Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Think I Enjoy Being a Girl

I don't really know how to talk about this.

I have hated my body since I became aware I was fat -- I think I was 10 and I was riding my bike when the back seam of my red-checked bell bottom pants split wide open. But for about a decade, I wrestled the demon and maintained a "normal weight." Mostly out of the fear of rejection. But, to be fair, I didn't give my friends and family much credit for unconditional acceptance.

Now, middle age sedentary life has set in and the pounds have drizzled on. My body is larger than ever. It is not something I really recognize and I'm having a hard time getting used to it. Frankly, it's overflowing with female-ness and it scares me a little. But I also kinda like it.

OK, don't start in on the whole diet thing. Like I haven't thought of that? You don't think that every day since this weight began to creep into my life I didn't wake up determined to start a new, healthier eating plan? Or to start working out? Get real!

But eventually the painful redundancy of that daily punishment became intolerable and I just wanted it to stop. For God's sake, how much imagination does it take to want to lose weight? Oooh...there's an innovative concept! NO-body wants to do THAT!

So I recently decided to ditch the self-criticism and just be THIS person in THIS body AND still be fantastic. I'm not waiting for permission (which would apparently come after losing 70 pounds) to be magically interesting. I'm just going to be that NOW. One thing I have learned: if you wait for permission, it ain't never gonna come. I mean, let's say I DID lose the weight. Is there gonna be someone there with a "golden ticket" that gets me into the land of my wildest dreams? Uh-uh. I gotta get there myself and there's no reason to wait.

Another thing I have learned. If you wanna be wonderful, you can't really carry it off unless you are REALLY wonderful. Just GO THERE and BE THAT. Half-assed only makes you look half-assed.

I ran across a photo of myself during the "lean years" and I mistook myself for a guy. Before I recognized myself, I was admiring the jeans, the sweater, the short hair, and then I realized it was ME! I truly looked like a boy. What was THAT about? As thin as I was, I covered myself in tailored clothes or baggy sweaters. Anything tight was painful to wear -- in more ways than one.

What was I doing? Was I trying to maintain my personal power by holding on to masculinity? Or by rejecting my femininity?

Now, showing off my curves and wearing bright colors is kinda fun. And I've realized that being a girl takes courage. You have to be willing to show yourself off. You have to risk looking like you are TRYING to be pretty and that makes you a little vulnerable. Your curves go on display. Your skin (and the accompanying flesh) shows. Not everyone can carry it off.

But when you go through life convinced that you are WONDERFUL, it feels great.


At 8:58 AM, Blogger Ann Thrope said...

I like your style, and wish more people in the world would come to this conclusion. There are huge industries built around our issues with weight, and these kinds of obsessions keep people from looking inward at their true selves.


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