For months, sugar has been my best friend. Anything with a creamy center or a crumble top has had me in the palm of its proverbial hand, and my ass, my arms, and my waist have all grown in response. But the time has come; my 9-month food baby is about to be birthed. In other words, I need to get off my butt and work out.
Every January 1st America buckles down and starts a workout regimen and a diet. I buck the trend and begin January with hibernation where I pack on the pounds in preparation for the arctic blast coming my way. After all, I live in the Midwest, a part of the country that’s known for record-shattering cold spells. The mere thought of trudging through the snow to the car in order to drive to the gym and exercise leaves my teeth chattering. So my food baby grows and grows while I promise myself that I will be on Team Workout once the cold breaks.
When spring rolls around, my kids are involved in all kinds of outdoor activities. The sun melts the vestiges of winter from our driveway, and I must play shuttle service, watch game after game, root for the home team, and share in their defeats. Celebrations and losses alike end with ice cream cones, sugary drinks, or dinner from a drive-thru restaurant. As my children run and jump and score goals, my food baby grows into a respectable-sized 5-month-old, begging to be set free from the confines of my body. I watch the games, cheer for the kids, and swear that next month I’ll work harder.
With the arrival of summer, the sun is shining and the air is perfect for a morning run. At last! But then I realize that there are two little humans permanently affixed to my side for the next three months. I can’t leave them home, and they are too old to go to day care at the gym. What’s a mom to do? Feed the food baby, of course. So it grows from a 5-month-old to an 8-month-old — a plump reminder that as the summer wanes and the air grows crisper I will be forced to shed the baby weight.
Now, as my kids prepare to go back to school, I stand on the precipice of birthing my food baby. When that yellow bus carts them away, I fully intend to strap on my forgotten running shoes and hit the trail. Right after I finish the amazing banana cream-stuffed French toast I’ll be making for breakfast.