As I lay writhing in pain on the hospital bed, a nurse leaned over and listened to my heart. She looked at me quizzically and said,
“Do you workout?” My friend, who had driven me to the ER, responded.
“Yes, she does work out. Quite a bit, actually.”
“I can tell,” said the nurse. “You have a very strong, low heart rate.”
Through the intense pain, which easily rivaled labor pains but without the in-between contraction reprieve, I felt a glimmer of pride. I was an exerciser. I was lean. I could run three miles without breaking a sweat. I looked better-than-average in my one-piece Lands End bathing suit with swim skirt. I weighed almost as much as I did when I was first married, ten years and four children ago.
After they sliced me open and took out my gallbladder, I couldn’t go back to the gym for six weeks. (Something about my stitches ripping open or me hurting myself or some other such post-operation silliness.) Six weeks went by. I got the okay to resume my routine. Eight weeks went by. Ten weeks. Three months. Six months.
I feel like I now finally understand Einstein’s law of energy: matter can neither be created nor destroyed. The pounds I lost slowly came wandering back from their vacations in cool places like Thailand and Hawaii and re-adhered themselves to my stomach and upper-arms. It’s like they never even left. They were perturbed, however, when I tried to squeeze them into the new size four pants I had purchased last March in their absence. They require more room than that. A lot more room.
Last night, things got bad. We had a Super Bowl party and for about an hour, I posted myself right next to the bean dip. During the course of the evening, I ate guacamole, buffalo chicken wing dip, pizza, cake, brownies, and munched on one piece of celery. Just one.
I don’t even know who won the stupid game.
It is time to get my increasingly rotund derriere back to the gym.
This February, I am committed to getting back into a workout routine. I am also committed to giving up oatmeal cream pies for breakfast and my kids’ leftover peanut butter and jellies for lunch. I am committed to discontinuing the use of my treadmill as a storage rack and repurposing it as an exercise machine. I did it once; I can do it again. Finally, I am committed to making sure those pounds stay overseas this time.
(I don’t even want a postcard.)