One of the hardest things I have to do in my job at a celebrity magazine is look at pictures of starlets and determine, based on girth, whether or not they have a baby bump.
This is difficult for me for personal reasons. My belly is my “area.” Depending on its mood, I adore it or I hate it. It is one of the few places I gain weight, but when I do, I gain it like a champ.
Give me half a Chipotle burrito and I could look three months pregnant (six if I were Kate Middleton).
I’m in my 30s, which means I know this about my body. That means I have no excuse for what can only be described as irrational behavior I recently engaged in. Earlier this week I had a launch party for my first novel, "Love Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps."
It’s a fictional tale of women going to rehab to reverse their neurotic behavior. That makes what I did all the worse.
It’s been a long winter. That means my belly is certainly more burrito baby than bikini ready.
Yet, 10 days before my book launch I found myself perusing Rent the Runway for some seriously skinny frocks. I had my heart set on one of those fancy Herve Leger bandage dresses. Not only did I want to wear the skintight bandage dress. I wanted to wear it in white, something only people the size of Posh Spice should attempt to pull off.
I clicked the order button and it was on its way.
Which meant I had 10 days to lose 10 lbs., all of which were residing in my middle. I allowed myself to be delusional for 24 more hours before the panic truly set in.
I went to a Target in New Jersey to buy Spanx, but since they won’t allow you to try Spanx on in the dressing rooms in the Target in New Jersey I had to buy three pairs in different sizes to ensure I would find the ones that created the maximum amount of stomach suckage.
The next morning I signed up for not one, but two Soul Cycle spinning classes for the day, one in the morning and one late at night. After the 8 am session I manically barreled up the Upper West Side and double parked outside one of those Organic Avenue juice bars. Panting like a heroin addict desperate for a hit I begged for a three-day cleanse. Told I would need to pre-order the delivery cleanse 48 hours in advance I just started filling my basket piecemeal with whatever juices they had in stock. Willow, the juice girl behind the counter, shook her head with a condescending glare. To Willow, with her insect-like limbs and belly that no one would ever mistake for pregnant, this was not what juicing was all about.
I subsided on juices and fruits for the next five days. I did two high-cardio exercise classes a day.
I felt horrible. I know some celebrities like to talk about how cleansing makes them feel a sense of clarity, giving them so much energy. These celebrities are liars. I was exhausted. I was hungry. I would have sold my first child for a Snickers if I didn’t have the specter of that white bandage dress hanging over my head.
Finally, when it arrived, I took it out of the package, put on those two pairs of Spanx and held my breath.
Sure I was exhausted that night at my book party, a little ornery. Maybe I begged the bartender to give me an extra three olives in my dirty martini, just for the sustenance. But the dress fit like a glove.
That was two days ago.
I have done nothing but eat since. Was it worth it? Probably not.
I may have won the battle of the burrito this week, but the bulge is winning the war as we speak as I indulge in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked after ordering an entire pepperoni pizza. In hindsight, for a party celebrating a book preaching to women to stop indulging in neurotic behavior, let's face it.
I would have been way less neurotic if I simply got myself a more practical dress.