Monday, October 11, 2010

*Inga's Guide to New Year's Resolutions

["Let Inga Tell You", La Jolla Light, published December 31, 2009] © 2009

On January 1, I always vow – in writing - that this year I will lose the forty pounds I gained on the White Wine and Mrs. Fields Depression Diet during my divorce. A minor detail, upon which we shall not dwell, was that the divorce was twenty-six years ago.

It isn’t the issue of weight per se that is so frustrating. It’s that once you get past a certain size, department stores don’t want you waddling around in there among the osteoporotic svelte. Chunker departments are invariably hidden in a corner of the third floor which you can spot from fifty yards: racks of nasty brown, navy, and black polyester slacks, and skirts with hideous floral prints in colors not found in nature. OK, so you’re thinking, “Get a grip, blimpy! Stop eating!” And you have a point. But hey, there’s more than a few of us chunkies out there and we just HATE wearing this stuff – a point that I routinely note in the feedback box at Nordstrom Oinker. (It’s actually Nordstrom Encore, but if you say it fast it comes out sounding like Oinker, which, in fact, I am convinced is the subliminal meaning in that choice of word. What, after all, does “encore” have to do with fat people? Huh? Huh?)

When my second husband and I returned after a two year foreign work assignment in 2007, I was aghast to learn that my limited shopping venues at University Town Centre had been halved: Macy Woman had decamped to Fashion Valley. It quickly became apparent that for any reasonable selection, I would be relegated to catalogs from the Talbots Butterball Collection or Lands End-Porcine. Logging on to Lands End in search of attire for the adiposely-amplified, I was happy to discover a feature called Virtual Model. You type in your assorted measurements, hair color, age, and voila, there is a virtual you standing there in your undies ready to try on clothes. You can fine-tune the virtual you to a certain extent, but I did notice that “modify My Model” did NOT include such features as “add cellulite” or “increase sag”. In fact, the My Model of me with my weight and measurements wasn’t half bad – because of course, I had the flabless thighs of an Olympic speed skater. Given this, I enjoyed trying on bikinis and even making myself different races. Catalogs, of course, want you to think you’ll look fish stick thin but in several cases, My Model talked me out of buying several ensembles in which I looked more like a beluga. Best feature of all: it even recommends what size to get. If women’s clothing sizes are non-standard, porker sizes are all over the map. Which is why ordering plus-size clothes from catalogs is a great source of exercise: walking to the post office to return them.

2010 is almost here. Should optimism prevail once again only to be drowned in a vat of luscious Buche de Noel memories? My husband suggests making my 2010 Goals list a tad more attainable. By not writing one.

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