In the end, I've realized, genetics win.
Genetics and middle age.I was recently thumbing through the family album looking at my Aunties and saw myself in those wonderful women, those Scottish shortbreads with the pug faces in house dresses.
Fashion-wise, there were good reasons women wore house dresses. They were cool when you didn't have air conditioning, they were inexpensive because the only shapes were made by cinching and darts, and you could let them out easily when your body started giving out.
In my Aunties' day, there were no expensive gyms to go out, no plastic solutions to be had, only house dresses and sensible shoes. Aunties weren't athletic, but they worked hard, used something they called elbow grease, got on their hands and knees several times a week to scrub unscrubbable floors, hung clothes on the line instead of throwing them into the dryer, and cranked their own windows in cars.
Their weight in middle age couldn't be explained by their eating of junk food. Sure, there were chips and Cheezies and tube cheese but that was for company. There were desserts, certainly, but they didn't eat them sitting in front of the television. Aunties rarely sat in front of the tube because they had to do everything for their families.
Most of them also held down jobs in shops and in factories.
Factory work. Now that was resistance training.
I'm sure the Aunties didn't like unexpected weight gain, either, but it wasn't polite to blame anybody or anything for it.
Their weight couldn't have been blamed on stress, though many of them certainly had a lot of that. Stress hadn't been invented yet.
Interesting. Can't blame your girth on something that hadn't been invented yet.
Aunties rarely took pills except when they finally found themselves at the doctor's office, which was rare. And they all lived to an old age, just a plump, good humored old age.
In house dresses.
They simply accepted their weight gain as a product of getting old, slowing down.
And they let out the house dresses.
Something to think about this morning as I grease up for the gym.
Maybe it's time to bring back the house dress and invest in a sewing machine.