|Not my actual belly. Yet.|
You may dismiss it as grasping at straws to find a downside of a good relationship but I’m getting fat. Not obese. Maybe not even fat fat. I’ve always freaked out over weight gain and I’m highly uncomfortable with the extra five—or ten—pounds I’ve packed on. Oh gawd, what if it is ten?!
I don’t think I’ve become complacent. I’ve got a guy. Now I can skip the gym and stuff myself with Twinkies. (Incidentally, Hostess trades on NASDAQ as TWNK. Gay-friendly investing.) I never liked Twinkies. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had one. I don’t like the idea of baked goods lasting for weeks or months in a shroud of cellophane.
But that argument doesn’t apply to the crusty, burnt-on-the-edges sourdough loaf I devoured yesterday from the too-close Nelson & Seagull.
And it doesn’t apply to the to-go orders of fries I keep getting from the also-too-close Meet vegan restaurant in Gastown. Full confession: The menu calls them the “Little Mountain of Fries!” Yes, the exclamation mark is part of the name and, yes again, it’s warranted. But, still, I wish they’d play down size a tad and call ‘em a hill. Or a knoll. Little Knoll of Fries! Maybe not as boastful, but a respectable nod to the diet-conscious. And what do you mean the diet-conscious don’t order fries? These sliced up taters are tasty!
Okay, you know you have a problem when you write an entire paragraph on fries.
Really tasty, I swear.
It’s my boyfriend’s fault. Yes, I can make this point. You see, my few friends here in Vancouver refuse to go to vegan restaurants and I don’t go alone. I used to stay home and eat nonfat cottage cheese. Day in, day out. But my wonderful boyfriend more than tolerates vegan fare. He actually likes it. Not only did he acquiesce to my suggestion to try Meet, but he assented to going again. And by then my habit formed. Fries! (This time the exclamation mark’s all mine.) I got it bad.
Of course, a few orders of fries can’t account for five—or ten—extra pounds. My boyfriend is to blame for other reasons. He lives in Portland so Friday workouts aren’t as common anymore as we spend a lot of them in transit, flying or driving or riding the train or picking up each other. And Saturday workouts—and sometimes Sunday workouts—aren’t as likely because, well, our time together is limited and bench presses and ab crunches aren’t what either of us regard as quality time.
So, yeah, fewer workouts adds to the problem. Body fat seeks out opportunities.
But then there’s also the fact that I find going out for ice cream to be a romantic date. I even let him taste my scoop—okay, scoops. Is that love or what?! And it’s not my fault that he chose to live in Portland of all places. They’ve got multiple locations of Salt & Straw, which I’ve concluded has the best ice cream in the whole wide world. (But, being a true skeptic, I keep trying other shops in other cities. Refute my claim, San Francisco!)
And Portland also has Blue Star Donuts. Not romantic but undeniably yummy. And the city even has a Blue Star at its airport which seems like a much better way to pass the time before my flights home than getting a shoe shine (I wear Converse) or repeatedly going through the body scanning ride. (What? It’s not a ride? Then why do they keep asking for my ticket?)
So fries, no workouts, ice cream and donuts. It all adds up. Ten pounds. Okay, maybe fifteen.
Being in love has its perks, for sure, but also its drawbacks. Side effects in the form of side growths along the midriff. Love handles, aptly named.