Princess: Right back where I started | AspenTimes.com

Princess: Right back where I started

Alison Berkley Margo

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I've finally become comfortable in my own skin.

Two problems arose from this theory: Either I became a little too comfortable or I spoke too soon. Or both.

So I went to the doctor last week and had to get on the scale. I hadn't weighed myself for several weeks after deciding my mom was wrong: The scale does, in fact, lie.

I'd come to this conclusion after I'd completed a weeklong cleanse and weighed more than I did when I started. OK, maybe that's not entirely true since I didn't exactly weigh myself before I started, but still. I weighed a lot. A lot more than I'd like to admit, especially after living on nothing but raw vegetable juice that was the same color going in as it was going out. I know that's totally gross, but it also happens to be totally true. Let's just say that I deserved to lose some poundage after choking down dirt-gritty juice squeezed from kale leaves.

"I think it's just what happens when you're in your 40s," my friend Catherine said the other day, even though she is 6 inches taller than I am, hiked Highland Bowl five days before giving birth and is one of the only people I know who actually look good in skinny jeans. I know she was trying to be nice, but she doesn't know what it feels like to be in my pants.

Plus, you can't really use the age excuse in Aspen. I see plenty of women in their 40s and 50s with zero body fat who become increasingly psychotic about their fitness as they get older. So, instead of looking old, they look like teenagers with their narrow hips, ripped bellies, flat asses and expressionless, wrinkle-free faces on account of too much Botox. It's not really a standard I can live up to.

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So I devoted my summer to road biking. Not because I thought it would make me thinner but because I wanted to do it for my dad, who almost died last summer in a biking accident when he was hit head-on by a Toyota Tundra on Route 131 about 8 miles north of Wolcott. By some miracle, he not only lived through it (albeit with nine broken bones and internal injuries) but made a full comeback — at 73.

Nothing makes my dad happier than seeing Ryan and me on our road bikes, so I decided to dedicate my summer to riding with my dad, even though he never actually rides with me because he is still so stupidly competitive he'll take any opportunity to prove how way badass he is. I guess the reality is that I decided to dedicate my summer to riding for my dad.

Man, did it make him happy. Boxes kept arriving from Amazon Prime with random, unexpected cycling goodies: tire irons, a box of energy gels, a Gore-Tex beanie, a saddle bag and a bright-yellow rain jacket that is ugly but functional.

He paid our entry fees for the 100-mile rides we did as well as lodging and food, so I guess you could say he was our sponsor. We got more than we probably deserved for our efforts.

I did get thinner for a while, or at least I thought I did. I felt great, I looked good enough in photos to gloat about it on Facebook, and I fit into some of my smaller jeans.

"I love biking," I kept telling people. "You can eat whatever you want and not get fat. In fact, you have to eat a lot if you're going to make it through a long ride."

Oh, yes. I was quite proud of myself. I thought I had discovered some special little secret. I actually believed that if I ate what I wanted rather than worrying about it, I would be more satisfied and therefore not eat as much.

Somehow I got into the habit of indulging in little goodies that were once reserved only for special occasions. I rediscovered my love for ice-cream cones. When I was young, my cousin Stacey taught me to bite the point off the bottom and suck the ice cream through, a perverse and somewhat disgusting technique that I revel in to this day. We'd go to Friendly's, which had the best fudge-swirl ice cream in the world. The chocolate was so thick and gooey it would sink to the bottom of the cone, so that last bite was always the best, like a long, slow goodnight kiss at the front door. Who doesn't want to relive that feeling over and over again?

OK, so maybe eating an ice-cream cone every night wasn't exactly on par with my bike-riding schedule, which tapered off considerably after the first century ride we did with my dad almost killed me. I probably should have laid off the bagel sandwiches I'd discovered at Saxy's and those pasta dinners I'd make at night since I'm pretty sure "carbo-loading" actually is a legit biking thing.

When I got on that scale, the nurse had to tap, tap, tap the metal thing farther and farther as I stood there and could literally feel myself inflate, as if the scale were actually a bicycle pump that filled my belly, hips, thighs, upper arms and butt with girth that hadn't been there moments before, when ignorance was still bliss.

There I was, right back where I started, after the cleanse and before the biking, after the biking and before whatever attempt I made to arrive at some destination within myself that can never last.

Am I ever going to get to where I want to be? The answer seems pretty simple: Fat chance.

The Princess if off to a wedding in Mexico and is going to start a low-carb diet a la Kim Kardashian as soon as she gets back. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.