ME in two photos:
6/29/19 (kitty-cat dress) and 6/29/21 (getting ready to tutor on Zoom).
That was a great dress (kitty-cat), but I donated it last month because it was falling off of me. Running, biking, eating better (no diet, just healthier choices and cutting-down on snacking), and having the time to do so (dare I say “Thank you stay-at-home orders?”), plus check-ins with a great family doctor, have made a huge and visible difference. The truth is our lives often don’t give us time to even contemplate self-care, let alone do it. For only the second time in my entire life post age 30… I am no longer plus-sized. I also love my hair at this moment. I always felt the need to avoid the haircut I like the most, the pixie, to hide my fat-face. I don’t think I have a pixie-sized face quite yet, but I went for the haircut anyway, and I am so much happier.
And… lipstick. Make-up, for me, was either an “Ivory soap says truly pretty girls are natural” sort of avoidance (Fuck Ivory, BTW, most drying soap there is and a whole childhood of false feminine ideals), or make-up was a, “Who has the time or money for such a luxury?”
I look better with lipstick (in the only opinion that counts, mine), and I deserve it. I don’t join Zoom without it, and I now reapply throughout the day! Woo-hoo! Growing up is liberating!
I am, of course, worried about what the return to driving to work will bring in the fall. But, I will have to be a dedicated enough lover of myself that I will not hit the drive-through (except for coffee, coffee=life) because I have packed something reasonable to eat if I get hungry (so give myself the time to prep), and I will have to be a dedicated enough lover of myself that I will still hit the pavement 5-6 days/week.
Weight loss, getting in shape, eating better, taking care of oneself in any way, is a very slow process, and I have finally allowed that I have to accept slow, and go slow. I hope to shrink down to my lowest size ever (an 8) one day, but I don’t expect to get there before Xmas 2021. Maybe June 2022. Be the turtle, not the hare.
I am not, btw, trying to body-shame anyone. If you are plus-sized, or any size, and you are happy as you are, I love it. Women can be so toxic to each other. My changing me does not mean you have to change you, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to worry about what I think. As for trying to get the world to accept and love people of all sizes, well, I don’t think that will happen soon, sadly. Just like people hate people of different ethnicities, and religions, and sexualities, and etc., people hate people who don’t conform, to their ideas, whatever their personal fucked-up ideas are. I am not about that. It’s none of my damn business how you look or choose to be. And, conversely, it is no one’s business that I was not happy as I was, nor did I feel healthy as I was, and, as an old mom to a young daughter, I feel I have to treat my body better so it lasts, because I have not had nearly enough years to hug and embarrass my daughter yet. And when I left my kite-cat dress at the Salvation Army thrift store, I truly hoped another unusual woman would find it, and feel beautiful in it.
If you were going to try to reframe your body, as I am trying to do, my suggestion would be to begin by reframing your thoughts.
Don’t diet (subtract from yourself, restrict, or punish you). Add resilience to yourself (any exercise, more vegetables, sunscreen). Listen to your body about your body (not your lazy brain). Today, as an example of this, Dave made me three amazing blueberry pancakes with blueberries I’d picked, and the pancakes were, of course, covered in granulated sugar (oh yeah, the good stuff) to make them crunchy and really hit that hot fruit, and after 1.5 of those pancakes my stomach felt kinda full, so I moved my plate away from in front of me, and sipped on my coffee. Though it felt like a sort of a waste not to eat the rest of those amazing pancakes, and my brain said, There’s only 2 more! You’ll hurt Dave’s feelings! You’re wasting those blueberries! But, stop and waste I did. Oliver (my dog) ate them and loved them, and I am worth more than wasted pancakes. The pancakes do not deserve more consideration than I do.
Be calm, and know that you are… great, and capable, and able to get back out there even if you get sick, or tired, or overworked. If you fall a mile off the wagon, you can still get back on.
We just returned from a long weekend in Williamsburg, and, one night, while we were there, after the ghost tour (Sophie loved it. It’s a don’t miss!) we had one chance at a shuttle back to our car, but we had to run for it. Last summer… no way; we’re calling a cab and waiting a half hour. This summer, easily did it. That took me a year, a year to get there. A year of walking out the door and starting to run, or ride my bike, even as my brain was saying, Wait, aren’t we still thinking about this? Can we talk about it? I don’t want toooooo! A year of sweating, and going out ridiculously early so no one would see how unfit I am (and why the hell do I care if anyone sees????)
It took a damn year, but I was so privately proud of myself in that moment that is was worth 100% of each time I fought my brain and went out the door.
Be the turtle, not the hare, and some day buy smaller underwear, lol! I’m such an idiot.