I hit the flying trapeze again and shared some pictures with friends. I was so proud of myself. When I looked at the photos, I noted to a friend how I didn’t realize I was THAT THICK. I was surprised my midsection looked so thick. And I told her that I had finally let go of the intense desire to look like a willowy thin waif who struts down catwalks, and graces magazine covers and red carpets. It’s a good thing I’ve let that go too, since apparently in real life I more accurately resemble a bear preparing for hibernation–only not as hairy.
In the past, I would have been hesitant or embarrassed to show the pictures because I wouldn’t have felt I was thin enough, and thus would have believed they were horrible pictures. I would have been steeped in self-loathing, wishing I wasn’t as thick. Wishing I was literally half the size. Wishing that there was less of me.
But now, I just think “Huh,” because I know what my body can do. I can do the flying trapeze. I can run 13 miles. I can curl 20 pounds. I can finally do two chin ups without assistance (and several with a chair assist!). I can do real push ups. Knowing this makes me love and appreciate my body. Like I never had before.
I’ve also come to terms with the fact that there’s no end goal that is static. Yes, my magical thinking and hopeful wishes had me hoping for, striving for, expecting a goal weight or look, and keeping it there forever and ever…through pregnancies, holiday meals, bloating, bad conference meals, travel schedules, illnesses, injuries, aging. It was exhausting fighting real life and holding on to that wishful thinking. I’ve finally come to accept my body is like everything else in life–it waxes and wanes. And I’m working on being gentle and patient and forgiving of myself through these changes….because I can’t be gentle, patient, and forgiving to my children or anyone else if I don’t treat myself kindly. So I’m trying to accept some months I’m thicker, some months I’m leaner, some months I’m softer, some months I’m more defined. But always, always, I am strong and fierce. And available for bear hugs. Especially to the willowy, wispy ones–poor gals must be so hungry.