The workshop for humor writing, human interest writing, networking and getting published

Erma Bombeck Wrighters' Workshop Banner

Taking stock of my metabolism

Molly StevensOver the summer, the American stock market surrendered $2.1 trillion in value over a six-day losing streak. If you are like me, understanding the complexities of a market correction is as baffling as reading a prospectus. People are concerned, fearing a future of rummaging through bins of dented cans to meet their recommended daily allowances.

I sympathize with investors’ shrinking portfolios, but I am confronting a serious personal disaster that has more to do with inflation: I have an underperforming metabolism.

It turns out while others mourned losses from risky hedge funds, I was realizing capital “gains” in my “piggy” bank. And my assets were growing out of control!

When I was a baby, Carnation Evaporated Milk and Karo Syrup had deep enough pockets to convince my mother’s generation that this concoction was superior to breast milk.  It wasn’t my fault (or my mother’s) that suckling on this sugary formula altered my brain chemistry, setting me up for carb cravings as powerful as a bull market.

During a period of aggressive growth, I bought into commodities like devil’s food cake, Mom’s apple pie and Twinkies. I never gave much thought to balancing caloric debits and credits. When I wanted to drop a few pounds I simply skipped dessert for a few days. My mitochondria were slaving away 24/7, working harder than migrant workers in a blueberry baron.

But suddenly I was shocked into facing this reality: I was the victim of a metabolic correction. I continued to eat, drink and frolic in rich dividends, while my energy requirements bottomed out. And the waste applied itself to my waist.

Even Social Security doesn’t declare someone in my generation fully vested until age 66. Who presented my metabolism with the option for early retirement?

I was on the verge of a full-blown depression when a co-worker updated me on the latest research about ideal body mass index (BMI) for “mature” adults. It seems that a BMI of 18.5-24.5 does not provide security for those over 65. Instead the key to a longer life is BMI diversification in the range of 23-33.

My metabolic correction was actually protection — against premature death and a long-term relationship with Jennie Craig.

Now that I’m not doomed to a lifetime of Special K, I’ve turned my thoughts toward plumping up my 401K. And like an answer to a prayer, I just got an email from a nice person from Nigeria offering me some fabulous returns for a one-time investment.

While I wait for the money to roll in, I’m washing down some blue chips with a Sam Adams, knowing these empty calories are contributing to my longevity.

— Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk, but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She blogs at www.shallowreflections.com, where she skims over important topics, like her love affair with white potatoes and why she saves user manuals.

Reflections of Erma