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Beverly Godfrey is a copy editor at the News Tribune.

A growing problem this winter

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columns Duluth, 55802
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

There's something about a long, cold winter during which I feel like doing nothing but grumbling and playing Xbox and eating Cheetos that makes my pants shrink.

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Stupid washing machine, right?

Oh, wait. Maybe it's not the pants, you're thinking? Yeah, you're probably right.

I'm in a pants crisis, it would seem, with pants that should fit not fitting, and the only pair that kinda fits being actually too big, and they're some weird pair I found at Goodwill with orange embroidery that I'm probably too old to be wearing.

But I'm not buying new pants. It's not only a vanity thing about the size on the tag, but it's financial, of course, and in large part, too, a big nuisance to find pants in a store these days that don't ride so low my underwear shows. Have I crossed the line to being an old lady, the way I insist my pants cover my bottom? I'm not saying I'll take the Wayback Machine to the '90s and wear a waistband up to my ribcage, but I want nothing to do with today's "low-rise" pants. My underwear color should remain a secret.

This isn't the first time I've noticed my pants getting tight, when I decide it's time to lay off the ice cream. This time, though, it's easy to lay blame elsewhere, and I'm blaming the weather -- for this and many things, really, but right now, I'm talking about the pants.

Having been through several pregnancies, I've grown used to not knowing what size I am as I get bigger and smaller, bigger and smaller. At my age, I'm certainly not expecting to go back to what I was before having kids. With my youngest kid being 3, though, we're way beyond being able to call any of this "baby weight." Let's face it, it's just "Beverly weight." But is this what size I am?

Is this the middle-age me?

No. I say it is not. And you know why? It's the pants. I have a couple Carhartt pants I love, and I got new snow pants this year. There's a wetsuit that I wear to the beach, but it now cuts off the circulation to my legs and almost needs to be removed with scissors. The black dress pants I've had for 15 years are tight, too. You could say they're old and I should buy a new pair, but how would that go, exactly? Would I buy a bigger size? No way, man. I'm not doing it.

So here's my brilliant springtime diet plan: "Stop eating so much food and get outside." Not exactly book length, but I could add a chapter, "Lay off the hot chocolate!" That would be the whole chapter. It'll be a two-sentence book.

I could devise an exercise plan shoveling snow, but that's hateful work, and I recently hit myself in the face with a shovel, making me bite through the side of my tongue and fall crying in a heap in the bitterly cold, snowy, wind-swept driveway, so I've had about enough of that. I'm looking forward to the kinds of workouts that involve walking on the hot sand, climbing the stairs of Enger Tower or throwing rocks into the big lake. All this while wearing my favorite pants, which await me in my closet.

Beverly Godfrey is a News Tribune copy editor and columnist. You can reach her at bgodfrey@duluthnews.com.

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