The Spandex Menace

I just got back from another road trip, and I feel it’s my duty to warn everyone about the threat I discovered while travelling:  stretch pants.  They may feel comfy, but the truth is that those spandex tubes are plotting against our health and fitness.

Oh, they conceal their evil intentions well enough.  They call themselves ‘exercise wear’ and pretend to encourage us in a healthy lifestyle, but all the while they’re sabotaging our efforts.  In fact… (call the tabloids, ‘cause this is hot stuff) spandex actually nourishes fat cells.

How did I determine this, you ask?

Through rigorous scientific observation and testing, of course.  After all, have you ever known me to jump to a conclusion or engage in hyperbole?  Never in a million-zillion years!

Here’s how I figure it:

I’m normally a jeans girl.  Whether I’m digging in the garden or working on a car or banging together some ridiculously over-engineered carpentry project, jeans provide practicality, comfort, and protection.  But when I know I’m going to be sitting in the car for hours at a time, I change into stretch pants.  So last week I put on the spandex and hit the road.

Well.  Let me tell you.

After six days, I donned my jeans again only to discover that my butt runneth over.  My muffin-top has grown into a dinner roll.  And the only possible culprit is (you guessed it) stretch pants.

I mean, really, it couldn’t have been anything else.  I was eating my usual three meals a day plus one dessert.  Maybe the meals were approximately double my normal portion; but six days shouldn’t make that much difference, right?  I even skipped my four o’clock snack most days, so I’m sure I should’ve been losing weight.

And eating a giant ice cream cone every day couldn’t have been the cause.  Ice cream is a dairy product, which is healthful.  Health food couldn’t possibly make me gain weight.

Plus, all that time in the car was hard on my nerves, and everybody knows stress ratchets up your metabolism.  I should have been melting the pounds away.  It’s simple logic.

But I didn’t.  So it must have been the fault of the stretch pants.

Those bastards clung to my body for six straight days, whispering sweet nothings to my fat cells and feeding their egos until they swelled up like little pillows.  Then the fat cells invited all their friends over to my waistline and had themselves a party.  The friends invited more friends, and pretty soon the whole place was overflowing.

Now, like disapproving parents, my jeans have returned to the scene of the party to evict the interlopers.  So far they’ve only succeeded in squeezing them up and over my waistband, but I hope if I call the calorie police right away they’ll be able to banish the last of the stragglers.

But meanwhile, no more stretch pants.  Take it from me, those suckers are the enemy.

Remember, you heard it here first!

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New discussion over at the VBBC:  Stemp Then And Now.  How has Stemp changed the series, and how has it changed him?  Click here to have your say!

I Survived V-Day!

It’s probably not what you’d expect to hear from a married woman, but I’m happy to have made it through Valentine’s Day.

It’s not that I had overblown expectations, or that I was worried about potential disappointment.  Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for Hubby or me.  We exchange cards and go out for a nice dinner, and that’s about it.

No, the true reason for my post-V-Day euphoria is this:  I made it through our meal unscathed.

It’s not what you think.

I’m not dieting or on the wagon, so I wasn’t fighting food/alcohol guilt.

I wasn’t anxious about dining etiquette.  I’m sufficiently domesticated that I don’t attract undue attention in a nice restaurant (at least not when I choose to summon up my table manners, which I should probably do a lot more frequently).

I might, perhaps, have a small social phobia left over from the time I donned my coat with a flourish in a fancy restaurant and knocked an entire pitcher of ice water off a ledge.  And the ice water might possibly have landed on some other diners…

But that was a few decades ago and I’ve (almost) recovered from that.

I wasn’t even dreading the fact that I’d have to wear something other than my usual jeans and hiking boots.   Believe it or not, I actually dressed up without whining.  Alert the media!

No; mine was a more primal fear:  The fear of pain.

And I’m proud to say I didn’t hurt myself through sheer gluttony.

I’d like to pretend that’s a joke, but it’s not.

Last year I actually physically injured myself.  I stuffed in a magnificent meal and waddled out cradling my distended belly.  Then I bent to get in the car and… pop!  One of those horrible noises you hear in your gut instead of with your ears, and a lightning-bolt of pain.

Most normal people would put their backs out bending to get in a car.  Not I.  I’m ashamed to say my stomach was so full I snapped something (cartilage, muscle, who knows?) on my bottom rib.  It took a couple of weeks before I could bear to lie on that side, and a couple of months for the pain to go away completely.

Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible to damage my skeletal structure with too much food.  Give myself a stomach ache, sure; maybe rupture my gut if I really went overboard; but blow a rib…?  I guess I’m just special.

Anyway, a few days ago we went back to the scene of the crime.  And I bravely threw myself on the live grenade that is their menu – I had bread and an appetizer and an entrée and dessert.  But I had two glasses of wine instead of the single one I had last year, and I’m convinced the subsequent relaxation was what prevented me from hurting myself again.

At least that’s going to be my excuse whenever I need to justify drinking an extra glass:  Safety first!

Ah, the sacrifices I make…  *sighs and assumes expression of courageous and noble martyrdom*

So whew.  Made it through V-Day.

Anybody else have a V-Day survival story?