OK. Cards on the table. I wrote this post and kept it in draft mode for more than 24 hours. I even wrote and posted that cute kid thing before this already written post. It's a bit self indulgent and maybe kind of boring. My feelings wouldn't be hurt if you skipped. In fact, I wouldn't even know. Really.
Anna at D16's recent blog post hit a chord with me. In it, she writes about body image and about aiming for a "middle-ground of OK-ness," which I interpret to being healthy.
It aligns with a conversation I had with my beautiful and talented friend, Rebecca, last weekend. We were lounging by the Ace pool, both wearing bikinis and both looking cute IMHO. Normally, I don't like talking about my body. It makes me uncomfortable and self-conscious. But talk about our bodies we did because really, we were so completely surrounded by model-like women and men, it was hard to ignore. We each recounted the very conscious moments in our lives when we finally "allowed" ourselves to buy bikinis. Mine was when I looked in the mirror in a Marshall's fitting room in Boston, wearing my first bikini and was OK with -- and kinda liked -- what I saw. I had hit that "OK" sweet spot about my body. It was a place that had eluded me since well before puberty. (I was a chubby kid and told so. Often.) And, speaking for myself, life has been grander ever since. And no, I do not equate wearing a bikini with grandness. I am describing a staggering moment of self-acceptance for me.
Wait! Sheath your dagger eyes people. I do not walk in a perpetual glow of self realized happiness. I don't. (What sober person does?) I have mornings where I'm horrified to find my jeans are harder to zip. Moments of self-loathing right after I've finished a giant cupcake - mostly because my stomach is probably aching. I'm constantly driven to bird like distraction by an incessant need to pore over fashion anything, during which I am confronted time and again with looks I honestly cannot pull off due to body type. I do wish I could be naturally thinner, if simply because it would mean more wardrobe options! I do wish my thighs were more svelte because then I could wear short shorts and skinny jeans with aplomb. (Because fashion is not equal. Sometimes it will look better on you, sometimes it will look better on me. The difference is in how the clothes are cut to fit the body, and that model girl's body is different than mine. Frankly, more styles are cut to look good on her than on me.)
But, like I said during that poolside conversation, "She's not having any more fun than I am because she's skinny." You see, I don't envy her that much. Not really. I eat healthily most of the time and enjoy indulging the rest. My doctor gave me a squeaky clean bill of health a month ago. My legs carry me where I want to go (stilettos and gimpy feet notwithstanding) and my closet is filled with clothes that fit (mostly).
Also, since reading Anna's blog post (coupled with related thoughts that have been floating around my head recently), I've decided to stop thinking that the skinny girl needs a sandwich. Because unless she's hungry, she doesn't. (Subversive, right?)
Having said all that, there is one thing that would make that OK spot even sweeter.
I miss the strong, flexible body I had when I was a gym rat. I don't know what happened. I am firmly in the throes of sloth mimicry. It's like my brain shuts down when presented with the prospect of a workout. I won't even engage in casual conversation with Sergio about it. Sigh. He really does try too. Well. One day I will be inspired to exercise again.
Until then, I aim to maintain the OK-ness I've achieved so far. It's a pretty awesome place to be. Thank you Anna for your post. It made me feel good.