This month, Author, Shelby Spear offers our readers a humorous look at preparing mentally for the summer swimsuit season. Read on, and enjoy….
Vanity being sinful is overrated. I mean, how is it possible to not want to feel good about the way we look? No matter how hard I try to accept the way my body is changing after forty-something years of being stretched, prodded, overworked, underworked, and subject to gravitational pull, deep inside my seemingly shallow heart I still want to look “good” for my husband. This is why I force myself to endure some type of workout each day. And on the days I don’t have time for exercise, I just eat a lot of chocolate as my cardio substitute. I have never been a coffee drinker, so cocoa is a nice alternative to get my heart pumping. Is that gluttony? Sigh…another deadly sin…
The winter months don’t really bother me. I can hide whatever defects or naked wardrobe malfunctions that manifest themselves in and around my frame beneath layers of clothing. It’s when the warm weather rolls around and my summer clothes beckon me to awake them from hibernation that I am filled with dread. It’s the same old routine each spring. I pull out a pair of shorts, put them on, and look at my profile in a full-length mirror with bewilderment.
“It must be the lighting,” I tell myself.
“No, wait; it must be the angle that my head is tilted when I look in the mirror.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t change anything either. Maybe if I stand with my knees slightly bent the alleged muscles in my legs will tone up ever so slightly.”
Nope. I am duped once again into thinking that months of exercise does anything for my rebellious thighs. It is maddening really. As women, after age forty (or sooner) we lose roughly ½ pound of muscle tissue per year due to sarcopenia – a fancy word that means “vanishing flesh.” What do you know – God designed us with a built-in weight loss program! Unfortunately, He also built our bodies to increase fatty deposits of about 1½ pounds per year. When you do the math it doesn’t work in our favor. The good news is these statistics of atrophy assume we are not exercising at all. If we do work out, the effects are minimized and we can keep more of our muscle mass. But in reality, the only way to have a forty-year-old body that looks the same as it did decades earlier – like those women on the covers of fitness magazines – is to hire a personal trainer and spend six hours or more of our carefree days in the gym. That’ll happen.
I have come up with a solution to this fleshy conundrum. This summer I am wearing a trendy new bikini to the beach. It’s my jeans-piece bathing suit – snug jeans on the bottom and swanky tank on top. With this get-up, I kill two birds with two stones – thighs and belly never see the light of day, and my figure can still acquiesce to the goal of the outfit. I am beginning to think that jeans are the all-American miracle worker and comfort keeper. Have you seen the new pajama jeans?
Let’s face it; Neil Diamond had it right a long time ago.
But it don’t sing and dance
And it don’t walk
As long as I can cover up most of me
I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans, babe
So, here’s to letting vanity wash out to sea…and allowing ageless beauty to fade beneath my jeans-piece.
See you at the beach!