Saturday, November 8, 2014

Loss of Padding

My husband left for India on Tuesday. He’ll be gone about three weeks. This presents a welcome opportunity for me to attack a major project. Since I’d like to get my next edition of Retirement Sparks to print before yearend, I can use this window of uninterrupted time to assemble the book for publication. I had started on this last spring but had to shift gears to prep the house for sale once again.

After three days of sitting at my computer for hours at a time this week, I had one of those Aha! (Oh, no!) moments. My fanny was killing me. My lower back wasn’t exactly thrilled with me either, but the pain in my butt was something new. Those who have never met me in person, especially before I lost 30 pounds last year, might not see this as an Aha! moment. So, here’s some back(side) story.

I’ve always had a lot of “junk in the trunk.” My sister, my brother and I all inherited my father’s behind. (Our mother’s rear end was as flat as a pancake.) Because I fenced in high school, my gluteus maximus was especially well-developed. And it didn’t bounce around. It stayed that way even after college, probably because I walked briskly and a lot when I worked in Manhattan. And usually in high heels. (Lots of muscle flexing…)

I considered my derrière an asset, since men seemed to like big butts, even before Sir Mix-a-Lot came out with his song, Baby Got Back. (“I like big butts and I cannot lie…”) By the way, if you haven’t seen Jimmy Fallon’s remix of Brian Williams rapping to that song, you must check it out on YouTube.

Returning to this week’s painful realization: my bottom has lost much of its cushioning capability. Though some of this is probably due to my weight loss, it’s more likely another sad side effect of growing old. I say this because I had already noticed that the balls of my feet were no longer doing a good job of making walking comfortable either. Simply put: my body is losing padding.

No one tells you to expect this. Fallen arches, yes. But you don’t hear folks saying: “You’ll feel like you’re walking on concrete unless you wear special shoes.” And you certainly don’t have folks warning you that at some point, you’re going to think you’re sitting directly on your ass bone. (Is there an ass bone? I know it wouldn’t be the tailbone. That’s in the middle, at the base of the spine.) Moving on…

I suppose I wouldn’t be as miffed at this loss of padding in useful places if it weren’t that I’ve been gaining it in places I don’t need it. Or want it. Take for instance my belly. No, really. Please take the extra padding I have there. (Thank you, Rodney Dangerfield.) Despite the collateral tummy tuck that came along with one of my cancer surgeries, I was left with plenty of space for fat cells to proliferate. And proliferate they did.

Scientists should research a method of shifting belly fat to the fanny area. That ought to be pretty easy. They already do liposuction after all. Just reposition the stuffing laterally about 180 degrees. If someone can figure out a way to do that, they’ll make a fortune. People our age won’t even care if it leaves some scars.

Of course, there’s also the extra cushioning on our upper arms. Actually, I’m not sure it’s accurate to call it cushioning if it dangles. Whatever. It’s padding I don’t need, don’t want, and can’t seem to get rid of. If those same scientists can take that upper arm flab and reposition it to the bottoms of our feet, they’ll have something irresistible to peddle in the AARP publications.

Did I mention my neck wattle yet? Maybe not in today’s post, but you’ve certainly read plenty about it during the years that I’ve been blogging. There’s not enough excess there to help with my feet, but I’d still like to get rid of it. Just sayin’.

Seriously, how many of you had given any thought to this problem as part of your adjustment to retirement? I’m warning you: put this on your radar now. Start looking for extra-thick gel inserts for your shoes and a Kardashian butt enhancer today. I cannot lie. You’ll thank me later.

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