January 3, 2011 

Beth Wiesemann

Mission Accomplished! Well, almost. The scale is still mercilessly taunting me with a certain number. I'm not going to say what the number is, but let's just say it begins with a "2". Between the time I write this and the time you read this, I have to get through Christmas, Christmas treats at work before Christmas, leftover Christmas treats at work AFTER Christmas, a New Year's Eve party, an ugly Christmas sweater party and who knows what else? Repeat after me: Eggnog is not your friend.

I gave a lot of thought to what type of picture I might use to show my weight loss. It's a little cliché to show the side shot of me wearing my old jeans and proudly holding the waistband out five inches from my stomach. So that pretty much leaves me with the bikini shot or the shot of me wearing a sports bra and Daisy Duke's. Either one is equally marvelous.

After losing 65 pounds (give or take), I'm almost down to that magical second rack of clothes. Has anyone else noticed the 3-rack system for clothes? Normally, I'm relegated to the rack in the "Plus-Sized" area; the third rack. I always know I'm there once I'm surrounded by the smell of elastic.

The third rack is usually pretty close to the second rack. This is the one for "average-sized" people. The sizes start in the single digits, but work their way up to double digits. These clothes — and by clothes, I mean jeans — are just a little bit cuter than the ones on my rack. They're also normal lengths. By the time I get to my rack, every pair of jeans is 7 feet long.

The first rack is hard to spot, simply because size "0" clothes don't require the racks to be so wide. When I pass by this rack, I always wonder why they have the Barbie Doll clothes in this section. Then I figure I've mistakenly walked into the kids section. Eventually it dawns on me that I'm in the "petite" section. I can't get out of this area fast enough because I'm always afraid an alarm is going to go off and a spotlight is going to start following me around. All of the skinny women will then converge on me and start pointing and screaming in a high-pitched wail like the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Then I imagine myself crying and yelling, "I'm just passing through. Please stop pointing and throwing celery sticks at me."

Strangely, I have no desire to be a size "nothing". I'm pretty sure my bone structure wouldn't fit that too well. I'm German. I was meant more for the discus toss than the runway. All I want is to be able to wear clothes from the second rack. Single digits may be too much to hope for though, and I'm fine with that. If size 16 was good enough for Marilyn Monroe, it's good enough for me.

Of course, there are down sides to losing weight. At my age (which definitely does NOT start with a "2"), I find that the skin on my neck and chin is not exactly where I'd like it to be. And what I mean by this is that I'd like the skin on my chin to NOT be on my neck. My supervisor, who I'll call "Nicole", caught me the other day pricing skin creams containing stem cells and cow placentas. I decided to take a much cheaper route and buy a book about facial exercises. I'll let you know next article if that worked. I figure I'll either have a really toned neck or a bad case of TMJ. Ahh...the price of beauty.

Another unwanted side effect of my weight loss is that my mother keeps wanting to give me her clothes. I have to keep telling her that I'm trying to lose weight so I don't have to wear elastic waistbands anymore. Does she listen? Of course not.

As the new year approaches, I'm considering much more than weight loss. This year, I've decided to go to school and get a degree. In 18 months I could very well be thin AND smart. Or in 18 months, all I'll have is lots of loose skin and heavy debt.

I have mixed emotions about higher education. Basically, I'm going to be spending a lot of money to get a piece of paper that proves I know stuff that I already knew. I'm also not exactly sure why I have to take what seem like meaningless classes to get this degree. Cultural Diversity sounds really fascinating, but what does it have to do with web design? One school I talked to was going to make me take a health class. Really? I already know where babies come from and I've been showering on my own for many years. I've got that down.

The biggest elephant in the room would have to be Algebra. It's been 30 years since I took an Algebra class. I'm not even smarter than a fifth grader and fifth graders are still doing fractions! Oddly, I'm pretty good at fractions. I bought some Algebra books to refresh my memory. Unfortunately, I put them somewhere and I can't remember for the life of me where. Who needs math anyway, except for math geeks? And if I have offended any math geeks, well, they can just go cube the square root of something and stick it in their isosceles triangle. Ha!! Pretty soon, I'll know what any of that means. Just gotta find those damn books!

What I'm having the greatest difficulty with is applying for grants and scholarships to try to keep me out of debt. Is it me, or is nothing helpful? Every website I go to has me fill out the same form, then takes me through 80 advertisements for colleges. I'm pretty sure I'm poor, but somehow I don't think I have enough hardships. Wow, what a bummer. I don't have ENOUGH hardships. Does anybody know where I could get some more hardships?

I'm too old to count my parents' hardships. (Even if I could, I doubt they'd count my mother's obsessive need to talk about her bodily functions as a hardship.)

I also don't have dependents. Beagles apparently don't count. Since I don't have enough time to adopt a Congo baby, I really have no options in this area.

There are scholarships for bizarre things. But again, I don't have time to learn to speak Klingon or retrain myself to throw left-handed. Ironically, there are scholarships available for obese people. Who's giving that one out — McDonald's™? Maybe I made a mistake losing all that weight. (Note to self: When I get done here Google™ scholarships for people with loose neck skin.)

I've also made some technological updates this past year. I finally got that smart phone. Now if I could only lose enough weight on my thumbs to work the stupid keyboard.

I also now have a completely useless Twitter™ account. If it's good enough for Ashton Kutcher, it's good enough for me! Besides, I'm sure mine will be much more brilliant than the other 200 million users out there.  (Follow me. My screen name is @auntbeff. If I have some followers, it will make me feel really important. And maybe there's a college grant for having a lot of Twitter™ followers.)

As my weight loss journey continues into this year, there is one major change I have to consider. What will I call my articles? I'm certainly not going to be the skinny chick. I also rather like the word "husky" and I regret not having used it more in the past. 

I've already used Musings from a Big-Boned Chick as a joke title. Hopefully, that will forever be applicable. No one wants to be the "brittle-boned" chick certainly.

Would it be too wordy to call it Musings from a Chick Who Lost So Much Weight, She Would No Longer Be Self-Conscious Walking Around France? Yeah, scratch that.

How about Musings from a Chick Who No Longer Has To Roll 3 Cuffs In Her Jeans? Still a bit wordy I think.

I could just call it The Biggest Loser. That works on many levels in my case. But there would be so many copyright issues and years tied up in court. It hardly seems worth it.

What I would love to be able to call it — and damn the copyright issues — is Buns of Steel. No musings. Just a butt reference. Yes! I think I'm on to something. I can change the metal to keep me out of court. How about Buns of Aluminum? It's light, yet sturdy.

I think we could all agree that the best title of all would be Musings from the Thigh Master. If you think you have a better title, remember, you can Tweet me now.

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