The other morning when I was eating my bagel with cream cheese breakfast and feeling guilty I saw a magazine that belonged to my mother and so I picked it up. It was one of her older lady mags with all sorts of tips and hints and recipes and mostly just ads for creams to make you look younger. I flipped through and came upon a section about losing “belly fat” (of course, there is always a section like this in these magazines).

This article was unlike most of their weight loss articles in that it had belly fat divided by age group. Apparently, at certain ages the battle plan changes for fighting the ominous belly fat monster. The first group was the “30s” (they skipped the 20s for the sole reason that no one in their 20s reads this shit, except me but I’m 29) then came the “40s” and “50s and Beyond”. The “50s and Beyond” solution was to walk and pray…no wonder that woman was still quite fat and too bad I’m not that old I could do that. The solution for the 40s was to walk and then do lunges or squats or something–thank God, I’m not in my 40s yet I don’t know how to do a proper squat. And, staring at a chick doing them at the gym to learn makes me look like a creeper. And finally, the solution for the 30s age group was to do walk/jog/run intervals.

With each section there was a set of photographs of a woman who had done the exercises and lost weight. The older ladies were bigger and lost weight so they still looked chunky, but the woman representing the “30s” (which is the section I focused on) was tiny and now a Zumba instructor. If that weren’t enough she’d popped out four kids.  And then I read that she lost weight by doing walking workout DVDs! The same walking workout DVDs I have been doing for years and not lost any weight with. And, if that weren’t enough, her “Before” weight was how much I weigh now. Yeah, that’s right I am officially a “Before” weight.

I kept staring at her tiny body trying to tell myself it was airbrushed. All day the fact that I am a “Before” weight started to weigh on my mind…so I went to the gym and I have decided to go on a break from bagels…for now. But then I realized that this “Before” weight is actually where I’m at. I have been falling off the wagon of diet and exercise and while I’m not back to where I started, I have a ways to go. I am going to break through this “Before” phase because now I’m determined to look better than that Zumba slut in the “After” photo. Damnit.