Last night, my friend Irune shared an article with me about a woman in LA who holds the world record for largest hips – over 8 feet in circumference. It made my day, what can I tell you. I took a screenshot of her butt and got it laminated in case I start feeling down about my own behind. I agree with the lady that genetics play a role in a person’s shape, but so do the fries she was eating with her husband. I’m happy to hear that she’s cool with it though, and that she’s not planning on losing any weight. More power to her.
Almost simultaneously, another friend posted a photo on Facebook from my teenage years. I’m at a water park in Madrid, very happy and tanned in my pink bikini. As I looked at the picture I realized how much time I wasted in my youth feeling bad about myself. Staring at me there was a very nice flat stomach that even hinted to a budding six-pack. Not a small feat for someone whose idea of a workout was strengthening her vocal cords by cheering on her soccer team on Sunday evenings. Sure, my hips were already unmistakably present, but the girl I saw in that picture but easy on the eyes, contrary to how I felt as an adolescent.
I’ve worried about my body since I was a little kid, whether a size 4 a few years back or a size 14 on my first trip home after moving to Boise. My parents’ jaw dropped when they saw me get off that plane, but they knew better than to give me crap right away. By the end of the 45-day visit I’d dropped so much weight that none of my clothes fit anymore. My dad made me bring them all back so I could give them to Roseanne.
I wouldn’t want to walk sideways on the corridor like the woman in the article, but I’ve finally made peace with the way I look. I exercise regularly and try to eat right, but I’ll have that chocolate covered peanut butter ball if I feel like it today thank you very much. I truly believe that the way people see you has less to do with how you look and more with how you carry yourself. If you feel pretty and confident, that’s what the world will see.
Take relationships, for example. Not that I’m particularly worried about finding a boyfriend; actually, I quite enjoy the time alone with my kids and my friends. On the other hand, it’s human nature, we all get lonely and crave attention and stuff once in a while. My weight has fluctuated so much in the last few years since my divorce that I get dizzy just thinking about it. However, I’ve had consistent luck with the opposite sex. Mostly unfortunate, but consistent nonetheless. So I figure there is no point in killing myself at the gym if I’m going to get the same result.
These days, I focus on feeling good and I don’t worry about the number on the scale. My closet is home to a bunch of outfits in a variety of sizes, and I’m not afraid to use them.
- Martin Luther King Day
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