Thick thighs a new flash point in battle of the bulge

Hot Flashes



“I knew you were coming down the hall,” Mom said, “because I could hear your thighs rubbing together.”

The woman had such a way with words.

Well, Mom is long gone. Unfortunately, my bulbous thighs aren’t. And sadly, I’ve realized at this portly point in my life, spontaneous combustion ignited by these well-rounded gams could occur any moment.

And you were worried about Kim Jong-Un. I guess it’s January and time to channel my inner Twiggy, thus avoiding nuclear fission.

OK, so I had fun over the holidays. That moose tracks fudge ice cream was a perfect delight with a slab of peppermint bark and chaser of frothy eggnog. Frothy.

And wouldn’t you know, body parts have frothed in proportion. Whoa, baby. Just write Goodyear on my side and float me over the Super Bowl.

Looking back, Mom had her own ideas about my thighs. “You ought to call those rotund little buggers Twirly & Whirly,” she piped up, “like from the song ‘Honey Bun.’”

And so it’s January for all of us, including my pals Twirly & Whirly. Hello bountiful buns, hello treadmill, hello there’s a skinny person in here somewhere. It’s the month of the indulger’s greatest challenge, isn’t it?

There’s a season for everything, including one to pay the piper. Wherever you hang your hat, whether it’s mud pie in Moorpark or pork sliders in Simi or cranberry clafoutis in Calabasas, the buck stops when you can’t zip your skinny jeans.

And even your lard-butt jeans aren’t so cooperative. So the piper gets his due with carrots and celery or anything that tastes like a Tide laundry pod.

Funny, I’ve never met “the piper,” nor do I recall paying him, but I know I’ve faced the sucker every January for the last 45 years. We greet during “shock and awe” season right after I’ve stepped tentatively, furtively, oh so carefully on the bathroom scale after the jolly ollie holidays.

The LED readout tells me, so simply, “To be continued.” Real funny, wiseguy.

Perhaps the scale needs to be recalibrated, I ponder. Weak batteries? So I step on the left, then kind of list toward the back, hoping for a lower, more “accurate” reading. Nah. Hello Missy Tubby and her Wassail Bowl of lard.

So it’s off to the fitness studio only to be confronted with another challenge—trying to find a place on the gym room floor in January. It’s like Normandy Beach without the rifles and soggy boots. It’s each fatso for herself with no easy path to freedom for miles.

As of this writing, I’m happy to report that I’m 6 pounds down with miles to go before I’m sleek. Yet I’m surrounded by the enemy. Mr. Fixit and his affection for chocolate chip cookies. The IHOP commercials at night. Stacks of pumpkin bread at Starbucks. Just go away, you wicked tormentors. All torment aside, I figure planning is key.

No stranger to health fads, I arm myself with a full alphabet of vitamins, with Omega-3 fatty acids (really? I want the skinny acids) and a bucket of antioxidants. Turns out everything except floor wax and Raid are antioxidants.

I never realized that public enemy No. 1 was the “oxidant,” which I am now profoundly and thoroughly against. I think.

And so, the journey of many pounds starts with the first step for Twirly, Whirly and moi. And if you’re listening, Mom, wherever you are, get ready for the sounds of silence.

Elizabeth Kirby has been a resident of Thousand Oaks since 1983. Reach her at or To read all her columns, check out her Facebook page.

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