Orange County Register — North County News; Date: April 26, 2018; Section: News; Page Number: A4
WHAT A DAY
Wading carefully into swimsuit season
May is just around the corner, and you know what that means. According to fashion magazines, it’s almost swimsuit season. Time to cut back on those extra calories and increase those crunches, not to mention scheduling that trip to the waxing salon.
Who am I kidding?
First of all, southern California skipped winter this year. Not that we ever get buried in snow or temperatures below zero. But here in Placentia, it’s been swimsuit season since 2016.
I have a friend in the Midwest who was complaining about packing away her winter clothes and hanging her summer dresses. The confusion on my face was a sign I’ve lived in California too long. My family’s home in Illinois was barely 1200 square feet. My room was small, and the closet miniscule. I had to have switched wardrobes with each season.
And yet, I have no memory of doing it.
Second, as I grow older, my reflexes are getting slower. That’s the only reason I can think of, for continuing to put on a pound here and there. Calories keep zooming at me, and I can’t get out of their way fast enough.
As always, I have good intentions. My life is pretty active. In addition to riding my horse 3 times a week, I work out with my personal trainer. I park in the last space so I walk more steps to the store. My fitness device constantly reminds me to get up and move.
Of course, I constantly tell it to shut up.
My meal plans always involve vegetables, lean meats, and smart portions. Unfortunately, in between actual meals, I am a grazing machine. If there are healthy snacks in the house, I’m lucky. If there are See’s chocolates, well, I can resist anything but temptation.
Recently, I bought a “body shaper.” It’s supposed to smooth out all the bumps and bulges in your silhouette. I was reminded of the girdle my grandmother had to wear under her uniform when she worked at the hospital. Grandma’s girdle was a formidable piece of lingerie. It managed to be both elasticized and unyielding, forcing any skin within its grip to conform to its shape. Breathing? Forget it.
Grandma would have laughed at today’s “shapers.”
It’s true, getting into them is like trying to shove your body into a sausage casing, but once you get everything tucked in, you can both inhale and exhale without much trouble. My shaper certainly did not force me to conform, and it claims to be “extra firm.”
I can’t wear a body shaper with my swimsuit, unless I get a body shaper that is a swimsuit.
That leaves waxing. True confession—the only things I’ve ever had waxed are my eyebrows and my car. Over my long lifespan, I’ve developed a mental chart of how much pain each area on my body will allow. My bikini line’s tolerance is within the range of “hit by a feather” and “pants too tight.”
Waxing is not an option.
At the end of the day (and the beginning of summer), it doesn’t matter if I’m in shape for swimsuit season. My body is what it is, and if I want to put on appropriate clothes and jump in the water, I’ll do it. I encourage you to do the same, no matter what the fashion magazines say.
I won’t judge.
Longtime Placentia resident Gayle Carline tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, computer whiz and horsewoman. E-mail her at [email protected].