So, despite my best efforts to resist self-improvement (I bought a self-help book on how to avoid it), I finally had to bite the bullet one day and address my weight when I realized that: a) I was 53 years old; b) my knees were making funny popping noises when I walked up stairs; and c) me in a bathing suit currently violates six zoning ordinances.
I had read that personalizing self-improvement was important, so I wrote a letter to my fat:
“Dear Derriere: I hate to say it, but I’m breaking up with you. This must come as a shock, I know, because we’ve been together a long time. But even great relationships must end at some point.
After all, even Bob Hope broke up with Bing Crosby (if, unlike my butt you’re young and have no idea of who those two people are, try Taylor Swift breaking up with Harry Styles. If you’re not that young, try Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. If your posterior is a nerd, try Padme and Anakin Skywalker).
“But this had to happen, because I’m in danger of not being able to fit in my car anymore. So I’m not buying you any more nachos, and I guess I don’t have to tell you that you’ve seen your last Krispy Kreme.
“Nope, you’re history.
“Not so much love, Elizabeth”
I sealed that baby up and then waited for my rear-end to stop crying and just go away. Imagine my surprise when I got a letter back.
“Dear Elizabeth: Riiiight. I’ve heard this before. I don’t know who you’re trying to kid, but I’ve known you longer than anyone and I’m not going anywhere. Every spring for the last, oh, 40 years, you’ve seen a rear-view shot of yourself at a department store and you’ve sworn off fudge and bought a rowing machine. And then what happens? You have a bad day and you don’t go work out to get some endorphins. No, the first thing you do is a face plant into a double-stuffed pepperoni pizza.
“Girlfriend, please. Been there, done that, got the NordicTrack. The only time I’ve ever seen you run is when you see a scorpion. We will be together until the end of time.
“So long, and thanks for all the chips!”
Well, that was unexpected. The book didn’t say anything about my butt talking back, to say nothing about it being so eloquent. But I knew what to do.
“Dear Butt: No, seriously. I mean it this time. This isn’t just about vanity. I have to take a plane trip next month and I’m tired of the guy in the aisle seat looking panicked when I try to wedge myself in. I don’t want to get on an elevator again and watch everyone try to calculate the load limit.
“You’re right: this isn’t the first time I’ve tried this. Yes, I know that the treadmill has less mileage than a 2014 Acura. But this is different. So if you won’t leave quietly, we’re just going to have to do this the hard way.
“You can’t keep your junk in my trunk any more, and we are really never ever getting back together. Hit the road, Jack.”
And then I did.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.