It’s on. Extra weight after the baby, yes. And also the weight game, which I always lose.
After the birth of our children, my husband and I usually find ourselves needing to lose some weight. And since this is the fourth time, I already know who’s going to win. And it’s not me.
The game goes something like this:
One of the spouses will usually say something to the effect of “Gaaaaaaaaaaah,” as he or she’s getting dressed in the morning, upset with how the clothing is hanging (or clinging, stretching, and rolling up), deciding once and for all that it is time to get in shape. The other spouse agrees vehemently that he or she ought also do the same and then both happily resume the day’s activities, content with this PLAN.
Several days later one of the spouses decides that it might actually work better if the PLAN goes into effect. Invariably a family function with bars–a must-have party menu item here in Wisconsin–shows up on the calendar and the plan is swept aside in favor of espresso cream cheese brownies.
The stress of the new baby, cute as he might be, induces more eating in always the wife who finally sees clearly that if the PLAN is not enacted immediately—tomorrow—the needle of the scale will begin marching relentlessly to the right until it all but disappears. She firmly resolves with a crazy look in her eye that tomorrow, so help her, she will begin the PLAN, which, of course, means that she must shore up her energy reserves with a giant dessert—or four—the night before. Her husband agrees that tomorrow sounds like a great day to start and joins her in preparations.
Before leaving for work, the wife checks with her husband to make sure that he will indeed be suffering with her as today is Day 1 of the PLAN. He solemnly agrees and leaves. She closes the door behind him and returns to her work…in the kitchen. She maps out her calorie allowance for the day—in code, lest surprise visitors come—and posts it on the refrigerator, and then stares down the refrigerator, just daring it to lure her into its trap. She remains firm until mid-morning when she decides to use her lunch calories for a snack, most certain that it’s no big deal because it’s already 9:30 am and she can wait until dinner to eat again. Two hours later she eats lunch, not wanting to be extreme and by mid-afternoon she’s consumed up to the next day’s lunch calories and figures that this was just a practice day, that tomorrow will be the real start of the PLAN. Her husband comes home after work, mentions casually that he hasn’t eaten all day, and she notices that already his jaw line is more defined. They eat dinner, his first meal of the day, her sixth, and retire.
This happens for about a week until the wife realizes that her husband is almost to his goal and she really hasn’t started. And then usually, by the grace of God, she’s able to clench her teeth and start for real out of fear of being left behind because as little fun as it is enacting the PLAN, it’s much less bearable doing it alone.
Tonight I’m at the fourth dessert part wondering if I’ll be able to go through with all of it again. I’m grateful that we’re celebrating the feast of St. Paul Miki and Companions this week, as I’m going to need the intercession of these heavy hitters to help get me through the first week of the PLAN, which is always the hardest. And who knows, with their help I might even finish before my husband…or at least have the grace to start with him.
Copyright 2013 Meg Matenaer