Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weight a Second

My son and I have different attitudes toward weight gain. I step on the scale each day with trepidation, trying little tricks to bring that number down, at least temporarily. I weigh myself before eating or drinking, after going to the bathroom, after exercising, before showering (so my hair is dry -- and lighter, I hope!), without shoes, wearing next to nothing (like my clothes are so heavy). Anything to give myself the illusion of having lost a pound or two.

The kiddo, on the other hand, steps on the scale, outraged each time that the number (52!!) has stayed the same for the past several weeks. Then he hops off and starts looking around the house for things to hold when he weighs himself. Hmm, holding a plastic golf club on the scale doesn't really make a difference. What else? A soccer ball! Nah, that doesn't help much. I try telling him he needs to pick up something heavy like the Sit-n-Spin if he wants to really get that number to change, but he doesn't listen. Still, he's desperate for that number to increase. He wants to be heavier. Part of this has to do with his goal of being free of his car booster seat, which the law will allow when he's 60 pounds or over. "How long until I can sit in the regular seat?" he asks periodically. At the rate he's going, I tell him, it may take a while.

He has his father's high metabolism, which is great. I'm sure I subconsciously "chose" his dad partly because of this. Me, I can't remember a time when I wasn't trying to hold in my tummy -- even when I was a kid. I still recall walking next to the public pool at age 11, looking down at my tummy and feeling the need to suck it in. I even told my mom proudly that I'd managed to hold in my tummy every time I got out of the pool. I'm sure she was appalled. Of course, when I look back at pictures of myself at that age, I see I was a skinny little thing, and my tummy stuck out because I held my shoulders back in the way kids do. Today, no amount of gut-sucking can hide my belly, sorry to say.

When I was pregnant, I told my son's dad that for the first time in my life, I didn't have to hold my tummy in. That seems kind of sad to me. I'd guess he found it gross. He's always been disdainful of heavy people. Whenever we watched TV together, when a heavy person appeared onscreen, he'd moan in disgust. Nice, huh? I don't have to tell you this didn't help my weight/image issues any. A few years ago, he used my post-pregnancy weight (not too much more than what I weighed pre-pregnancy, when he supposedly found me attractive -- don't get me started) as an excuse not to work on our relationship. Of course, he weighs significantly more than he did when I first met him, but we won't get into that. Today I would do anything to weigh even the amount I weighed back then -- not to win him back, because that ship sailed long ago and I wouldn't want him, knowing what I know now. Rather, I'd just like to feel...better. But I'll save the diet and exercise conversation for another post.

Anyway, today my son came into my office, holding the TV remote control, several golf clubs, and a few other items from his toy boxes. "I weighed myself and it said 68!" he told me. "Can I sit in the regular seat now?" My belly shook as I laughed heartily at his innocence and impatience to grow up.

Don't rush it, I thought. Don't rush.