I have finally discovered it! Yes, the secret to losing the weight that most everyone, even those who’ve never had a weight problem before, have put on after age thirty-seven. You see, once you reach this ripe old age, you are only a hop, skip, and jump away from forty, which every teenager knows means you are practically ancient. Your metabolism starts complaining, “Hey, I’ve been doing this a long time now, and I’m tired. No, I’m exhausted, so I think I’m going to slack off a bit. Okay, a lot. Who cares? I’ve paid my dues.”
Of course, it didn’t bother to communicate this important information to you, and so you blithely eat on. You’ve never had a problem before. Chocolate, cookies, chips, and sweets never stuck on your hips and waist. “I have good genes,” you’d always say, feeling sorry for those who were not quite so lucky. But now suddenly you are feeling every piece of chocolate and even a single piece of pizza adds a half a pound to your weight.
Now for the first time in your life, you finally begin to understand the nightmare that all those other people without “good” genes have endured all these years. Your waistline thickens, the fleshy part on your upper arms swing whenever you lift up your arm, and your sweats are so tight on your thighs that they look more like a second skin than something you bought at a department store. Your husband stops asking you if you want ice cream after dinner, and your children’s friends no longer say they wished their mom had your figure.
What do you do? Give up and eat more chocolate? Buy clothes two sizes larger? Well, that might be the simpliest thing to do. In fact, it might be the wisest. There are a lot of happy, healthy people out there who weigh ten, twenty, or forty pounds more than they did in high school.
But there is another answer for those who don’t want to grow large gracefully. The answer isn’t exercise, though exercise is always nice for firming up. (Because most regular people can’t work in enough exercise to allow them to continue to eat as they did as twenty-year-olds.) The answer is not some fad diet, which is only good while it lasts. It’s not the lipo or surgery that some women resort to in desperation.
The secret is this: Don’t eat.
I know, I know, it’s a terribly hard thing to do. But the bottom line is calories. It doesn’t matter so much what you eat, though some foods definitely give you more mileage, but how much is going into your body versus how much your lazy metabolism is willing to process. Or something like that. Fortunately, you don’t have to completely stop eating, because your metabolism hasn’t given out on you altogether. You just have to eat less. Less chocolate, less pizza, less of everything. A lot less. Grrrrrr. Except vegetables. Those you can always eat.
The good news is that since your metabolism is taking a break, the food lasts longer in your system and you don’t feel hungry as you would have on the same sparse diet when you were younger. However, your stomach and brain don’t realize there’s been a change for a while, and they still think they should be on the old schedule, so you have to trick them by eating a whole bunch of vegetables and fruit for weeks on end so they think they’re getting as much as they always did. Then by the time they realize the calories have been cut, they are good with the deal because they thought they were getting as much all along.
Yes, it’s a matter of trickery and starvation. SIGH. I don’t know about you, but shopping for a larger size of clothes sounds like a lot more fun.