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Anna Undercover: It Will Require Push-Ups
In the latest sign of the apocalypse, it is possible to earn VIP status at the 23rd Street Taco Bell in Lawrence, Kansas.
This is very bad news if you report to work with no pants on, and people show up to watch.
"Oh! It's you!" the all too familiar voice said through the speaker.
It was 3:01 a.m. last Saturday, and the drive-through guy was telling a long line of customers they were now closed.
"Here's a drink," the smiling teenager said when I pulled up. I grinned, thanked him, and started to drive away.
"Wait!" he yelled. "We have quesadillas for you!"
"Yay!" I said, unable or unwilling to decline the free snack. I smiled and accepted the bag. "Thanks, guys!"
As I drove home, I had a bite of the yummy, cheesy goodness, pictured my butt, and wished that evil didn't taste so good.
But it did taste good, and over the past 12 months, I gradually ate more and more of it at the 23rd Street Taco Bell drive-through.
I weighed 117 pounds when I moved here in May 2009, and now, um, I don't, anymore, and this is bad.
"Do a trick! Do a trick!" an excited customer demanded of me recently. In keeping with strip club etiquette, he tucked $3 in the side of my black Victoria's Secret underthings for his request.
"Thank you," I purred, smiling through worried, clenched teeth. Could I pull off the one (cool-looking) trick I know? Even though I hadn't done push-ups in forever?
Eh. Why not?
I hugged the pole and swung my legs up high, stretching my stilettoed toes to the ceiling as I snaked my legs around the metal fixture and squeezed, hard, to support my weight. I hung upside down, looking 'up' at the floor. Ready!
My legs unfolded to a graceful pose, my arms absorbed all my weight, and I slid down into a crowd-pleasing, topless... Semi-slow-mo...
Yeah, I weigh 136 pounds now, and I looked super sexy flailing my legs around with my face smooshed into the floor.
A good laugh later, I sat with customers in the soft red chairs by the stage and wistfully watched the Barbie-shaped princesses rocking the pole like demons in front of us.
"Get out of here with your big blond hair and your crazy acrobatics!" I gawk silently, watching them monkey up and down the poles on all three stages.
"You're fat!" a regular customer teased, interrupting my admiration.
"Shut up," I said, unbothered by anyone's opinion, teasing or not. (Thank you, stripping, for testing and affirming my bulletproof self-esteem).
At any rate, he'd paid for two of my $55 parking tickets, despite the extra poundage, so who was he kidding? (Hi, Lawrence PD! No hard feelings). He (and every other guy in Kansas) is obviously not tired of watching me dance around in my underwear.
I don't actually look fat--I'm not visually offensive, but after years of competitive ballet and jazz, this adult triathlete never thought they'd know what 19 pounds of fat looks and feels like during such a physical job.
Below: I salivate behind the lens.
Despite what my boyfriend says ("You're not fat!"), I have to lose the weight, says the American Heart Association. I'm overloaded with 19 pounds of unnecessary calories, and I've doubled my risk of developing Type II Diabetes, as well as my risk for post-menopausal breast cancer.
So I have a plan. Twenty days of healthier food and jogging around the local high school track, and I should be looking much better, inside and out.
But it will require push-ups.
Below: A new wall decoration.
The requisite groceries are in the fridge.
IT IS SO ON.
On that note, I'm going to bed.
My new day starts when yours ends.
Lawrencians in a similar situation can collaborate and find support on the new Lawrence Journal-World health site.
PSA: Please message me if you, personally, have a three-, four- or five-bedroom house for rent around 151st Street in Olathe, KS, which I will forward to a party who will get in touch with you. (Include phone/email). It's an urgent matter.