Saturday, September 25, 2010


When I was in my teens, I could come home from school, eat five brownies, and three hours later, do justice to my Mother’s home cooking. Before bed, I often had a handful of potato chips. I ate three squares a day. I was underweight.

In college, I was very busy, and found time to eat only breakfast, which consisted of multiple slices of toast, eggs or cereal, two big tumblers of juice, and a glass of milk. I filled in the rest of the day with snacks on the run. I had the body of a super model.

Then I became a young Mom myself. I raced around after two little girls, drove to school events and soccer games. There were horse shows and school plays. I made time to play racquetball and bake cookies. I was a rail.

My children grew up. When they left home, I substituted writing for all those frenzied mothering activities. I still found time for going to the gym regularly, walking the dog, and stooping to pick up nylabones and stray books and magazines off the floor. I felt good, and seemed to look lumpless in my clothing. I was smug.

Somewhere during the aging process, in between perimenopause and AARP membership, my metabolism left. It started with small things: those little under eye bags, and a slight mushiness in the abdominal area. These were so slight that I took no real notice of them. I continued with my exercise program, enrolled in a punishing yoga class, and started blogging. Dinners still featured dessert.

The evidence of the absent metabolism became harder to ignore. There was the tight waistband in the wide legged pants that had previously been so comfortable. I observed that in those three way mirrors in fitting rooms, I looked more like Paula Deen than I would have liked. Foods that had never been threatening started giving me “gas.” I invested heavily in “Spanx.”

Now I am just plain worried. When sitting in a chair, I can look down at a highly defined protrusion that is impossible to “suck in.” My derriere seems to be “following’ me. I no longer claim the bike in the front row in spinning class. I have started looking very suspiciously at things like brownies, ascribing to them a sinister ulterior motive. I worry that people have started referring to me as “portly."

This has got to stop! I need my metabolism back! I have issued pleas to various fitness experts to give me the secrets to resurrect my calorie burner. I now go to the gym every day, instead of three times a week. I use Splenda in EVERYTHING. I drink Slim Fast shakes for breakfast. The dog is starting to eye me suspiciously whenever I walk anywhere near her leash. But that midsection chubbiness remains. I continue to look for a solution to this horrible metabolism defection.

I am jogging in place as I type this.


  1. That "below the waist spread" has plagued me for almost 20 years. I'm thinking perhaps I should just accept it as the new me.

  2. I think I figured it out. As we get older (ahem) we acquire more and more knowledge and wisdom. If we're really smart and good, our heads fill up and if any more knowledge and wisdom were stuffed in there, our heads would quite literally explode, showering everyone in the vicinity with knowledge and wisdom and tiny bits of bone. So our knowledge and wisdom begins to be stored in other places, like our mid-sections. We're not "portly", sweetheart...we're just smart as hell!

  3. I am also experiencing a changing metabolism and body in my early 50s. Seemingly, it's just part of the journey. Things that have helped me:
    - exercise (of course) including Pilates or core strengthening.
    - Geenen Roth's book "Women, Food and God"
    - I'm not sure if Splenda is Aspartame but artificial sweeteners are not good and do not help with weight loss.
    - learning to accept the changes, love myself as I am, working on my spirit vs. obsessing over the physical.
    Take care!

  4. Yeah, what you said.

    Mine started 4 years ago, when I found out I had to go to India for surgery. BY MYSELF.

    Stressed out women release cortisol and that translates to belly fat. Men do not get this. Natch. Mine is definitely created by my stress levels which have gone up over the past few years.

    I weighed 110-127 my entire life. Now I'm at 132. I'm very small boned so I notice it. So does my family. I can always get another family, right?

  5. Suzy, I am voting for the new family! And of course,I do sometimes exaggerate just a bit. But you mean that my industrial strength tub of Splenda is actually hazardous to my health? Good grief! molly

  6. I've never met metabolism. What dies it look like?
    And yes, in my 50's feeling chunkier. And started eating more salads. Thinking I really need to move.
    I have heard of " no flour no sugar diet" as a winner. But I'm not sure I could survive that.
    If you run across that metabolism thing send me a picture.

  7. Molly ...*spit* ROTFL --> "My derriere seems to be 'following’ me."

  8. Ok- gals- I am a survior- I have kept a 100# weight loss off for 7 1/2 years. I am 53, before you think a 20 year got in under the wire. First and foremost.
    NEVER miss a meal, especially breakfast- I eat a Flax and Honey Kashi Soft Granola Bar and a diet coke (that is my vice)for breakfast-
    maybe a protein bar for lunch or slice of deli turkey and lettuce= don't focus on the food

    This is how they train sumo wrestlers- they do not feed them all day- then they put them in a room with ++people (social situation) and let them eat away.
    Draw your own conclusions.

    Very simple, you must burn off more than you eat. Write down every thing that goes in your mouth (even a bite, taste)
    Total number of calories taken in is this #
    Your daily exercise must equal that in burned calories, or more than that to lose weight.

    Most people eat too little while dieting, metabolism shuts down, thinks it is starving
    hope these help a bit-
    every minute is a challenge for me
    great post molly

  9. Not fair is it? I have a younger sister (by 15 months) who only eats rubbish - she wouldn't know a piece of fruit if it jumped up and bit her - travels everywhere by car and yet still remains a lot thinner than me. As I said, it isn't fair.

    Still, perfect as you are - I'm sure your husband wouldn't swap you.

  10. Ridgely, thank you for the tips! I am stocking up on lettuce! Petty, you are wonderful, and I appreciate your kind words. xo

  11. My children stole my body fat, but not my appetite. I'm heading for disaster when my metabolism changes.

    Sitting on my ass again as I write this... ;)

  12. What would make the biggest difference is light weight lifting-even with a pound or two. Replcing 1 pound of fat with muscles burns an extra 70 calories a day without doing anything.

  13. Hmmm. I have a very active imagination and dream-life. It's one of the hazards of being a writer.

    Now, all because of you, I'm going to have nightmares about the upcoming metabolic disappearance. Thanks a lot!

    It sounds to me like you had an ideal body, one I would have envied had I seen you. And this is what happened to you? Oh dear. I'm in trouble. Big trouble.

    Maybe if I became a full-time hiker . . .

  14. At 46, I've seen great improvement in metabolism this year (and skin and weight and all kinds of other ways) by doing this stuff:

    - Getting more sleep, which includes going to bed and getting up at pretty much the same time every day.

    - Cutting out all Cokes, even the diet ones. (In my part of the world, all soda is a Coke) and replacing them with water.

    - Eating way way way more non-starchy vegetables. I have excellent recipes for kale and brussels sprouts. Kale as a snack food. No, really. It's really good!

  15. I'm jogging in place as I read it. I haven't even got past the 'young kids' stage and I look lumpy in all the wrong places. If you find your metabolism, can you check if it's hanging out with mine and send it home please?

  16. Where, oh where, did you put your handy work-out weights? Here is a lovely post we did that should help you: Sounds weird, but all the reputable and recent research says you must pump the iron! (not the pills, the weights).

  17. Wow how do you jog in place and type, you are amazing! Just think of it this way, Paula Deen has a helluva lot of fun, rather join that than the gym! But we are biased, The Bench heavily favors snacks at all time. :)


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