Today I’ve been thinking about my body. The realities of MY 54 year old body. The realities of this body that has been dieting since the age of 12. The realities of a woman who dieted her way up to 300 pounds. The realities of a body that has gained and lost hundreds of pounds over the last 42 years. The realities of a body that has lost over a hundred pounds and kept it off for nearly 5 years.
What brought this on? A long look in the mirror prior to my shower this morning. And, I’m going to ruin it all by telling you the end of the story up front…..I didn’t look away with displeasure or disqust – I looked at my body with love and respect – in spite of the fact that I’m not thin. In spite of the fact that I don’t have a visable six-pack. In spite of the fact that my doctor called me FAT (well, he didn’t exactly call me ‘fat’….he said I was a BIG woman). Yeah….you heard me right…..I LOVE AND RESPECT my body.
Some of my realities?
I have skin like a shar-pei puppy. Everywhere. It’s one of the downsides of losing a large amount of weight for many people. When I was 300 pounds, I didn’t have lunch lady arms. They were full to the max with fat. When I was 300 pounds, my stomach was nice and smooth – now it’s wrinkly and deflated. When I was 300 pounds, my legs were firm and toned and now they are wiggly and squishy.
Another reality of this 54 year old body is that I have hair issues. Yes…..HAIR issues. Men are not the only ones who have hair issues. The hair on my head is thinner and softer than it’s ever been, which means it’s no longer fashionably curly – but rather annoyingly fuzzy. Don’t talk to me about chin and nose hairs…..I’ve made all my friends promise that if I’m ever in a nursing home, that they’ll come by weekly for a plucking. And let’s just say…..the grey hair doesn’t just happen on your head (I know, I know….TMI!).
Aches and pains (for me it’s my hip & knee) and slower recovery time are all part of my reality. Sometimes I take an extra day of active recovery or even total rest. I fight HARD against feeling guilty about taking these extra days but truly, if I don’t listen to my body when it complains, I’m going to hurt something. The reality is that I’m not 25 or 35 or 45 years of age. Not that age is an excuse – but it IS a reality.
BUT – and here’s one of the things I love…..I have great muscles! Sure, they are hidden under the excess skin and remaining fat – but under that I can feel muscles. When I soap up my arms in the shower, I feel really nice muscles – and it makes me smile! Damn, I think to myself, those muscles feel good. During a massage this week, my therapist even commented about my muscles. How cool is THAT? 🙂
Another reality? I can barrel up the hill and walk in the bush for an hour and barely get winded anymore. I can swing a 16kg kettlebell for 20 swings, feel invigorated doing it and do it again and again. I can do single hand swings with my 12kg kettlebell without injury. Yoga? Love it. Boogie boarding? BRING IT ON, GIRLFRIEND!
Here’s another thing…I really don’t give a rats ass what YOU think of me. Nope. I’ve spent way too many years worrying about what others think. What’s important is what I think. You haven’t lived my reality. You are most likely clueless to my life (as I am probably clueless to yours). It’s good that we can respect each other but that’s probably enough.
Another reality of mine? I have a partner that loves me NO MATTER WHAT. He only wants for my happiness and health. Unlike my ex-husband (who said his happiness was dependent upon MY weight) My Mister loves me unconditionally. (And between you and me, it doesn’t get any better than that!)
And the absolute BEST reality of mine? I love and respect myself for exactly who I am today. I seriously didn’t think I’d ever get here.