“Suddenly, I thought, This is my body. I live in it. I play in it. I can’t deny it anymore. This is my fat body. I’m standing at the corner of Life and You Better Get Going. I stepped off the curb and I never looked back.”
~~Camryn Manheim, actor
This whole I’m old, I’m fat, I hate my body, I need to lose weight thing has become a common topic of conversation among me and my friends, in women’s groups on FB–just everywhere women of a certain age gather. And I think I’m ready to release this crap–all this I hate my body stuff. It’s pointless and I need to move on from it. To that end, I’m going to share with my friends, the groups, women of a certain age everywhere a couple of things I’ve been pondering since my HFrEF diagnosis.
The first is the above quote from actor Camryn Manheim. I saw this years ago, and it so resonated with me that I cut it out of the newspaper and put it on my bulletin board. It’s still there, yellowed and curling, but it’s there. Now–especially now–I need to believe those words. Not that I’m standing on the edge of a metaphorical cliff with one foot on a banana peel, but I am truly now standing at the corner of Life and You Better Get Going. So I’m stepping off the curb. I’m going to live this life–really live it and not perseverate over my wrinkles, my veined hands, my crepey neck, or the size of my butt. None of that stuff matters anymore and worrying over them brings me no joy.
If I were more erudite, I’d write something profound about all this body stuff, but my friend Lani Diane Rich, who is wise and wonderful, shared this with me several years ago. This is the second thing I want to share with y’all today. I brought it back out recently and yes, this… all of this… [bracketed notes are mine.]
Dieting doesn’t work. No more counting. End of discussion. [I’ve changed so much about my lifestyle and I eat healthy, I know that I do.]
It doesn’t matter how fat or thin I am, if I loathe myself now, I will loathe myself at any other size. [So very tired of hating who I see in the mirror; it’s exhausting. Loving and accepting myself is so much more peaceful.]
I can be pretty and fat at the same time. Stop worrying about pretty. [The gorgeous shows when the joy shows.]
Take a moment before I eat to be sure of what my body really wants, and how much it really wants. When I do this, I’m often pleasantly surprised. [Yes, this works. I think I’ve figured out where satisfied is, finally…]
I can be healthy and fat at the same time. If I behave healthy, I’ll be healthy. I do not need to lose weight to be healthy.
Exercise because it feels good. There’s no other reason to exercise.
I can be fat and still lovable. This has always been the hardest part for me to believe. I have associated fat with my unlovableness for my whole life, and it’s so hard to extricate the two. But the fact is, I am both fat and fucking adorable, so I need to realize that it’s not a paradox. It’s just reality. [Yes, I love acknowledging this reality! I’ve always blamed everything on my fat ass. That ends now.]
Drink water. I like to end on a simple note.
So these are all things I have come to before, but I don’t think I’ve ever really understood them before. I don’t think I’ve ever really believed it before. You have to customize your approach to these things to your damage, and this approach is specifically customized to my damage. I can work with this. And if I never lose a pound, I don’t care.”
~~Lani Diane Rich, author, podcaster, brilliant friend
I can work with this, too, Lani, thank you! So that’s where it’s at. I’m done worrying about the size of my ass because as we’ve discovered in the past couple of months, my ass is not my problem. I will continue to eat healthy, exercise, and follow the cardiologist’s instructions–take my meds, monitor my BP, and be careful of what I do and how I do it. That said, all my clothes fit right now, so if I never lose another pound, I’m good, and if I do, that’s fine, too. I want to live my life with joy and pleasure and love myself just as I am–large ass included. All in all, I think it’s better to wink at the mirror and acknowledge the gorgeous in me. I think every woman should, don’t you agree?
Gratitude for this week: back to the pool and it feels grand; beautiful warm days to walk in the ‘hood; we got the firebush cut back; there are a couple of hawks who are haunting our yard, hopefully, looking for moles; and we got to see Grandboy cross the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
Stay well, stay safe, be kind, and most of all, mes amies, be grateful,
P.S. Hey you! You’re gorgeous just as you are!