Monday, December 22, 2003


DECEMBER 5, 2003

Last night when we were walking to dinner, I became aware of how baggy my jeans were. Not in the sense that they are too big, or that I have lost weight, but in the Italian sense. In other words, they are not skin tight. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a fashion maven. I buy what I like, regardless of the styles, and at least in the US, am not much concerned with “la bella figura”. This just means that you would never go out of the house looking less than perfect. A quick trip to the grocery to pick up a gallon of milk is not an excuse to go out in those baggy sweatpants and torn 1985 Aerosmith tee shirt that you have been wearing all day while cleaning the house. In Italy, it is considered offensive, no, disrespectful might be a better word, to go out looking less than your best.

Since I am no longer “young”, or firm, I will never wear my clothes as tight as the Italians do. Someone should clue those young girls who go around with their pouchy bellies hanging over their low cut jeans in as to just how unattractive this is. If you’ve got that hard body, I say go for it. If it wiggles, keep it covered. Anyway, back to thinking about how loose my jeans felt. This started me thinking about how glad I was that I had lost weight before we came to Italy. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I can never lose weight for the “right” reasons. Let’s face it, we all know what is healthy food and what is not. We all know that we eat too much…especially in the states, where the portions are always super-sized. So, if we really wanted to be healthy, we wouldn’t eat all that Ben and Jerry’s, and McDonalds would have gone out of business a long time ago.

I lose weight for specific occasions…when my daughter got married, for example. And then again when my son got married. Then for when I turned fifty…I didn’t want to be fifty AND fat! And of course, each time, the weight came back. This past spring I lost weight in anticipation of my face lift…I can’t imagine spending that much money, and going through that much inconvenience and not look as good as I possibly could. Luckily for me, I was able to go to the gym every day during the summer, and I did lose about thirty pounds. For anyone, thirty pounds is significant, but when you are only 5’1”, it’s an amazing difference!

The added bonus of losing weight before we came to Italy was that I would not confirm the stereotype that all Americans are fat. The Italians may still think that I have all the other negative traits associated with Americans…loud, pushy, disrespectful, but at least I’m not fat! I am hoping that moving to a different country, separated by an ocean, will make it difficult for the weight to find me!

I haven’t had the time or facilities to exercise since we’ve been here, but when we go back to the states I plan to hit the gym as often as I can. We shipped a TotalGym to Italy, and I hope I can get into the habit of using it once we return. If I work really hard, I might actually have to buy clothes that are a size smaller than I have now. I am not going to buy anything that doesn’t fit. I made the mistake of buying things that were just a little snug before we left, and now nothing fits. I have jeans, and that’s it. All my dress pants are way too baggy, and sure, that’s a good thing, but these are big by American standards, and definitely NOT Italian style. All I have to do now is stay motivated…and although the cost of living in Italy is not too bad, the cost of clothing may be the motivation I need!

DECEMBER 22, 2003

Since we have been back in the states, I have had a pleasant surprise….I now wear a SIZE SIX!!!!!!! Sorry to get so excited, but for me, this is something almost unbelievable! My daughter, Angela, has been working out, toning up, and has actually given me some of her clothes…and they fit!!! She has taken me with her to the Y to work out, and I agree with her that these Body Pump classes are awesome! I wish I could find these classes in Italy…there’s just something empowering about working out with weights. The results are quick and impressive…I can really tell a difference in Angela, and for me, after only three classes, I definitely know which muscles I am working!

I have had lots of fun buying clothes…this is a great time of year to shop, since everything is on sale for Christmas! I hope I have room in my suitcases for all this stuff I plan to bring back to Italy. If not, I guess some of it will have to wait until the spring. Oh, and did I mention the strangest article of clothing I have bought so far? A leather jacket! Can you believe I live in Italy and come to the states and buy a leather jacket? It was just what I wanted, and at a good price, so why not?


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