I heard on the radio either yesterday or Wednesday that it was, according to NOW (National Organization for Women) that the day was National Love Your Body day. Laura sitting next to me at work snorted and said, “yeah, right. That ain’t gonna happen.” The real purpose of the day was to combat offensive images of women, which seems to include porn, stick skinny models, and anything else NOW things is degrading to women.
Flashforward to me at work reading an article about whether to take your husband’s last name or not. The writer of this article is attacked because she started a statement with “I’m not a feminist, but.” The complaint was that us “young girls” want to feel entitled to all of the advantages of the movement and then disavow feminism like a black sheep relative.
This only has a cursory relationship to anything I wanted to talk about. I have been told that I was “getting fat” so much of the past six years of my life, I should be there already. I am short, so any extra weight I do have looks as if I weigh a lot more than I actually do. Even Mr. Perfect, when he saw pictures of me at my prom or at my high school graduation party, asked me what happened. Hmm… I am maybe 25 pounds heavier than I was then. I don’t know. I refuse to step on a scale. I did for a while, back when I was only 15 pounds heavier than that, back when I lived with Pink Susie.
You see, I lost weight then, not because I needed to, despite Pink Susie and Pearl’s imperatives that I do so, but because I was being healthier. I was learning to love my body in a real way. Someone else reminded me of what I used to think. She was on the Today show’s Joy Fit Club site. She went to church and she was learning about how to appreciate God’s gifts and about how the body is a temple. Like me, she took that personally, felt convicted, and began to do something about it.
I ran everywhere in high school. I never had many friends, so I spent a lot of time outside walking. In the summers, I went from swim class to the indoor track every weekday. I walked the dog I dog sat. I had a natural energy. When I came to Florida and wanted to lose weight, not just clear my head or not feel like I Am Legend, I did simple things. I cut out caffeine, then all soda. I ate turkey sandwiches on wheat bread for lunch, with water bottles flavored with the crystal light sugar free packets and 1 100 calorie pack of cookies for a snack. I ran on the treadmill everyday. I did yoga every evening. I ate sensibly and not to excess. I never drank, so no unnecessary calories were really to be found.
Now…well, now I am about 130-135 (don’t tell that to Mr. Perfect!). This would be fine if I was taller, but I am not. And as much as I wanted to embrace this Love Your Body Day, “that ain’t gonna happen.” I’ve been told for so long that I was going to be fat that I feel like I am fat. Am I? No, not even at my abbreviated height, but I do feel like tubby. I never take pictures. I took them all the time when I was eighteen and fine.
I was finer in general back then. I had good skin, pretty teeth, long hair, nice fit body. I have no idea why I didn’t get “hollered at” other than that I always had my head in a book. But I had the confidence that somebody should be. I was a great catch. I don’t feel that way now.
I went to the gym and worked out yesterday. That is the good news. The bad news is looking in the mirror next to the stationary bike I was on, my stomach looked like a solid mass sitting in my lap. I don’t drink caffeine anymore (again), and I have greatly increased my water intake. I am getting back to exercising, but to clear my head and my hips. My question is, how do I love myself in the meantime, physically speaking? Especially with so many people still buzzing around calling me fat, or treating me second class?
*Almost forgot. I am NOT a feminist, because most of the people I know who claim the title don’t really believe women should have the right to choose…they believe they should have the right to choose anything they don’t consider to be part of our male dominated societies defined roles for us. Again, this is just the one’s I know, so if you are a feminist, tell me what YOU REALLY believe, if this isn’t true. I would love to know. 😉
(Okay, this was depressing…I’m going to write another one.)