my flabby-armed spanking machine

I remember watching an episode of Seinfeld many years ago. Kramer’s newfound love for swimming laps at the local pool was coming to a swift end.

Kramer: “Well I had been swimming for three hours and I was in a real groove so I decided to keep going. But at 10:00 they start the aqua Sonics. Thirty-five geriatrics throwing elbows. It was like I was swimming through a flabby armed spanking machine!”

I loved that character’s last line, and as I laughed out loud I slowly brought my arms in closer to my body. I didn’t want anyone to see them jiggling as I giggled.

I have a confession. During the summer months I regularly check out the sculpted, toned arms of fit women, and secretly wish for limbs like that on my own body. If Halle Berry were a friend of mine, I’d be risking our friendship 24/7 because I simply wouldn’t be able to stop staring at her body.

Losing 100+ pounds has damaged my skin; sad but true. Losing the weight has not made my body bikini-worthy no matter how hard I try. Toning exercises, weight-lifting, nor incline walking has released me from the skin of my previous self. I have come to the realization that my skin will always serve as my sobering reminder of the abuse I put my body through for ten years.

With every ten pounds gone I’d keep re-evaluating my physical self; tugging here, pulling there. When am I going to see muscle? Some kind of definition? I’d think. Finally, I got up the courage to ask my dermatologist what I could do to improve the elasticity of my skin. He stood me up, looked over all of my problem areas.

“Without some form of intervention, there’s not a whole lot that can be done,” he said. “Your skin had to accommodate your weight gain by stretching to fit your body’s growing size. Now that you’ve lost the weight, the skin is like a deflated balloon.”  A deflated what now?

Intervention. He means surgery. At the very least laser surgery, which has come a long way I’ll admit, but still. We’re talking around $3000.00 to start.  “Um,” I said.Do you anticipate having a Memorial Day or Labor Day sale any time soon?”

I never thought I’d find my upper arms unfit to show in public or that the skin on my tummy would look like it does; or that my inner thighs would compare to the ripple effect of an old antique washboard. My husband calls them battle scars, “from a war you’ve won,” he says. Bless that man.

Now, whenever I go back to see my Dermatologist for checkups I have him look at my face. “Do I look 40 to you, or do I look older? Are these laugh lines the laugh lines of a 40 year old or do I look more like 60? Do I need some type of special cream or serum to prevent my face from aging?

When he tells me that I look fine I say, “Look, man! I’ve already ruined my body. My face is all I have left; I can conceal my body’s flaws with clothes but I can’t cover my face, so come on….show me what you’ve got!”

Still, there’s a stubborn part of me that refuses to give up on my fantasy body. Those sculpted arms, that taut belly; and thighs that look so firm they could crush a walnut. If I don’t keep trying to tone up this body, I know what I’ll end up with – what I’ve always had.

Who knows; maybe one day in the newspaper you’ll see an ad in the classifieds. It will read, No longer needed: one flabby armed spanking machine. First to call takes it.



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