Carole Cline knew that she was a perfectionist. She was particularly obsessive about her appearance and knew lots of tricks for hiding problem spots (her waist). Her favorite was when her pants actually fit, but in desperate times she attached a rubber band through the buttonhole and around the button, thus allowing her pants to grow with her midsection. She picked up the Spanx from her closet floor and held it on the tip of her finger, regarding it with the same distaste she had for dirty diapers. She’d tried repeatedly to wear the under garment, but had only succeeded in keeping it on once…it rolled down her midsection the entire time she had it on and decided it was easier to just look fat. Too bad she couldn’t return it since it cost an arm and a leg. But lately Carole just wore sweats with an elastic waist. She could get away with that since she worked from home.
The doorknob on the closet door jiggled and Carole threw one of her husband’s old t-shirts over her sports bra, “Can’t I get a moment to myself?” she snapped at the five-year-old pushing through the door? Carole thought for sure she could hide in the closet long enough to regain her composure, but she was a mom and she had realized long ago that moms rarely found escape from their children. Besides, her kids had some sort of internal radar that led them right to her, whether she was in the tub or in the depths of the basement storage room.
“Sorry, honey. Mommy just got yucky news today.” After all, thought Carole, this was her problem, not her daughter’s. Stepping around the Spanx box, Carole followed her little girl downstairs, maneuvering around an orange gift bag, a menagerie of Littlest Pet Shop toys and one hiking boot (man’s size 8).
“Mom, I’m hungry. I want a peanut butter sandwich and applesauce,” whined Carole’s daughter, Sam, possibly the skinniest child ever.
“No honey, tonight we are having something good.” Carole, who rarely cooked, pulled a beer out of the fridge, steeled herself with a long swallow, and proceeded to prepare a meal of epic proportions. When she sat down to eat with her family, she ate as if she were the skinniest 20-year-old on Earth. Only Carole (who was only about 18 years past 20) and her doctor (tall and skinny, of course) knew that she was on the verge of being obese.