves Ahead!”; “Best and Worst Bikini Bodies”. Even those bodies perceived by magazine editors to be ‘chubby’ pale into comparison compared to mine. And, quite frankly even if I get to something-resembling-my-goal-weight I will have stretch marks, scars, veins and excess skin. So the likelihood of my body looking like Jennifer Aniston’s is as likely as her changing her hairstyle anytime soon.
You would think this realization – that time is running out, or more correctly, that life is passing me by – would result in some increased motivation. Nope. Better just to binge eat and drink wine and contemplate how great my life will be when I get that perfect body!