Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How Dieting Has Aged Me

I haven’t quite decided which is worse. Looking fat or looking old. Unfortunately for me, the two seem to be mutually exclusive. Let me explain.

After seven weeks in Weight Watchers I have lost a total of 20.2 pounds. Fabulous, right? The only problem is that my face, which was once pudgy and prime, is slowly deflating. At first this wasn’t a problem until I realized that the fat had actually been stuffing my wrinkles, eliminating them altogether. As the skin settles closer to my skull, it’s beginning to pucker and sag. I’m becoming svelte, slender, and shriveled. It’s hugely disappointing.

I first noticed this while driving my car. As I looked into the rearview mirror I noticed a distinct line between my eyes. I thought it was a stray eyebrow hair and immediately tried to remove it. It was no hair. It was a deep-set wrinkle! You’ve heard all those smartypants newscasters warn about how stress causes premature aging? Turns out they’re right. All those years I furrowed my brow with worry and anxiety have permanently scarred my forehead.

When I lived in Japan my friends used to slap my forehead whenever I furrowed my brow. They warned that if I did that enough, like crossing my eyes, it would eventually stay that way. You don’t believe things like that when you’re 21. But I tell you what—it’s been fifteen years and I believe them. If only they’d wacked more sense into me.

My friend told me that some women scotch-tape their foreheads when they’re home to prevent brow-furrowing like a poor woman’s Botox. Sadly, for me, it’s too late for that.

But it turns out that happiness causes just as many wrinkles. I curse my mother for extolling the virtues of a healthy smile. I now have jowl lines and crow’s feet as evidence of all my virtue– a thing that didn’t preoccupy me much before I began losing weight. I’m just praying my skin still has enough elasticity to bounce back. That or I’m counting on modern science to develop the technology where the skin from my children’s buttocks can be grafted onto my face. Considering all the skin they’ve stretched out in other areas, I figure they owe me a cheek or two.

I guess the moral of the story is, keep your expressions consistent. Either furrow or smile, but don’t do both. And apparently you shouldn’t sleep on your face or put your eye makeup on with your pointer finger—it’s too strong. The ring finger is best suited for that, being weak and all. I know, I’m learning all these beauty tips a little late in the game. But 20 pounds ago, I could apply makeup with the palm of my hand and sleep with all three children on my face. The sacrifices you make to be thin.

So I’m opting for old. That’s all there is to it. And if my skin doesn’t bounce back, at least I’ll have my skinny jeans (okay, okay—size 11 jeans). That and I’m still banking on the skin-grafting.

23 comments:

Candygirlflies said...

TWENTY POUNDS???!! High-five, girlfriend!!

Wrinkles stink, there's no doubt about it. Almost as much as the flabby skin around my waist...

But, as my doctor said when I asked him about it:

"They're your battle scars... Your badges of courage! Wear them proudly."

Yeah. Spoken just like a man.

I guess there's always that scotch tape trick... Think we could somehow position it up in our hair, to pull our skin up and back without anyone seeing it? Maybe Clear Duct Tape would work...

That, and a good, hefty pair of super-suction-control undergarments.

TWENTY POUNDS.... I can't get over it!! Yay, YOU!!!!!

xoxo CGF

Anonymous said...

Good for you!! I'm happy for you. I am stuck at 5. :-) But it's better than 0, so i'm okay with that.

Mary

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Yes, I learned this, too. You may get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but it won't be your pre-pregnancy body (especially after 16 years or so!).

Jamie said...

Good job! You trying to up show us ladies at the retreat? You have to join my Muffin Top Killers Blog...we need your secrets!!!

Isabel said...

Holy cow...I quit reading after "20 pounds in 7 weeks"...because DUDE, that is awesome.

Spammon said...

I'm still trying to figure out how to sleep on your face and still breathe.

Gustogirl said...

I so know what you mean. When I lost the baby weight after #2 was when I really started noticing the wrinkles in my cheeks. I felt old, but it did feel so good to pull on my old jeans again and have them fit, be loose even. Check you out!!! 20 lbs is a huge accomplishment. Keep it up!!!

zellmer said...

My mom and I have this discussion all the time. But I think you made the right decision. Wrinkles are a sign that you've lived a happy life. You have emotions, and shouldn't have to try to squelch them to save your face.

And 20 pounds in 7 weeks is AMAZING!

Eileen said...

Shawna,
I would take 20 pounds off, for the wrinkles, any day. I am so happy for you, you should be very proud of yourself. You must feel great!! I know you look great too.

XOXOX

LikeAstaR said...

that is great on the 20 pounds.. I am expecting an after shot any day now. And about the rest.. ,that is why god invented plastic surgery. So that we can all age gracefully. haa.

Janice said...

Weigh to go about the 20 pounds...:)

I have been noticing more wrinkles on my hubby and I am certain it is all the stress of this new job opportunity. And he has more Grey hair, then a few months ago.

P.s I am moving to kentucky

Kristi O said...

Oh my gosh! that is amazing!!
congrats! do I need to plan for some low point items for our upcoming girls weekend? I can't wait to scrapbook with you!!

Karen said...

Woo-hoo. What an accomplishment! And if you really do "feel bad about your neck," well then you are in good company too. (Nora Ephron.)

shawn said...

As the seemingly only non-female reader around here ... I can only say - Congrats on your Achievement - that is awesome !!

Forget about the wrinkles ... ignore the less than taunt bits ... and relish in what you've achieved and HOW YOU FEEL ... men who are secure within themselves admire the WHOLE person and see the wrinkles and "flab" as attractive attributes of a beautiful person!!

Be proud - be strong, and carry yourself through life accordingly - THAT MORE than makes up for what only YOU perceive as imperfections!!

Rachel said...

crap...I didn't even think of my face...I was too busy wondering how wrinkly my tummy will be...dang you evil stretch marks!!!!

grace said...

Congrats on the weight loss. I am intrigues by one thing though...you lived in Japan before? I did too, for 10 years. :-)

Parenting Diaries said...

I am on my way to achieving my target weight and I'm stuck at a plateau. But never mind, I am enjoying exercise and feeling good every after gym session.

Way to go on your weight loss!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Seems like a cruel joke! So proud of you for losing the weight though, and LOL with all 3 kids sleeping on your face 20 pounds ago!

Gustogirl said...

BTW, I will be getting Botox! No quesiton about it.

Tola said...

Happy Birthday! i hope you were out having fun when i tried to call. love you!!

shauna said...

Thanks everyone for your superb support. My mom has always looked young so I'm going to assume that I got her genes and leave it at that. And I appreciate Zellmer's comment that those wrinkles are evidence of a happy life.

And, of course, the token male comment from Shawn: "men who are secure within themselves admire the WHOLE person and see the wrinkles and "flab" as attractive attributes of a beautiful person!!" How could I not love that comment. Thanks, Prairie Preacher!

Janice, I'm so glad that your blog will still be in the same place even though you're moving to Kentucky. Good luck with the move!

Spammon, After having three kids I've decided to could sleep standing on my head. In my opinion, there's no obstacle that sleep could not overcome.

Kristi O, Don't worry about supplying me with low-point foods. I'll come fully equipped (with probably a suitcase of stuff). CAN'T. WAIT!!!

Parenting Diaries, Way to go with the exercising--I need to become more consistent with that.

Gustogirl, I tell ya what, this is the first time in my life I've thought about Botox.

pinkmorning said...

Woo Hoo! Twenty pounds is fantastic!

jen said...

nice work on the 20 pounds! I am loved the "they owe me a cheek or two" hilarious!!