Remember Billy Crystal’s legendary Fernando Lamas skit, “It’s better to look good than to feel good”? I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I believe that Fernando was onto something.
As a teenager, looking good was everything. I used to get up 3 hours early for school to wash, blow dry and curl my bone straight hair into Farrah Fawcett’s signature waves. I wanted to be like Farrah, and have men and women undress me with their eyes. But alas, I loathed my small boobs, thick waist and stumpy thighs. Since I was 14, I have believed that I could do with 10 less pounds. But now that I’ve lost the last 10 pregnancy pounds, I’m still not satisfied with my body.
As a woman in my mid-life crisis, I loathe my stretch mark marbled belly and that my freckles are turning in age spots. I slave away at the gym almost daily so that I can eat and drink and still fit into my clothes. However, the more I eat and drink, the more I have to work out. And so the vicious (peri-menopausal) cycle goes. Lately, my kids think that all I do is grocery shop and go to the gym, which unfortunately isn’t too far away from the truth. They don’t know that I used to be a highly paid executive carrying 10 extra pounds, flying around the world to share my expertise. Oh how I loved the power and the prestige! It felt so good, I didn’t notice the pounds as much. But since I stepped away from the accolades and the air miles after the birth of our 2nd son, and filled my days with cooking gourmet meals out of Bon Appetit only to have my 4 year old wrinkle his nose in disgust, I sometimes wonder if I’ve made the wrong decision.
So Mr. Lamas, what comes first? Looking good? Or feeling good? Is this the proverbial chicken and the egg? I know that when I look good, I feel good. And I also know that when I feel happy it shows, so I probably look better/taller/thinner too. My husband thinks my obsession with the gym and food (Atkins, South Beach, no sugar, no wheat, etc) is flat-out maniacal and I’m not sure that I would disagree with him. I know kisses, cuddles, and my children’s laughter far outweigh the satisfaction of fitting into my skinny jeans. I do not need a Psych degree to know that how I feel on the inside should have no relation to how well my clothes on fitting on the outside, and yet somehow, knee-deep in my 41st year, it still does. Not a week goes by without thinking about a tummy tuck to erase the toll the three pregnancies have taken on my midriff. Only fear of dying on the table and having my children know the extent of my vanity stops me from going for a consult. Plus, with good abdominoplasty results, how far behind can armpit liposuction and a boob job be?
I’m not done with this topic yet, but I have to get to bed so I can go to the gym early tomorrow 🙂 I know its a little late for a New Year resolution, so how about a toast? Here’s to Looking Good, and Feeling Better! Because maybe, with a little bit of both I can finally get off this merry-go-round.