A Weighty Issue

Albert and I are locked in a race to see who can lose ten pounds first.  Albert is off and running; he’s lost three pounds already, but my horse kind of balked at the gate – I lost three pounds too, but I gained two of them after the race began.  But I’m back in the race and Albert doesn’t know how determined I am or to what lengths I’ll go to win.  I am his personal chef and I know he can’t eat just one serving of lazy man’s pizza or ignore homemade pie topped with billows of whipped cream calling to him from the fridge…I’m just joking.  I would never sabotage him that way.  Unless I was severely provoked or in danger of losing the race.

We’re not morbidly obese, but we winter very well and could afford to hibernate until June before we come out to forage.  Although if we really did eat fish and berries like bears do, we probably wouldn’t have a weight issue to begin with.  But let’s not dwell on that point.  To think that we would get skinny if we ate what a six-hundred pound animal eats to get fat is just depressing.

Albert has two advantages over me in our race to lose weight.  First, he’s a man, which means his metabolism is faster than mine, and second, I take a prescription medication that slows my metabolism even further.  It’s partly why I’m so rubenesque to begin with.  But I also have two advantages over Albert: first, he won’t drink plain water.  He drinks fruit juice, iced tea, sports drinks and pop.  Water is my beverage of choice whether I’m trying to lose weight or not.

Okay that’s only one…I may have to resort to exercise…wait, I’ve got it:  Albert won’t eat boiled potatoes unless I mash them with milk and butter, even though I prepare gravy to go with them.  I prefer plain boiled potatoes, so I set some aside before I whip the rest into pureed heart attack à la mode for him.  Let the race – er, recommence.

I’m excited to fit into my favourite jeans again, but I won’t knock the benefits of being chunky.  And for those of you who have never been chunky, there are benefits.  Let me share just a few.

It’s easier to stay warm, for two reasons.  Number one:  Fat provides you with a natural shield from the cold.  Superior R-value is one advantage of a well-insulated figure I’m loath to give up.  (Admittedly, that same layer of fat can make you feel like you’re wearing an ankle-length mink pelt with matching muff and mittens in the summer.  If I were a Native American squaw this week, the tribe would call me Takes Many Showers.)

Number two:  You’re more apt to cover up.  For many people, gaining weight produces a curious side effect called modesty, even where there was none before.  I smile when I see skinny-limbed, knock-kneed spaghetti-straps shivering and hugging themselves in the dairy aisle at the grocery store.  I was once one of those girls.  I turned some heads, but few of them seemed overly anxious for my comfort or suggested – revolutionary thought – that they would show such appreciation for my person if it ever expanded a few sizes.  But Albert did.  I didn’t purposely set out to test his resolve, but sometimes fat happens.

I don’t have to yank on stuff to make it come down.  I just stand on it.  Albert wanted to hitch a wagon to the tractor the other day.  The problem was that there was a load of wood on the back end of the wagon.  The weight of the wood pulled the back end to the ground and the wagon tongue skyward.  I climbed into the wagon.  Albert backed the tractor up; I walked toward the wagon tongue and presto, it dropped down on the tractor’s hitch with a solid clunk.  Add some chunky to your clunky and what goes up will surely come down.

I no longer suffer from mistaken identity.  I can’t even tell you how many people mistook me for Albert’s daughter when I was thin, even though he’s only five years older than me.  This state of affairs wanted nothing but a few strategically placed pounds.  Now folks round about recognize my station properly as Farmer Wall’s hale and hearty Missus.

But most good things eventually come to an end, and perhaps with the busyness of my new life I won’t miss these things so very much.  I imagine that four hours on the treadmill every day, shopping at Richmond Row and lunching on arugula and watercress with my homiettes while we dish on the latest episode of The Bachelorette will take up a good deal of my time.  Being a fitness buff, reality television critic, chicken farming fashionista isn’t easy, but someone’s got to do it.

Wow…I must be careful to curb my imagination.  I really did just get a little bit depressed after I wrote the paragraph above…it was partly the thought of spending leisure time in downtown London…I’m not dissing anyone who watches The Bachelorette, but if whether or not the starring lady ought to dispatch contender number seven because the way he parallel parks reminds her of her sister’s philandering ex-husband ever becomes my standard for meaningful conversation, help me.  Rescue me from myself.  Do not tolerate me or extend to me the right hand of fellowship until you have purged the diva from among you.  You may, however, extend to me a good swift kick in the pants and know that someday, I’ll probably thank you for it.




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