a campaign against my body

by ann

The numbers that blink back from my scale have teetered in the plus/minus five range for the past ten years, which may seem fortuitous to some, but has been a source of much angst.

Throughout my youth, Mom often reminisced about her willowy figure with pointed looks at my child-bearing hips. I was not offended but equally outraged at my body for rebelling against me, yanking me from the uniform petite stature of my forefathers and peers. I would glare at my mirrored self, longing to be skinny like my beloved heroine Anne Shirley even if “it sounds quite romantic to be ‘slender,’ but ‘skinny’ has a very different tang.” Semantics to the curvaceous.

So I began a campaign against my body, attacking with a blitzkrieg of dieting strategies. I allied myself with grapefruit and cabbage soup while that treacherous double agent bread repeatedly seduced me to enter enemy trenches. There were many battles, all in hopes that one would win the war.

Yet my loyalties did not lie with superfoods. I reminded myself of their good attributes but yearned to answer the siren call of all things deemed bad for me: triple cream brie on lightly toasted baguette slices, perfectly salted French fries pulled from the depths of searing hot oil…I go weak in the knees.

I could… I should continue my fight against the pounds that have set camp on my body but, if I were to follow the guidance of Mat, it would entail endless meals of chicken soup and hours at the gym, agonizing each minute. There’s a certain satisfaction after completing a workout and I enjoy lifting weights as a feminist stance-a story for another time but cardio…I am no gazelle. So, after much mulling, I have trekked to the DMZ, a safe haven uninhabited by extremes and will be living my days in quiet moderation. Which brings me to happy hour.

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My old friend Connie and I met at Mia Bella Trattoria to dine on calamari, baked goat cheese and bread. We haven’t seen each since freshman year of college (!) and I was delighted to commiserate about boys and graduate loans as well as do some mental drooling over Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. (The latter may have been primarily me. Stubble and washboard abs undo me.) 20120717-LR-1

And, the reason most attend happy hours, there were bellinis and sparkling wine. I haven’t acquired a love of red wine and just tolerate whites but sparkling wine is divine.