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Hey Sixteen

Way back when in '87
I wore a size eight
In dresses and suits
Now time has passed
I’m fat and sagging
Wearing plus sizes
What the hell am I?

Hey sixteen
No you can’t weary skinny jeans
No True Religion for you
Please slap that eggnog
Right out of my hand

(with apologies to Steely Dan)

Yesterday, I finally accepted an unfortunate milestone I've reached: I can now shop freely in the plus sized women's department. I am officially a size sixteen.

Talk about payback being a mother. When I was interning for a state agency as a graduate student in my twenties, I laughed at all the women in their 40's and 50's complaining about saddlebag thighs, sagging boobs, dragging asses, weight gains, and turkey necks, all of them dreading swimsuit season. I swore that I would never let myself go like that. I promised myself that I would never, EVER, wear a double-digit size, that I would never have back fat sticking out of a backless dress or a one-piece swimsuit.

If you held up a swimsuit to me right now, it'd be like Kryptonite to Superman or garlic to a vampire. I would not only walk, but run in the other direction.

And, quite frankly, I was doing pretty well until I hit my mid-thirties. I didn't think much of it when I had to, for the first time, buy a size ten dress for a formal event. "Whatever," I thought to myself. "They didn't have the dress in an eight anyways."

Talk about denial. Like I could have fit a size eight.

I'd been pretty content holding at a size fourteen for the past six years or so. Any woman will tell you that size fourteen is pretty much the outer limit for finding anything in the stores approaching something you'd be willing to wear in public. Once you get beyond size fourteen, the pickins', unlike you, are pretty slim in terms of style and quality.

Well, I'm there. And I don't like it one bit.

Please, not Weight Watchers again. I hate that "falling off the wagon" feeling I get when I drag my fat ass into a Weight Watchers meeting for what would be the, oh, fifth time now. There's got to be a better way.

If I can just get off my fat ass and find it.


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