Weighty Matters

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Suited Up

on September 9, 2012

When I’m all dressed up at the party tonight, I will try to remember to ask a friend to take a photo so I can share it on the blog.   In the meantime, I’m significantly dressed down at the moment.   I had to go into work for a few hours today and was outside the whole time.  When I first went in I went down to play with dolphins which means I also got what we affectionately refer to as “dock butt” — salt water-dampened shorts and legs.  We don’t care because, hey, played with dolphins!

I got home feeling sweaty and salty, took off what I was wearing to fill up the rest of a load of laundry, and then thought about what else I’m doing this afternoon before I get ready for the party.   I have some reading for class which I can do while sitting out on the porch.   I need to water the plants outside.  I need to do at least 30 minutes of some sort of cardio exercise either in the house or in the pool.  Weighing all of these things, I opted to pull on a bathing suit.

Yep, I’m walking around the house (Ok, currently I’m sitting in the house.) in a bathing suit.  Once I finish this post and check the class blackboard, I’m going outside – also in the bathing suit.  It isn’t one of the ones I own with the cute skirt feature to cover my jiggly upper thighs and I haven’t pulled on a rash guard or sun protection shirt to cover my fat upper arms.  (There are hard biceps under that flab, but the underhang is still pretty obvious.)

Oddly, while I am nobody’s candidate for Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, I’m surprisingly unselfconscious about going outside where I can be seen by someone other than my dogs.   I don’t care if someone on a moored or passing boat sees me.  So what if the guy fishing on the point gets a look?  If the sight of an overweight woman relaxing at her own house bugs them, they can just turn and look in another damn direction.

This sort of reminds me of a funny scene in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s book Nobody’s Baby But Mine.  In it, a very pregnant woman has refused to let her husband see her body.  They make love with the lights off and she maintains her privacy  at all other times when she’s naked.  He’s a pro football player, always pursued by women with perfectly shaped and toned bodies and she’s been sure that he’ll be repulsed by her pregnant, womanly curves.  Finally, she musters up the courage, strips down while he’s away from home, and even rubs scented lotion all over herself in preparation for his return.

When she hears him arrive downstairs, she leaves her robe at the top of the stairs and slowly descends, taking courage from the admiration and surprised on his face.  Then she realizes that his brother, the town pastor is behind him, watching her too.   It’s a comic scene worthy of I Love Lucy, except that back then married couples weren’t even allowed to look as if they slept together.  Their room had twin beds.  God only knows how they conceived Little Ricky that way.

But I digress.  I’m really trying to learn how to accept my shape at each stage of my progress.  Instead of always seeing only the remaining fat, rolls, or batwing underarms, I want to take note of the improvements.   Hard biceps.  Increased definition in my calves.  A waist that actually has some indentation.  The fact that I can see my jawline and collar bones and when I lie down I can feel my hip bones.  My wrists have shape and last night I wore my pinky ring on my ring finger instead.

I feel stronger, more flexible, more capable.   Breath flows easily in and out of my lungs and my heart doesn’t pound from the simple movement of an easy walk.

We who have been overweight much of our lives are hypercritical of our bodies.  We begin to hate them and, sadly, any degree of self-loathing is too much.  It damages our spirit.

My goal today is to accentuate and concentrate on the positive.

Dressed up or suited down, when I look in the mirror I’m going to appreciate what I see.

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One response to “Suited Up

  1. robena grant says:

    Lovely post. And yes, I loved that scene in NBBM. We’re all so hard on ourselves because we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. I like your attitude.

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