Saturday, 5 May 2007


I looked at myself in the mirror this morning -- not the bathroom one where I check that there's no green in my teeth and my hair is more or less brushed, but the big one in the bedroom that shows me myself from the knees up. It was not a pretty sight. I am a blob, with rolls of fat where there used to be a waist, a pretzel with a curve and some stuff hanging where there used to be shoulders and a neck, a mottled mess of red spider veins where brown thighs used to be, and a quite scornful brown eye peering out of puffy lids with wrinkled corners. The whole picture, as they say, almost sent me off to the kitchen for some comfort food.

I've never been particularly body conscious, I guess because I have never been very impressed with how I look. I've been pleased to be strong, happy to have a lot of endurance, lucky to have good skin that doesn't break out in blotches and tans when required. But I have always been flat chested and muscled enough that my waist and hip measurements do not vary a lot, and I was a teenager when the body to have was one that resembled Marilyn Monroe's. My nickname was 'Mary Slat' and what I required of clothes was that they were neat and fairly appropriate and not get me laughed at.

The thing that drove me to the mirror is that none of my summer trousers are fit to be seen except for a few that do not fit. So I have to forge off to town this afternoon and buy something that looks at least neat and somewhat put together. Intellectually I knew that the situation with the bod was pretty dire. I do shower every morning, and there is more to soap and rinse than there used to be. But I can manage not to think about it, mostly. I can put off the necessary exercise because the arthritis is bad this morning and going out into the cold will make it worse. I have been deliberately not thinking about the whole subject.

Well, no more. I am going to come back from this shopping trip chastened enough that I will exercise. I will not replace the cold weather excuse with the black fly excuse. I will stop eating cookies whenever I need a boost. I will get off my flabby butt. I will look in the damn mirror every day.

I suppose I could also promise to get my sorry self out of this computer chair and do something active. But one has to draw the line somewhere.

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