Clowning Around With MIDLIFE Weight Loss

When we first moved to New Orleans I was svelte.


Okay- maybe not ‘svelte’ but not 20 lbs of grilled oysters on each hip heavy.


Anywho, a few months ago our soon to be daughter-n-law and her lovely yoga-body mother came in for a pre-wedding trip (They are getting married here! SCORE!).


We went Wedding dress shopping.


It was a perfect afternoon: soft music, champagne, credit cards being melted.


Lauren found her dress. She looked like a … she’s 25. ‘Nuff said.


Lynn found her dress. She looked like a … Pungu Mayurasana master.


I tried on dresses too! It was a ‘Girl’s Day”!


I poured myself into a gorgeous green sequined single-shouldered gown with deep back dip, fitted bodice, and a peek-a-boo De’colletage slit  (that should have accentuated my delusions curves ) swept the curtains aside (que: muzac) stepped out with a flourish, turned to the large gold gilt floor to ceiling mirror, and saw a … Holy-Shit-who-are-you-with-the-beignets-stuffed-in-your-back and a crawfish-boil-around-your-waist and why is the salesgirl expanding the closures with big-ass velvet clothes pins that look like exercise rubber bands used by people that actually e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e? What are those?


So many question, like: Why are all the samples in single digit sizes? Do they NOT have full figured women come in here? Who the hell do they think is actually paying for all this? The Bride? Is it wise to make the Mother’s of The Bride/Groom feel like yesterday’s news? Could I wear a paper bag over my head? Do I really have to show-up at all?


So, I declined to purchase, but vowed to return. Later. After a miracle.


For the first time in my entire life I am on a reduction diet because I WILL be at my Midlife physical best when my son walks down that God Damn aisle or I will kill someone trying. (Yes- drama and destruction are my go-to mantras when I’m feeling self-loathing and someone I love is celebrating a wonderful milestone. I’m nothing if not a giver).


Here’s how the world I loved look:



eating in bedPINIMAGE



Here’s how the world looks now:


old woman exercisingPINIMAGE



Can this old lady find her groove again?


Yes she can. But it’s not as simple as deciding to loose a few before a day on the beach when I was 20. In those days all I had to do was indulge in only one grilled cheese sandwich, instead of two, or maybe, pop a diuretic (somehow I got my hands on a few). Viola! Case closed.


Even after my kids were born– a pound a day– OFF. Easy peasy.


I maintained this indulgence superb physical superiority for decades… and then MENOPAUSE became my sleeping companion and shot to shit my metabolism.


But I was in New Orleans! And the livin’ is EASY. And the food is even better.




And the pounds they are a stubborn (Was that a Simon & Garfunckle song?).


So, here’s how it goes NOW:


I Reduce my caloric consumption to a level deemed inhumane in third world countries but somehow, suggested by the AHA for Americans. You know that program in Whole Foods where you can contribute to micro-loans for women attempting sustainable farming practices because the fathers of all of their children are AWOL in the jungle cooking Meth and can’t contribute? Could I mail them all of the Lobster Chowder in the big pot at the Soup Station, or the pizza in the brick oven next to the bakery full of chocolate Eclairs? I’d gladly give them my share.


I Increase my caloric burn rate. This is done by working a ‘Program’ four fucking days per week. When I enter, the cute girl with the perky tits always says, “Enjoy your workout Cheryl!”. I reply by saying, “Are you kidding? You must have perky tits.”


I am now on a first name basis with the once studdly, now Midlife overweight ex gymnastics coach that manages the gym. He tells me I’m the only one that minds my own business and just ‘works’. I tell him that’s because my ass was going to need it’s own zipcode.


He retorts with a mention that he’d like to send a package to that town.




But, it’s working- not quickly, but in a positive direction.


I don’t have MORE energy (So disregard THOSE claims meant to inspire you) but my boobs aren’t entering the room a week before me , and I no longer look like the 50yo crazbo grandmother who carried her barren daughter’s baby, and I can see my thighs again when I sit down, and my stomach doesn’t follow behind like a water balloon when I turn in bed.


The other added side effect bonus  is the fact that my face is melting, and by ‘melting’ I mean looking gaunt- with new creases in the hollows of my checks, and a sort of permanent sad clown thing going on around the eyes.


Royals – (_Sad Clown With The Golden Voice_ Version) – Lorde Cover – YouTubesad clownPINIMAGE

But I can always get THAT fixed. No workout involved…


Just tickets to the cosmetic surgeon Circus.


Step right up folks! And under the Big Top we have a…




  • Cary Vaughn - What about alcohol? Does your diet exclude alcohol?!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Does LIFE exclude the nectar of the Gods? Does the sun rise in the West? No NO NOOOOOOOO. burpReplyCancel

  • Abby - LOL Cheryl, you’re hilarious! Especially the perky tits and the grandma doing work out picture:)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Isn’t that pic a hoot?! Seriously- me in a few years. I’m hoarding poison just in case.ReplyCancel

  • Adela - You are hilarious. I know what you mean about the creases. I went on a diet and lost the weight I wanted to. Friends asked me if I was sick. I decided at a certain age, I had to decide between wrinkled or round.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I know i know i know…. but with a little help from my anti-wrinkle doctors Mr. Botox and Ms. Filler I will get that solved!ReplyCancel

