The Impossible Dream

I needed a waist to hold up my pants.

Some years ago I’d given it up for Lent and now my pants sagged like those of a trendy teenage hooligan. Tightening my belt was uncomfortable; suspenders unfashionable. So I embarked upon a heroic quest to find this long, lost body part… a colossal endeavor requiring courage, determination and, of course, new outfits.

Since gazelle-like twenty-somethings jog wearing neon sport bras and skin-tight Capris, I raced (figuratively) to Athletics R Us to procure similar garments.

You know how when you buy a drugstore lipstick you picture yourself looking like Angelina Jolie? Well there I stood in the dressing room, trendy sport bra plowing deeply into my fat furrows, puffy muffin tops spilling over elastic leggings. I was a picture alright… of Moby Dick in orthotics.

Next step: actual exercise. I narrowed the gym choice down to two possibilities. The local LA Fitness emporium where the spandex-intensive hotties made me look even older and plumper. Besides, I reasoned, who wants your neighbors to see you at 5am before you’ve glued on your natural beauty?

Number 2 was the hospital rehab center. Compared to the husky athletes toting oxygen machines on their walkers I looked downright willowy. Plus the hospital had not one, but TWO crash carts. The hospital won.

Thus began my love/hate relationship with one steeply inclined treadmill (I named her Mildred) upon which I climbed the equivalent of Mt. Everest. As a result, my bunions screamed, my knees popped and my hips groaned, a regular symphony of tendonitis.

Naturally I ate more fruits and vegetables, but kept my weekly ration of Cheetos because I needed the preservatives.

Time passed. I lost a whopping three pounds, but then they came back and found me.

Sadly the object of my passion — namely my waist — remained MIA and my pants still sagged like an aging felon-ista.

Sometimes in life you have to step back and critically examine your expectations. Did I really want this 68-year-old body to look like an overstuffed Kardashian? And why on earth would I want to be forever 21?

Clearly it was time to quit trying to look like a girl and become a woman. It takes insight, maturity and a certain amount of desperation to accept reality, but I finally realized my perspective had to change.

I continued my love affair with the treadmill but in moderation. I made friends with my muffin tops by thinking of them as shoulder pads for my six pack. And in lieu of a waist, I finally found a way to keep both my bra from riding up and my pants from falling down… mitten grips.



  • Adele

    Reply Reply July 19, 2016

    Anne, you are too funny and honest for words! Thank you for this and for making me laugh. I unfortunately have no waist either. I learned from a sleekly slim exercise instructor it’s because my lower ribs and hips are too close together to all for my organs to be squished by a small waist. I relaxed at that because I obviously couldn’t help it that my waist had gone missing!

  • Brenda White

    Reply Reply July 19, 2016

    Loved the article but I’m still looking for my actual waistline. Have found the peace of mind but waistline is no where, so think I’m happy with the way things are going.

  • Anne, You gave me a great chuckle. Yes, it is true that it’s best to accept the realities of life instead of making ourselves crazy over delusions. Keep the straight talk with humor coming. It’s a gift to your readers.

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