Ping. A missile rocketed across the tile. T. J., our resident canine omnivore, did a swoop and swallowed something that he imagined was a doggy snack. Tim automatically lifted his feet to avoid the scampering.

“Oh Fudge.”

The unidentified missile was the top button of my pants. That discount dry cleaner shrank another pair! At this rate, it would be cheaper to buy disposable slacks. I hurriedly slid into my elastic waistband pair from a previous weight class.

“Sure. . . they did,” my hubby mumbled when I explained my plight.

“That’s it,” I announced. “Swimsuit season is just around the corner. It’s time to dust off the treadmill and lace up my Nikes.”

In the spirit of exorcising exercise, I shoved my girls into a sports bra that I accidentally purchased while experiencing a low sugar craving after a holiday binge. Fortunately, the desire to actually wear it and exercise subsided after a long bubble bath followed by a dry martini. Okay maybe two martinis.

Dieting is a weighty issue, so I decided to get a professional opinion.

“No. No. No. Dieting alone isn’t the answer.” Dr. Lukas advised, “I recommend dog walking for all my patients. Walking your animal companion is great exercise for both of you. Besides, it’s trending.”

Hmmm. I wasn’t sure about the trending part, but I knew how to walk the dog. I wondered if T.J. would go for it. On our last visit, the vet did suggest that he lose a few pounds. Besides this beats the water, green tea, grapefruit, or banana diets not to mention the green coffee beans, raspberry ketones, and other fads that kept me in the bathroom for a month.

Upon returning home, I carefully explained his role as my dog walking partner to our fur baby. T.J. took time from chewing my red sling backs to roll his yes and immediately return to his life of crime.

Undaunted by my family’s response, I was determined to regain my schoolgirl figure. As the second-best option, I enrolled in a low impact aerobics class.

My husband suddenly showed a lot of interest. I think he imagined me morphing into Teri Hatcher, his fantasy girlfriend. While caught up in his lustful hallucination, he splurged on a leopard print spandex workout suit. I haven’t worn so many paw prints since our cat gave birth on my bathrobe.

When I arrived in my spotted glory at Fitness on Fifth, it was obvious that no one was there to sweat but me. Bare-chested athletes flexed their pecs and lats at coeds with firm boobs and tight butts. Checking their lipstick and giggling in coveys was the most movement their leotards saw. I stood out like a T-Rex in Lilliput. It was high school P.E. all over again.

Fifty minutes later I had pumped my arms, legs, stretched my quads and gluts, and thereby sprained everything in between. I contorted myself into shapes that could only be described as obscene. Those muscles unused since childbirth ached. My teeth itched; my eyelids throbbed. I was one wardrobe malfunction away from a meltdown when I remembered something I had read: The average woman spends 31 years of her life dieting.”

There was my loophole. Why diet now? With my family’s longevity, I have decades before the 31-year sentence kicks in? Or am I fudging?

Interesting choice of words that reminds me. I need a snack before going pants shopping.


Sheila S Hudson
Opal Writers Magazine JANUARY 2022

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Read more articles on the craft of writing in each issue of Opal Writers magazine.