  • christina - I spent a week in New Orleans and gained about 10 pounds, I cannot imagine living there!
    Hilarious story, happy I clicked on it!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - And this rusty old gal is so glad you did! Come back!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Sorry, I just spit out my coffee. OMG, funny. And wayyy true!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Connolly - I just spit out my tea! That is too hilarious for words.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Dolgen - You are so funny! I just adore your writing! BTW one menopausal maven to another …just go on Weight Watchers… it is quite amazing and EASY! David and I still eat this way – it is now our 4th year! It is NOT a crazy fad diet…just helps you not eat like it was your last meal – every meal! Congrats on the engagement………….how fab!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Carpenter - You’re THE funniest clown ever! Such hilarity. Good luck getting more gaunt, er, svelte. Sounds like you’re on the road to both!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - Oy, yoy, yoy. Oy vey. The old diet. So funny the way you put it. But now it’s finally warm out and I love the sleeveless dresses and shirts but I refuse to wear them. I hate my arms. And the weight with no exercise lately. Argh. I think I look like your 2nd photo! I have faith in you that you will look beautiful walking down that aisle. And you know why. Because you ARE beautiful, Cheryl. Always was, always will be!ReplyCancel

  • Sherry Macdonald - This is great! I own a personal training studio so I know what you are talking about and don’t judge me because I am over 50 and don’t have perky tits. Great writing I loved the story. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Pictures! When you get back into that dress, we want pictures! Someone once said diet was just ‘die’ with a ‘t’. Ugh.
    I’ve cut out sugar. One step at a time . . .ReplyCancel

  • Elena Peters - I hear Ya! This is hilarious! I’m not laughing at you as with you in same boat! Keep going!ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I hear ya! Right now I’m in the fight for my life! I’ve given up every single “luxury” calorie known to man…except my sweet tea and I guess I am going to have to finally give up that too. I’d rather trade my first born.ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - OMG I am crying laughing – because I totally relate! Those photos are hilarious, and I can’t wait to follow along as you reach your goal! You are beautiful no matter what, Cheryl!ReplyCancel

  • Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife - Is this a good time to mention a vegan diet?ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Zurek - Midlife clown..that’funny! I am always surprised at how much thicker I am. Buttoning coats has become hard!ReplyCancel

  • Denise Thomas - Oh, this is wonderful! I can compleeetely relate. It is SUCH a struggle, but I am glad to hear it’s working for you! Not working so much for me, but good for you!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It took me 4 weeks to loose 7 pounds. Things aren’t going so well here either. I’m up to 13lbs. Thank God the wedding isn’t until next spring. At this pace i’ll need it.ReplyCancel

  • David - You probably just had the dress on backwards. And… BTW thanks for the vision… Every time you walk I will hear oyster shells clanking. Having worked in healthcare for 29 years I have seen every form of the human body… especially the melting female form. The worst was some poor soul with a prolapsed uterus that made her look like she had a penis… that BTW is a quote from the Filipino RN who came to ask me if that woman in 12B was really a man dressed up like a women? She’d even left a urinal on the beds rail just in case. So… I know where you have been and I know where you are headed in this deflate-a-thon. If you want to do your body a favor… no I am not going to suggest giving up alcohol… but really lose weight because you love yourself not because you cannot fit into a 12 year old’s prom dress… also… remember that is worse comes to worse… done one of those Arab women tent things that only allow your eyes to see the light of day… make a political statement. The rich, white, farthest right republican men will hit on you while their wives try to ask if you really know where Obama was born.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Well you said a mouthful didn’t you? ps: I should have probably put on the dress the other way. Next time. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Becky Robbins - Cheryl! You. Are. Awesome! Love reading your writing! It seems like it just flies out of you like you and I were sitting across the table with a glass of um…wine!? I’m signing up for more!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - Yes, I gained during menopause also. It happens. The hormones go wacko. Once that was over I started to lose. I’m down to a reasonable size, but things shift as one ages. It doesn’t matter the exercises one does. That, however, is not one of my worries. There are too many important things to worry about and youth gone is not one of them. Hugs.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - You can do this and you will look fabulous!! Can’t wait to see how you look!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Lynn - Sizing. I simply don’t get who they think they are sizing sample dresses for. Certainly not real women.

    Dieting. Yuck. It is such a dirty word.

    But, none the less. I am here to support your journey. I am sure you will look fabulous for the big day.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ya know I once worked in the ‘Fashion’ industry and always wondered why store samples or ‘Trunk’ shows only had s-m-a-l-l sizes available when the women that were attending those shows and shopping at those shops did not fit in ANY OF THEM. It’s very discouraging. Hopefully someday someone will smarten up. Thanks for the support- I’ll need it, and I don’t mean spanx (or maybe I do?). HahahahaaReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - Hilarious fayre, Cheryl! But do remember, perky tits aren’t everything and many men still much prefer a curvy lady; only male, homosexual fashion designers like female stick-insects.

    Whatever, I’m sure you’ll look fabulous when your son walks down that aisle.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you for the glad tidings Gary! Ben doesn’t seem to mind! heheheheeeeeeReplyCancel

  • Lynn Hogue Paige - Hi Cheryl – thank you for the compliment. It’s funny – I don’t see myself that way at all. What is also funny…. is all I could think about after that trip is how fabulous you are. You have it all together – the beautiful eyes and features, look great in every photo, the amazing family, wonderful house ……the works. I guess we are all hard on ourselves and may not see the things that others do. Namaste.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - I am there. With you. Not in the getting it done part, but in the I’m eating my life away and could double for a beached whale part. These past 3 months I’ve used food to ease my stress. I can’t tell if it worked, I was too full and uncomfortable to notice. When I began I was 20 pounds over. I don’t even want to talk about what I’m facing now – other than depression and disgust. Once I get settled in a real home I’m hitting the road of “get this stuff off of me”. Any pointers…. you must share! xoReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes Tammy- the good old fashioned ‘basics’- eat less, burn more calories. It’s killing me.ReplyCancel

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