I’m Ten Pounds Overweight and I Cannot Be Bothered to Even Try to Lose Those Stupid Extra Pounds

I used to care, you guys. I used to REALLY care about my thighs. And sometimes my arms. If they weren’t as toned or as thin as I thought they ought to be, it really ruined my mood. I wasted a lot of good years being moody about a lot of stupid things, one of the biggies being my body. I’ve reached the point where I am working actively on being happy and I’ve crossed off my stupid thighs from the list of things that determine my happiness. Here are some reasons why:

Stretchy work pants exist. Seriously, these things are the champion of all chaps. You know how clown cars can hold a ridiculous number of people in their teeny-tiny automotive space? These pants are kind of like the that – you can fit a ridiculous amount of your stout self into a seemingly tiny leg hole. I will forever own pants made of “super stretch” material, whatever the hell that is. They are comfy and cozy and don’t overly embellish my flaws with weird curves or creases. Plus, I can run, skip, hop, or do a reverse roundhouse kick if I ever needed to, without splitting a seam.

Some foods really do taste better than being skinny feels. Anyone who tells you otherwise has some sort of deep-seated psychological turmoil going on. I mean, come on. Bacon, pizza, nachos, chocolate…wine…need I say more? Every time I am on a restrictive diet I am CRANKY as hell. Or at least not nearly as pleasant and boisterous as I am when I’m eating what tastes good. And in case you didn’t realize, SO ARE THE REST OF YOU. Trust me. People who want to hang out with other fun people generally do not choose to surround themselves with the ones who refuse to eat anything other than kale and baked chicken breast. There’s a reason for that and it’s called being laid-back and happy. I’m quite sure there’s some research-based study waiting to happen out there that could prove this. (If you’re running the study and looking for participants, I want in as a control subject. Can I get paid to eat nachos and report my mood?)

Being overweight doesn’t equate to mushy and out of shape. Not only does skinny not equate to happy, it also doesn’t equate to healthy. Even though most of my pants are a bit snug these days, I actually am more fit than I’ve been in a while. I’ve been focusing on working out some previously neglected muscle groups and have been pleasantly surprised at the results. My hips are stronger, my ass is stronger, my arms are stronger, my core is stronger. I am physically more capable than I’ve been in a while. I’m so much stronger than I was in the past, though not nearly as svelte.

My body is just a shell. My extra ten pounds are not ME.They just give my passions, my ideas, my insights (and okay, yes, my organs and definitely my ass) a little extra cushion. When I’m doing something that gets me excited, makes me feel alive, makes me feel strong, or smart, or ridiculously silly, I forget to notice my body. I need to fill up my life with more of those things. No matter how big or small they seem, and no matter if anyone else around me understands why they make me feel so good, THOSE ARE THE THINGS.

I know I won’t give a shit about those ten pounds years from now. Years from now, I’ll look back and think how great I looked, because I will be old and wrinkled and lumpy. Do you ever notice how old people who are too skinny look kind of like gross crepey-skinned skeletons, but those who have a bit of chub look a lot healthier? So really I could just be giving myself a little boost for looking my best as a senior. That could be my prime, who the hell knows? Or maybe I’ll go just be a real disaster and I’ll have bunions and skin tags and a bladder that is sitting precariously perched, far too close to the outside of my body. I could have dementia, or cancer, or a degenerative disease that makes it difficult to open jars or go for a walk or maybe even to just comfortably sit. Or maybe I won’t even be here at all. It seems rather prudent to get over my physical self now and move on with more important things in my life.

I’m over caring about those last ten pounds. I Can. Not. Be. Bothered.

Hooray.

 

"But, Mine Don't Look Like That!" Responding to My Daughter's Body Image Questions

“Whats that?”

She reaches out and touches my bare breast. She grabs my nipple.

I’m not a Naked Person but I haven’t made an effort to cover myself in front of my daughter. Bodies are bodies and there’s nothing shameful about them and there is value in her seeing a normal woman’s human form, even if she only remembers it subconsciously.  She’s only two.  I don’t go out of my way to cover up when I step out of the shower or to hide myself from her when I’m getting dressed.

This time, I was leaning over her toddler bed in my pajamas, wearing an oversized pair of flannel pants and a loose-fitting tank top that sagged open as I bent over to tuck her in.

“Those are mom’s boobs. Her breasts”.

She squeezed. Then she looked down at her own chest before turning her face towards mine, “But, I don’t have that”.

She doesn’t ask a question with her mouth, but she is searching me for answers with her eyes.

Different responses went through my head, each immediately followed up with reasons why the response would make me the worst mom ever, causing my child to develop body image issues at the age of two.

Dont worry, someday you will.  No, no, no.  That makes it seem like something to aspire to.  

Someday yours will be bigger.  No, no, no.  That emphasizes that bigger is better and implies that what she has now isn’t good enough.  

When you’re older yours will be like Mama’s.  No, no, no, I have no clue what hers will be like.  My family and Mr. Grouch’s family have VERY different body types.  Very different boobs.  I cannot even begin to imagine what kind of boobs my girls will have.

Women have bigger boobs, kids have smaller ones. No, no, no, that implies bigger boobs make one more womanly.  There are a million ways to be “womanly”.

Finally something hit me.  Something true.

“That’s because everyone’s are different. Yours are yours”.

And it’s true, isn’t it?  I marveled at the truthful simplicity of the words that came out of my mouth.  We are who we are and those of us who are happiest with ourselves are the ones who accept this.

Whether taught or innate, we compare ourselves to others.  How many times have we women looked at another and had the feeling that we weren’t pretty enough, sexy enough, strong enough, good enough?  How many times have we doubted our worth or our woman-ness, shrugging off compliments or praise with a “But, mine don’t look like that!”.  What a waste of energy that is.  Comparison about bodies serves no purpose. It doesn’t do us any good to wish to be someone we’re not, in any way, especially physically.

The fact of the matter is, we are who we are and we aren’t going to become anybody else.  To be happy with ourselves we must be grateful for what we have, embrace it, and treat it right.  

Having this conversation with my daughter made me reflect on why women tend to become so much happier in their thirties. Their bodies have finally stopped wildly changing.  There’s been some time to become acclimated with who they are, physically and emotionally.  The ones who are taught from the beginning that bodies are nothing more than the physical housing of our being, and that beauty is more than skin deep, begin the path of self-acceptance and self-appreciation.  Those who are not fight a losing battle against other women, against time and gravity, and ultimately against themselves.

My daughter smiled and wrapped her arms around herself, giving her chest a split-second hug before reaching for a book and asking me to read her a bedtime story.  She was satisfied with the answer.  As we all should be.

booobs