When I was in my teens, I could come home from school, eat five brownies, and three hours later, do justice to my Mother’s home cooking. Before bed, I often had a handful of potato chips. I ate three squares a day. I was underweight.

In college, I was very busy, and found time to eat only breakfast, which consisted of multiple slices of toast, eggs or cereal, two big tumblers of juice, and a glass of milk. I filled in the rest of the day with snacks on the run. I had the body of a super model.

Then I became a young Mom myself. I raced around after two little girls, drove to school events and soccer games. There were horse shows and school plays. I made time to play racquetball and bake cookies. I was a rail.

My children grew up. When they left home, I substituted writing for all those frenzied mothering activities. I still found time for going to the gym regularly, walking the dog, and stooping to pick up nylabones and stray books and magazines off the floor. I felt good, and seemed to look lumpless in my clothing. I was smug.

Somewhere during the aging process, in between perimenopause and AARP membership, my metabolism left. It started with small things: those little under eye bags, and a slight mushiness in the abdominal area. These were so slight that I took no real notice of them. I continued with my exercise program, enrolled in a punishing yoga class, and started blogging. Dinners still featured dessert.

The evidence of the absent metabolism became harder to ignore. There was the tight waistband in the wide legged pants that had previously been so comfortable. I observed that in those three way mirrors in fitting rooms, I looked more like Paula Deen than I would have liked. Foods that had never been threatening started giving me “gas.” I invested heavily in “Spanx.”

Now I am just plain worried. When sitting in a chair, I can look down at a highly defined protrusion that is impossible to “suck in.” My derriere seems to be “following’ me. I no longer claim the bike in the front row in spinning class. I have started looking very suspiciously at things like brownies, ascribing to them a sinister ulterior motive. I worry that people have started referring to me as “portly.”

This has got to stop! I need my metabolism back! I have issued pleas to various fitness experts to give me the secrets to resurrect my calorie burner. I now go to the gym every day, instead of three times a week. I use Splenda in EVERYTHING. I drink Slim Fast shakes for breakfast. The dog is starting to eye me suspiciously whenever I walk anywhere near her leash. But that midsection chubbiness remains. I continue to look for a solution to this horrible metabolism defection.

I am jogging in place as I type this.

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