Body Parts That Tell Me in No Uncertain Terms That I’m a Score Past That 100-Pound, 18-Year-Old Girl

Do you periodically get a jolt and re-register that you’re no longer a teenager? Honestly, where did time go? How did youth slip out of your grasp without you noticing? If I’d known just how fleeting my time with it was, I would have cherished… uh, taken advantage… Dognabbit, I would’ve shackled myself to it and refused to let go. Hi, I’m Irene Hudson (no relation to the river) and I’m a generation straggler. I’m a GenXer, but instead of facing midlife crisis like the rest of my contemporaries, I still deal with a bunch of crap that I should’ve resolved a good decade or so ago. Or maybe all this hankering for the past is a symptom of middle age. I don’t know. I’m obviously just bumbling through life here.

If I feel and behave like a clueless punk, looking in the mirror soon disabuses me of the notion. How does this douse me with the bucketful of cold reality? I think my skin is still okay; my eyes haven’t sunk deeper; and I have yet to develop jowls, but I do get to see a heavier and rounder version of my younger self. This is a travesty because when I was young, I never really gained weight. My shape wasn’t perfect and never in my life was I ever willowy, but my weight just hovered in a three-pound range no matter how much I pigged out or lounged about like a sloth. These days, however, this is what I see, and even with the (meager and inconsistent) effort to get fit, too!

· Belly — It is perfectly obvious that my middle has been stretched to accommodate at least two nine-pounders. It has never been that tight to begin with, but the sagging pooch I have now really belies my years.

· Back — I don’t know why I look like a wrestler or a linebacker from the dorsal side. On a positive note, the broadness tells you not to mess with me because I can take you on.

· Upper thighs and glutes — Not only does this area look heavy, it is also marked with the silvery streaks of my stretch marks.

· Upper arms — They are heavy and they will give a jolly jiggle until the cows come home.

· Fingers — My hands look fine if you look at them as a whole; I’ve never had long, tapering fingers in the first place. My fingers may have been short and chubby sausages in the past, but my rings fit them just fine. Presently, my rings adorn nothing but the insides of my jewelry box.

· Chin — I seem to be collecting them. If I even tip my head forward a bit, my neck disappears and is replaced by layers of extra chins.

Obviously, things wouldn’t be so bad if I would just be more disciplined about my diet and fitness. I bet I’d be happier about middle age if I looked better. Maybe I could do some hardcore fitness training when I find a free hour in my usually packed day.