This week I watched a recent video of myself that I made with my son. I was shocked at the image I saw reflecting back at me. I’ve had a rough couple of years with some things …and apparently, I am an emotional eater….or possibly an emotional drinker… maybe…I’ve found a fondness for red wine and it found a roomy home on my hips.
Over the last few months, I began moving the clothes that no longer fit to the left side of my closet. I’m still flabbergasted when I’m unable to pull up the pants I’ve worn for the last 10+ years past my thighs….The pile on the left of the closet is large.
This means I’ve also had to purchased new pants – begrudgingly. My collection is minimal in comparison. It was either that or go naked… I had no choice in the matter. Yes, leggings work well and are cheap…but they hide the fact that I appear to be growing – out, not up. At this point, my ass could qualify for it’s own zip code…
So, I’m watching this video thinking – How in the world? Really. How did I let myself gain 30 pounds? When I look in the mirror I know I’m bigger…but this video. Lord, please promise me that the camera adds 10 pounds…that I really don’t look that way in REAL life.
But the truth is I’m now heavier than when I delivered both of my children. I know I’m teetering on the verge of no return….and I don’t know what to do about it. Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many women larger than myself. This isn’t about them. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. This is about me feeling good, or not, in my own five-foot-five-and-half skin.
This is how my day starts: I try on a new black skirt that arrived yesterday. To tight. I contemplated keeping it for “when I lose the weight” but more than slightly depressed at the likely hood of that NOT happening, I tossed the skirt on the bed to return later.
I then selected white slacks that I knew were a size or two larger. They fit, but the view from behind was not so cute….On went the Spanx – boy shorts. Spanx, the well-known by ladies around the world (but rarely seen by men) undergarments that are made to make me look skinner. Yet, I some how now feel like a sausage. A bratwurst to be specific…But damn it to heck, I have to go with this outfit because I’ve already worn the other two pants that fit me this week. Tomorrow it’s jeans….
I tossed on a cute shirt from a local boutique that I haven’t worn since last summer. It was a little snug across the chest but nothing terrible I thought…However, the more I moved my flat iron across my hair, I realized it was too constricting. I no longer liked it. Crossing my arms at my waist to lift the fabric….I find I can’t. I was stuck. I couldn’t get this damn shirt off my body. I twisted, I tried….I grunted…I thought, “Imma have to cut this bitch off.”…For a second I contemplated running downstairs to wake up one of my children to help me pull this sucker off….I’m not sure I’d live that one down…EVVAHH… Five minutes and a few tears later, I wiggled out of shirt looking like I’d been on a subway fight. Red in the face, hair a mess…
I promptly moved it to the left side of my closet. My first thought?
You know you are fat when you get stuck in your freakin’ shirt. What the hell…
On to work. As I’m walking up the sidewalk I say a little prayer. “Lord, I don’t like this. I don’t like how I feel about me. You love me and have helped me in so many ways. Help me to lose this weight.”
Fast forward through my day.
I’m in the ladies room where a coworker asks How I’m doing. “busy. good.” I say. I tell her she looks beautiful today. She shrugs, not believing my words, her eyes drifting away from me. Then she says, “You look good too. How did you gain your weight? Eating too much.”
Yessssss. She said those words.
Before you get riled up and ready to kick ass, please hear her story.
She is from South America. She LOVES curves. Which until her recent weight loss, she had — curves for dayyyys! She tells me, almost too eagerly, she can’t wait until she can put on some pounds. She is serious…This I know.
I tell her I’ll shift her some of mine – If only it were that easy! She then says with a large grin and wiggling eyebrows, “I bet your husband is happy” as she points to my zip code carrying ass….
She is losing weight not because she wants to friends, but because of the chemo. You see, she has breast cancer. She wears a scarf to cover the hair loss which makes her self-conscious. She has a hard time looking me in the eyes, really – looking anyone in the eyes, these days. Yet, I think she looks more beautiful than in any day prior. Her warrior spirit is shining. She is fighting and it shows. Without the distraction of her hair, which was indeed gorgeous, her eyes become the focal point, dancing in the light. She is simply stunning.
I get back to my desk and think, “You know your fat when…”
Then I stop. I close my eyes….I sense God’s hand…and I pray.
I thank God that I’m healthy. Specifically, I thank him for my cancer free body. With embarrassment, I apologize for believing anything different. A few extra pounds is nothing in comparison. I thank him for this lesson, for humbling my spirit. I know I have some work to do…and I will.
Ladies, would you please join me in shifting our focus away from who we want to be and allow ourselves permission to be who we are? Let’s not put our self-worth in our hair, our bodies, our curves – or lack of…
PS – If no one told you today, let me have the honor of doing so. I love you. You are beautiful.
Put that on repeat.