Still Fat (#2 in a series)

Written By: sherridaley - • •

STILL FAT  (#2 in a series)

For those of you who have not read FAT, the first in a series about my fat, I admitted that I have gained weight, which has settled comfortably around my midsection and which actually jiggles when I sharpen a pencil in an old-fashioned pencil sharpener at school.

Right. At school. I teach school, which is another reason I have gained weight as teachers live in an alternative universe where no one judges by body type and it is okay to wear holiday sweaters. Think.  Has anyone ever seen an overweight bond trader or advertising executive? (Think Mad Men.) For that matter, has anyone seen said examples ever wearing a holiday sweater? There may be a connection between the sweaters and fatness.  Just a thought.

A summer of daily gym workouts and 3-mile runs did nothing. I was driven to consider the drastic measure of getting a certified doctor to cut off the flab.

A tummy tuck, which is a euphemism for abdominoplasty, surgery which promises to remove excess fat and skin and which sounds pretty good to me, because that’s exactly what I want to do without giving up four glasses of cheap Chardonnay every night.

I read about abdominoplasty. It is not a walk in the park as it involves knives and anesthesia and probably stitches and medication – most walks in the park don’t get that bad —  but I have two handfuls of fat I need removed and so I soldier on.

I research nearby doctors, and since I live in a tony Manhattan suburb where there are hundreds of bored rich housewives who have little else to do but obsess about their stomachs and spend their husbands’ money, I zero in on a local surgeon. Surely, in a town this small and this gossipy, a doctor must do a great job or else be pilloried by bored rich housewives.

I make the appointment.


Dr. O’Connell’s office looks like the lobby of an expensive spa in Sweden. I have never been to an expensive spa in Sweden, but this was how I imagined it would look: ice-white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows and delicate foliage, white leather-and-chrome couches, and a circular staircase leading to private treatment rooms with pillows that smell of lavender and eucalyptus.

A beautiful woman and her beautiful teen-aged daughter are already there, silently looking into the air in front of them, unopened magazines on their respective laps.

WHAT CAN THEY POSSIBLY BE HERE FOR? I scream into my frontal lobe. They are both perfect. I try to make myself smaller. Really small. Like I could suck myself up into a little fist and disappear, but I have too much belly fat, and so I sit as far away from them as possible and look for reading material.

Most magazines feature women that make me feel worse than I already do, so I opt for idly fingering the brochures on a small table near me. A pale blue brochure is all about something called “Cool Sculpting”.

I have never heard of such a thing, but it immediately brought to mind ice sculptures like the huge ice bear that used to be in the dining room of the Russian Tea Room or, more recently, like the naked ice torso of a woman at the 4th of July party of one of my son’s friends.  You could suck Jagermeister out of her nipples.  I didn’t, but you could.

When my name is called, I take the ice sculpture brochure with me.

In my consultation with Dr. O’Connell, here is what I learned.

  1. A tummy-tuck in Westport CT costs considerably more than the Internet told me a tummy-tuck would cost. “Well, the Internet wasn’t taking into account that you were getting your surgery in Westport,” Dr. O pointed out. Right.
  2. It hurts. O said that in a much more kindly way. I don’t remember his words exactly because I was still recovering from the price.
  3. There are muscles in my stomach, although I have not noticed them in years. O assures me that he would sew them together after knifing off my belly fat.


At this point, I am thinking my belly fat isn’t as bad as all that and Dr. O can read my facial expression and body language.  He points at the Cool Sculpting brochure wadded up in my sweaty right hand.  “There’s that option,” he says.

I have a flash image of the naked ice torso and an urge for some Jagermeister, but it turns out that Cool Sculpting is something altogether different. It is the freezing of fat cells.  Killing them! Over the course of 3 months, the frozen fat cells will die off and they will never come back.  And the procedure requires no surgery, no recovery time, and costs half as much.

I like this.  I sign the papers they give me which say the doctor is not held responsible for much of anything and maybe it won’t work, but I remember that he has been providing plastic surgery and tummy tucks and this ice thing for over 25 years and no one has hunted him down for disappointing her. Trust me. I know this town.  If he didn’t do his job right, he would not be there.  He would be dead.

I go home happy, checking my fat rolls with my thumb and forefinger, thinking they will be GONE by November.

Life is good.

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