Monday, December 3, 2007

The Taft Test

When I was working in Montana, I had a weekly tradition. On the last day of work before the "weekend" - not always Saturday through Sunday - I would take a long soak in the tub and scrub down with body oils and such. I called this my spa day. I would get pretty, dress up and go out on the town with my friends.

While I was in Montana, I focused hard on weight loss, so during this time I had two means of gauging my weight. The first is more obvious: Every Friday, I would weigh myself on the freight scale at the loading dock.

What? There wasn't a normal human scale to be found for miles, so this was my most convenient option. Near the end of the day, after they had loaded all the trucks, I would hop on this 5'x5' platform and watch the climbing calculations of the digital readout.

Every day of the following week while I was working, those red numbers would be burned into my memory. When I pulled sheets to untangle them from the knots they made in the washer, I would race to get it done - working my arms as fast as possible to tug the damp linen from the clump, sweat dripping off my face - everything was a challenge to me. I would load sheets on the iron the fastest, feed towels in the folder, sort soiled bath linens from the conveyor belt - all while making it a big competition in my mind. It was the best gym I ever went to.

But the other way I gauged weight loss was in the bathtub on that spa day. In the beginning of the summer, I was stuffed into the tub like a loaf of bread in a pan. As the summer progressed, I would notice that my hips would move away from the sides inch by inch, that I could slide lower into the full tub without overflowing it. I call it the Taft Test in honor of President William Howard Taft, who was so heavy that they had to design a special tub to fit him and all his girth.

I ended up putting myself to a Taft Test last night during my ritual bath. A couple of weeks ago I was a loaf of bread; last night, I felt oddly slimmer. Kind of like a loaf of bread that had been cooling and has begun to pull away from the pan. It's not a huge difference, but I'll take it.

I weigh in tonight, so let's hope that my Taft Test will prevail!

So there's that,


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