Reaching my maximum girth…

I know that I’m not normal – you’re not pulling the curtain back on that idea for me at this point in my life, trust me, but I have to wonder if I am at least not alone…

Before the summer season is in full bloom we see advertisements for what people love to do in the summer: they swim, play at the beach, run, play volleyball, ride bikes…it’s active time! We all want to eat healthier, too! Salads, light beer, fruit and vegetable recipe ideas, farmer’s markets abound. We are all sick of the cold and the rain and the clouds and all we want is warm sun, light food and time to play, right? Then why is it that once summer hits I go into sloth-mode? Truly.

I am that person who would much rather lay on the beach baking with a tall ice-water and a good book than go surfing or play beach volleyball. If the temperature gets too high I am somewhat happy to be indoors in the air-conditioning – but I do feel guilty about it. I want to like being outside and romping in the sunshine. I want to “just do it” with my Nikes and run farther than I ever have before. I want to be able to wear that awesome bikini just once more (or just once!) before I am considered “too old” to be doing so (altho, with today’s attitude, I don’t think that there is such a limit thankfully)

I want to LIKE summer more than TOLERATE it. But I can’t.

I’ve come to realize that I am truly a fall/winter person. No, I don’t ski (very well or often) nor do I own a snowmobile or enjoy shovelling 18 inches of snow off of my long and winding driveway, but I prefer it to summer believe it or not.

I find that in summer I tend to slow down, my fitness regiment goes out the window because we are either travelling or I just lose motivation because “it’s too hot to run” and the gym seems so depressing in the sunmer. I ask myself “why am I inside on a machine or in a class when I should be outside running around, jumping rope, swimming?!”

Plus, the sweating. Oh God, the sweating. I am not a glistener, trust me, I am that kid from the playground that is soaked within the 15 minute recess time and all I was doing was playing hopscotch! Can you imagine if I was running around?! And no, I wasn’t the “fat kid” either. Well, I am still that kid. I don’t sweat like a lady, I sweat like a…I have no idea, but it’s not pretty and it’s not pleasant to be downwind of me either (once my brother made the sound of a horse neighing when he stood next to me after I had taught an aerobics class, if that gives you any clue)

My hair and make-up (when I try to wear it in the summer) look horrendously similar to Betty Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” in the summertime – sticking up and out, smeared and running. How do they do it, those women that look pulled together in 95 degree heat while I am melting and stinking?? Do they have their pores removed? or just frozen in time and space until September 1st?

Add to that the fact that summer fashion is anything but fashionable, unless you are a size zero. T-shirt material tank-tops with spaghetti straps? Really? Daisy Duke shorts? You don’t want to see that on anyone over 18, trust me. Bare arms, bare legs, and (gag) bare midriffs…who’s idea was this?! And why do women who shouldn’t be wearing these items wear them the most?! Summer is the time of the most uncovered skin and for some of us this is not the best solution…

Unlike the normal population, I actually GAIN weight in the summer. I attribute this habit to our living abroad for over 10 years. How did I come up with that line of reasoning? Well, when you live in another country that doesn’t have a fast-food restaurant on every corner you tend to overdo it when you go home to visit, which is exactly what I would do each and every summer that we came home. I would binge on everything that I couldn’t get in Germany or Hong Kong: Arby’s, Chicago-style pizza, good Chinese take-out, fair-food (corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes, etc.) and drink way too often because we were always going to a cook-out or house party while we were visiting…don’t want to appear unsocial now do we??

By the end of the summer visit I would barely be able to button my shorts, my shirts would all be tight and pulling across my expanded breasts and I would have gained approximately 8 pounds – give or take a pound or two. UGH!! The summer vacation photos always make me cringe…

I would then go home to my home in another land, bloated and depressed,  full of resolve to “get back on track” which would be close to Fall – perfect weather for me.

I embrace the cool air, the slight wind, the scent of decaying leaves while I run through the darkening mornings or ride my bike on the gravel trails. I feel my heart lift and my head clear as the mercury dips below 75. I feel lighter, faster, awake and alive. I sweat, but not before I get started, and I feel good about it because I have earned it.

Summer is good, but Fall is better for those like me. Call it “reverse hibernation”, whatever, just take pictures of the others at the party until I shed this innertube I’ve gained around my waist. How does October sound to you??

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