Sunday, March 7

A Word to Define Me

zaftig \ZAHF-tig\ adjective
: having a full rounded figure : pleasingly plump

Example sentence:
The Flemish painters were masters of the oil medium, rendering zaftig beauties, robust burghers, hunting scenes, and allegorical subjects with subtle interplays of light and color.

Did you know?
"Real women have curves," as a 2002 movie title proclaimed. They are pleasingly plump, full-figured, shapely, womanly, curvy, curvaceous, voluptuous, statuesque. They are, in a word, zaftig. "Zaftig" has been juicing up our language since the 1930s (the same decade that gave us Yiddish-derived "futz," "hoo-ha," "nosh," and "schmaltz," not to mention "lox"). It comes from the Yiddish "zaftik," which means "juicy" or "succulent" and which in turn derives from "zaft," meaning "juice" or "sap."

Unfortunately, this word describes me very well these days. When we got married, I weighed 118 lbs. On my 5'10" frame, that was skinny, to say the least. Even so, a modeling agency said I'd have to lose 10 pounds and wear a girdle to work for them. Sheesh.

I was a smoker back then. When I quit smoking, I put on 20 lbs. the first year and 20 more in the 2nd year. I was absolutely perfect for about 3 years and then it all started going to hell in a handbasket. Had I known I was going to pack on the pounds, I'd have given more care to my diet in the years after I quit the noxious weed. By the time I realized it was going to be a problem, I had been so profligate with my eating habits for so many years that I found (and still find) it difficult to deny myself anything. My diet (or lack of one) plus the dearth of exercise has gotten me into a fix - and I have to do something!!

Okay - the rant's over. Have a good Sunday and be good to each other.

22 comments:

Tardevil said...

And let me just say, blogging doesn't help, does it? I never smoked, but never had a good metabolism, so if I look at food, I swell. Now, I've got blogger butt to boot. Maybe the weather will be much nicer soon, and we can get some more exercise. Have a good Sunday!

Gilly said...

I was never skinny, ansd never smoked, but boy, have I put on the pounds in my old age!!

And not being able to exercise briskly, its tough shedding them!

Kay Dennison said...

I'm 5'10" (and shrinking), 140 lbs. that never seems to change much. Other people tell me I'm too skinny but I think I'm just right. Right now I need to strt getting some exercise because I need to tighten up some muscles.

Arkansas Patti said...

Oh can I relate. I had it all till I quit smoking. Then my oral fixation settled on food as a substitute.
I am a boredom eater, guess I need to be better entertained. Until that happens, it will be a daily struggle. I am trying to detour my stroll to the refridg into a stroll around the property. Kinda working.
Good luck and if you find a better way, holler.

Tracie said...

I've never done the smoking thing...but my big butt and waste-line come from emotional eating. Happy, have some ice cream to celebrate. Sad, have a cookie to feel better. This is my life.

Anonymous said...

"Have a good Sunday and be good to each other." And please be good to yourself, too. Gladys

kenju said...

Thanks, Gladys, for the visit and comment!

Anonymous said...

Hope that 'hell in a hand basket' is big, cause it's filled with lots of people, myself included.
I quit smoking twice!
Helen

David said...

6' 2" and 216
but pretty happy unless I turn sideways in front of a mirror -
no one who loves me is saying anything about it

robin andrea said...

I've always been small, 5'2" and 110 pounds. But I grew up knowing the meaning of zaftig, hearing it from my grandmother's lips when she spoke yiddish to my mother. I love that language so much.

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm gradually creeping up in weight and it depressing. It definitely is harder to shift the weight as one gets older. I've never smoked, but my eating habits have become less and less healthy, plus like Tardevil so beautifully put it, I'm getting a bloggers butt!

Olga said...

I never had a struggle with weight until I turned 45--then boom. At first it wasn't so bad cause I got boobs, but then other aras started to blossom as well. Sad, sad.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I have seen you in person, but you are NOT big by any stretch of the imagination. You are perfect!

Star said...

It's not getting any easier to lose the weight as I get older. ANd, as some before me have mentioned, blogging doesn't help. Neither does Facebook!

rosemary said...

After the dreaded "change" I was a porker. Then the reality of cholesterol, high blood pressure and my health hit. I haven't had much that tastes good to eat in 4 years. but I am slimmer by about 40 pounds. I think you are lovely. Seriously.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh Judy...I'm commiserating with you. I've packed on the pounds during my married life...and I'm only 5'2''. I don't have your lovely tall frame to hide it on. I never smoked, so what's my excuse?

Emotional eating...sure, that's as good as any reason...but, it's probably true. That and the fact that I grew up with bad eating habits...and still have them. But I'm trying to do better. I'm always dieting...and I am now too. It's a curse...and my cross to bear in life. You are NOT alone. Hugs, Joy

Granny Annie said...

From now on I shall describe myself as zaftig. That is much more melodic than fat or obese. Even though my exercise program is working and I am losing pounds, I shall ALWAYS be zaftig.

Carmi said...

Zaftig is one of those Yiddish words that doesn't always translate directly. That's because Yiddish is such a rich language, and individual words are often stories in their own right.

I can close my eyes and hear my mom's and grandmother's generation speaking Yiddish, and the word Zaftig always seemed to rise above the din, carrying an energy all its own.

Pat said...

I think after a certain age skinny doesn't look so good.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it:)

Grannymar said...

I never heard the term zaftig before. Not quite as tall as you Judy, I reached 5'7", was 112 lbs when I married and with a pastry board figure, it was no wonder I was considered gamine.

amarkonmywall said...

I never smoked but otherwise, I'm right there with you.

sage said...

Thanks for adding to our vocabulary--next time I'm asked if someone looks fat, Ill say no, just zaftig... and if they're Yiddish or read your blog, I'll get slapped.