Does the term “Bathing Suit Shopping” strike terror in your loins? It would for me, if I could just find my loins, but I haven’t seen them since 1984. They’re probably hiding under my stomach flap, but I’m not sure. Doesn’t loins sound good wrapped in bacon?
Oh, never mind. Yes, it’s time for the annual torture of bathing suit shopping. It’s a special kind of horror for me, because, not only do I have to take an honest look at how much pork I’ve managed to pack on since last summer, but I also have to endure hours of Dressing Room Hell with my two teenagers.
Since it’s almost summer, we went in search of new swimwear for both of my girls last weekend. They each have to try on 47 swimsuits minimum, in various styles and colors of tiny string-like material, in every single store we visit. This process takes hours, and in some cases, entire childhoods, to accomplish. Vacation season could very well end before they locate the perfect minature piece of fabric. My husband said, “Why don’t you just drop them off at the mall?” Ha ha, very funny. Have you seen the $65 strips of band-aids that they are trying to pass off as swimsuits these days? Hell, no. I know exactly what they would purchase if I wasn’t there exercising my Credit Card Veto Power.
So it’s off to the dressing rooms we go. I don’t know why I didn’t bring a couple of novels to finish off while I’m sitting there waiting. 47 swimsuits and two hours later, Amanda, 16, huffs out of the dressing, clearly angry about something.
“What in the world?” I say, “You couldn’t find a single bathing suit that fit in this entire store?”
“No, they all make me look fat! I look so huge. I look a cow in a bikini. I hate this, I’m outta here.” says Amanda.
A couple of minutes later, out storms Emily, 14.
“All these bathing suits suck. I look super fat.” she says.
Well, crap. You know what that means. The search will continue for rest of the day, or the possibly the rest of my life. And keep in mind, both of my teenagers weigh about 105 pounds and have no fat on them whatsoever, so whatever they are seeing in the mirror is a big, fat figment of their imagination.
I remember when I was that size. I remember thinking I looked AWESOME in my tiny bikinis. I used to lifegaurd in the summer when I was a teenager, and I also remember being way too busy getting dressed for dates to worry about what I ate, or even if I ate. I used to be able to eat a thick, juicy bacon cheeseburger whenever I felt like it, and not worry about grown-up crap like high cholesterol, the glycemic index, triple chins, turkey necks, jiggy thighs and all the other horrors of middle age.
Now that I am about to turn late-forty-something, everything on my body is getting saggier and lumpier. I have cankles the size of sequoias and my upper thighs look they are concealing an entire driveway’s worth of gravel. I have a large section of fatty tissue on my belly that I like to call my “front butt” that is a Living Memorial to every meatball, doughnut, Snickers bar and ice cream cone that I have ever eaten. It’s all still there. This is stupid when you think about it. In today’s modernized society, we don’t need to store food in our front butts in case of possible starvation. We have refrigerators for that, damn it!
My fat is incredibly stubborn. Sort of like my teeagers. I’ve tried to discipline my fat by forcing it into a Spanx garment, but it got sassy and rebelled against me. Yes, my fat is the most evil, indestructible substance on earth. There is no way to kill it. I’ve tried starving it, cursing at it, pounding it, sweating it, and forcing it to go to Spinning Class. Nothing can deter it from its mission….to keep me from ever wearing a normal sized swimsuit again. Even if I lose some weight, which I do once every decade or so, it escapes from wherever I lost it, and tracks me down like Dog the Bounty Hunter. Then, whenever I least expect it, usually at a swimming pool, it pounces back on to my ass and bloats it up to the size of a Beluga Whale.
Yes, yes. I know. “Just go on another diet, you cow.” is what you’re thinking. All I need is a little WILLPOWER, and before I know it, I’ll be lounging at the beach with my new hourglass figure. All I need is a little determination, a willingness to get off the couch, climb into my sweatsuit, lace on my running shoes, stride out the front door, and head straight for Fuddruckers.
No, just kidding. I got carried away for a minute.
There really are things I can do to get healthy and fit. I can totally commit to a program of regular exercise, have close medical supervision, and eliminate all carbs, caffeine, calories and remotely edible foods. Then I will replace those things with a strict diet of kale, seawood, cardboard and lemon water — all so unappetizing that I will probably start lusting for beansprouts. Are you crazy? I’m not doing any of that because, basically, I’m lazy. And since I’m lazy, I would definitely spring for liposuction as the ideal turbo-route to a taut, teen-aged-like bikini body, but I’m too broke for that. So I’ve come up with a quick and easy solution that will allow me to enjoy my time at the beach, eat all the hot dogs I want, and BONUS, avoid sunburn. That’s right, I’m going to wear a circus tent.
My hope is that, after reading this, you too will become aware of the dangers of Middle-Aged Front Butt Syndrome. And then, exercising your American freedom of choice, go out and buy the skimpiest string bikini you can find (on your way to McDonald’s, of course). That way I can laugh at you at the beach as I’m peeking out from under my tent. “Look at that idiot! Hey, you gonna eat that Big Mac?”