Wrong size? Learn to live with it

Friday, October 11, 2002
Ronda Graff

Some things in our lives are out of our control, but most things can be changed, altered or at least gotten rid of.

Think your feet are too big? Learn to love the name Big Foot.

Don't like your hair color? Grab a bottle of peroxide. Don't like your neighbor's dog barking in the middle of the night? Buy some earplugs.

Your height (always too tall or too short)? Thrive on it. Your weight (chronically on the upper part of the scale)? Do something about it.

Learning to love being on the tall side or on the short side takes time, usually a life time. It took me into adulthood to appreciate being tall. I didn't fully appreciate my extra height when I was in junior high and towered over the boys or in high school, when I was still taller than most boys.

While I'm sure there are disadvantages to being shorter in stature, I've only had to deal with the aspects of being taller.

For example, high heels are usually off-limits. I was forced to wear flat shoes (which as any woman knows are very unflattering) to my junior year prom. The next morning, I made a vow that I was wearing high heels to my senior prom. My prom date the next year, while the nicest guy in the world, was based primarily on his height -- he was the star player of the basketball team.

He towered over me even in my 3-inch heals. Life was good. But it's not just special events which highlight a person's height. Every day, I was forced to bend over to talk to my friends -- until I got taller friends, that is. My back couldn't take it any more.

Ask anyone who is tall, but not athletically-inclined, what the worst part of being tall is, and you will always get this answer: You are expected to be good at basketball.

While I'm taller than average, I'm not a giant when it comes to women's height. But I was constantly asked if I played basketball. After failing to make the D team in junior high and never moving off the defense on six-man Iowa basketball, I gave up any career in basketball.

From that day on, I was constantly fielding questions about basketball, whether I liked playing it, whether I was any good at in. That is why to this day, I won't allow a basketball in my house.

While you can't do anything about your height, weight is another story. I understand that some people are destined, ordained by heredity, willed by fate to be overweight, and they seem to thrive. But most people are not meant to be larger, although Americans are proving this to be otherwise.

A new government study says we're fatter than ever. Even worse, our eyesight is going bad. We must not be able to read a simple bathroom scale, because the study said four out of five people underestimate their weight. According to the study, one-third of Americans are overweight and another third are obese.

One researcher said it will only get worse before it gets better. How can it get any worse? When we have to change our bathroom scales to begin at 200 rather than zero? When there is no longer a one-third that is not overweight?

Why are we overweight? Aside from the obvious -- eating too much food -- there is the lack of exercise. People just can't find half-an-hour to exercise every day. Oh, wait, that was just increased to 25 hours a day or at least that's what it seems like to some people.

It's actually just an hour, which when you consider people don't think twice about sitting down to watch an hour-long television ... I don't need to spell this out, do I?

It can be tough to find the time to slip away to the gym or to wait for decent weather to exercise outside. The obvious solution is a home gym.

Too expensive you say? Obviously, you haven't been to a garage sale lately. It's written in the Garage Sale Laws of the World that every sale must include at least one piece of exercise equipment.

Rule Two: The price must be cut in half if the product has an "as seen on TV" label on the box and is endorsed by a former sit-com star. The price can be doubled if the item comes with hangers and clothes still attached from its former life as a clothes rack.

Just move that exercise equipment into your bedroom and start watching those pounds drop off -- or at least block the bathroom scale from view.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: