An Ode to Stretchy Pants or Why Metabolism Sucks

Ten years ago, my metabolism kicked ass. I could eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound. Now, granted my near-constant hangover from the drinking bouts each night probably helped keep the weight off; turns out, you don't gain much when you're vomiting up vodka almost everyday before your 8am class. But still, you get what I mean. For most of my life, I ate what I wanted, sat around as much as I wanted, and still looked pretty damn good.

Now I'm 28. I still eat what I want and sit around a good deal. I still look pretty good. But that look might have to do more with the fact that, during the summer months, when I am off from work, most of my clothing involves pants/shorts with elastic waistbands.

Almost two weeks ago, however, I threw on a pair of jeans to go out with my sister. And gasped in horror.

They fit. But gaining even two more pounds was going to necissitate new clothing, and since I have a lot of clothes, I realized I could ill-afford to replace them all simply so I could continue eating Doritos. My wallet finally convinced me of something I have been long trying to deny: I need to work out.

Make no mistake--I am not overweight. I'm on the low side of normal, in fact, and I look perfectly fine. But losing 5-7lbs would give me--literally--a bit more breathing room. And besides, I am 28, closing on 30 faster than I would like. It's probably time to stop relying on the metabolism fairy and get healthy so I can avoid a heart-attack at the age of 35. I don't have the best genes in the world--my great-grandfather had his first heart attack at 27 and there's nary a genetic disease absent in my family history--so it's not a bad idea to get some control at this point. There's only one problem:

I loathe working out.

I don't just dislike it; I loathe it with every fibre of my being. I've been in the midst of a pseudo-work-out kick for the past 13 days, and common thoughts as I work out include: "Good God, this is really hard!," "Yeah, that's not going to happen," "Gross, I'm sweating!" and a string of cuss words it'd be best not to repeat here. Nothing about working out is fun or rewarding for me. Since starting my routine (yes, I know it's only been two weeks), I've lost three and a half of the seven pounds I set out to lose, and those were mostly lost in the first few days--probably from cutting out all soda and any and all chips/junk food from my diet. Since that initial drop, my weight has been constant.

I know it hasn't been long, but this is my problem: I go in for instant gratification. If I work out, I want to weigh myself immediately after I'm done and see the weight loss. I know it doesn't work like that, but after a few days of exhaustion and sweat and a steady scale, I start to get defeated. Frustrated. Angry. Convinced that I could probably afford to just buy new jeans.

I like instant gratification, and exercise doesn't provide it. Food, on the other hand, does. You see my problem.

Fitness enthusiasts claim that exercise releases endorphins, making you feel energized and increasing your sense of well-being in general. I've been working out for 30-60 minutes a day for two weeks. Fitness enthusiasts are asshats. Working out makes you feel tired, cranky, and in need of a shower.

That doesn't mean I am going to give up on my quest to lose these last three and a half pounds. They just don't make stretchy pants that are work appropriate (despite what some of the people who work in my school apparently believe) and so the weight has to come off. But lately, short-cuts have been starting to seem more attractive--SlimFast anyone?--and excersize more futile. I've been watching the Olympics nonstop for the past three days, and while I see the fantastic shape these men and women are in, I can't help but think the soft, pudgy South Korean and Italian archers looked pretty damn happy.

I continue to curse my slowing metabolism--yet another reason to hate approaching 30, as if I didn't have enough reasons already--and throw on my yoga pants or running shorts everyday for the next month to delay facing the truth: weight aside, I should be healthy. I should work out.

But there's something attractive about the idea of instead drinking a SlimFast and watching the Olympics while sitting on my couch.

In stretchy pants.


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