On the morning of my 40th birthday, I leapt out of bed, stripped off my nightgown and stood on the bathroom scale. The number that flashed back at me was my goal weight (1/2 pound under, actually) and I stared in disbelief at the digital numbers that had eluded me for the past 20 years. I was thrilled and I wanted to celebrate, but I knew that there was one person who would not be so jazzed — the one person whose opinion matters the most to me: my husband.
My journey to get into the best shape of my life started around the time of my 39th birthday. I’d read an article on CNN that touted the benefits of getting “fit by 40,” explaining that especially for women, it gets harder to shed extra pounds after that age when the metabolism starts to get sluggish. I also knew I’d be a whole lot less bummed about saying goodbye to my 30s if I looked like a certified MILF.
First off, I was not obese, but the 20 extra pounds I carried put me above the healthy weight range for my (diminutive) height. I wanted to feel stronger and have more energy for my toddler-aged twins. I wanted to zip up my jeans without having to creatively disguise a muffin top. I wanted to be able to go into Forever 21, pick out the sluttiest looking tube dress and know that I could rock it! (And then slowly put it back on the rack, remembering that I am double the age of their intended clientele.)
I’d enjoyed filling out a “D” cup when I was pregnant with the twins. But I had a goal to achieve — a healthy, realistic goal.
My husband was skeptical of my initial efforts to amp up my gym routine and revamp my daily menu. I reassured him that I wasn’t going on some crazy no-carb or kale smoothie-only diet. I planned to make small changes and even keep my favorite treats, like dark chocolate after dinner and cocktails on our weekly date nights. What I soon discovered was that his biggest concern was how my weight loss was going to affect my girls — and I’m not talking about my best friends. A diehard boob man, he had said “I do” to a nice, full pair of C-cups and he didn’t want me messing with that.
At first I thought this was ridiculous. After all, his body didn’t look exactly the same as it did when we met in our 20s. But then I realized that I really liked big breasts, too. I’d enjoyed filling out a “D” cup when I was pregnant with the twins. But I had a goal to achieve — a healthy, realistic goal.
I started running on the treadmill and swapping out my sandwiches for salads at lunch. Fierce determination coupled with a carefully laid out plan meant that for the first time in my life, I was actually making this happen. Friends started to notice. My family started to notice. Acquaintances noticed. “I just want to tell you, you have totally changed your body since I first met you,” said a mom friend. As far as I and everyone else was concerned, that was a compliment. To the man I’m married to, who thinks the ideal female body looks like an R. Crumb drawing, it was a serious negative.
I was by no means skinny, but I had to admit it — my cups no longer raneth over.
In the darkness of our bedroom, we had serious fights about the firmness of my ass.
“You took away something that I loved!” my husband said accusatorily, referring to my previously more plump ass. It sounded hilarious when I recounted the story to my friends, but in the darkness of our bedroom, we had serious fights about the firmness of my ass. “You’re going to do what you’re going to do!” he said to me in the heat of one of our arguments. I was pissed, but at the same time, sad. My hubs is a good man – a hard worker at his job and in our home, and a great dad. Didn’t he deserve a wife with a sizable pair of sweater kittens at the end of the day if that was what he wanted?
I thought about my options. Surgery was out of the question. Going on the Pill was an idea, but I hated the other side effects that might come with it. Would I actually consider regaining the weight?
Then, on a subway trip home from the city with my daughter, she fell asleep in her stroller. When we reached our stop, I thought about waking her up but knew she would be upset. So instead, I assumed the squat position I’d done so many times at the gym over the past year, and using my newly-defined arms, lifted her and the stroller up three flights of steep subway stairs until we were back out on the street. THIS was why being fit was so important to me. (OK, and being able to wear the sleeveless, size 4 dress I had on at the time was pretty sweet, too.)
I hope that my hubs will someday understand why I will be making every effort to stay at my goal weight, which for the record, leaves me with a relatively curvy figure! Hopefully that, coupled with my sensual lovemaking skills and my Mexican lasagna, will be enough to keep him satisfied.