Monday, September 26, 2011

Older, Slimmer and Not Yet Shorter

I have never been thin. Most of my life, going way back to elementary school, I usually had (at least) a few extra pounds on me. I was never obese, but words like plump, round, zaftig, buxom, portly, ample, chubby described my figure. Growing up in the late1960s was especially challenging. Twiggy was the role model teens were supposed to look like. Anyone remember her? She was a British model, tall and unbelievably thin. Looking at pictures of her today she looks anorexic, but that was not a term I was familiar with back then. She had no figure. Everything just hung on her. She had long, long, long legs. I was (and still am) short - barely 5 feet 2 inches and had (and still have) busts - substantial busts. Nothing hung on me. Or rather anything that hung on my frame made me look ten months pregnant.

Fast forward a few decades. A funny thing is happening as I get older. I am getting slimmer. I am not svelte or thin, or even within normal weight limits. I have a few extra pounds to lose. 

A lot of other people are getting thicker.

Age does that to most people and menopause does that to women. It becomes more difficult to lose weight and keep the weight off. 

I fought the extra pounds for as long I can remember. I never won. The older I get the easier it is to gain weight. I cannot eat without the calories and fat immediately appearing on my hips and stomach. I am not alone. I find friends lucky enough to be thin in their younger years complain post-menopause that they are gaining weight. The pounds slowly begin to find their way around their body. Bigger busts may be seen as a good thing, or at least a not-so-bad thing; bigger butts not so much. 

I have finally gotten to the event prompting these thoughts. I was in a women's clothing store the other day and the saleswoman said, "Oh, you must be about a size 8. You are so slim." I am sure she was just trying to flatter me (it worked).

I have never been a size eight. I doubt I was a size eight as a child. I think I went from 6x to size 10, and then quickly on to size 12. 

The slimming effect is most apparent when with my contemporaries, but unfortunately it sometimes appears that way when compared to the general public. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, as our country becomes increasingly inhabited by a large number of obese kids and adults of all ages people lose perspective; overweight by a few pounds looks pretty good nowadays. It is sad that so many kids, young and middle aged people carry so many extra pounds. It is sad that I can feel good about myself by going to the mall or anywhere else people of all ages congregate and seem, well, not fat. But I guess that is as long as I stay within the confines of our weighty country.

Until the last few years, when everyone else put on the pounds, no one ever called me thin, slim, slender or even of average weight.

So enjoy your favorite foods and desserts. I am not only getting older, I am getting slender-er. 

At least for a few years, before I begin to shrink, I will enjoy my figure through (as the saying goes) rose-colored glasses (and dimming eyesight); I will enjoy finally not being overweight, or actually just minimally overweight.


  1. I guess, in comparison to the obese people around, I'm not fat. Just thick. Very thick.

  2. It happens to some people that they do begin to get slimmer as they age. One of my sisters is like that, too. Now that she is over sixty, she looks slim in comparison to others around her. As long as you are healthy and your size doesn't hold you back from doing what you want, it begins to matter less and less as we age, it seems. :-)

  3. I have trained myself not to obsess over the number on a scale and just let my clothes tell me when it is time to cut back for a bit, but hitting menopause was a rude time for my body. I did get boobs without having to pay a plastic surgeon. On the other hand, I used to have a round bottom and a flat tummy. Now those two areas have traded places entirely.