Shedding Pounds (And Why I'll Never Be Small Again)
Getting shirt-stuck in a dressing room and inheriting a dad's crazy-strong quads is a gift, not a curse.
This is wisdom.
"Be shorter." (5 feet, 10 inches is too tall).
"Be smaller." (size 10 is a no, 8 isn't enough, a 6 means you're too lazy to be a 4).
This was the unconscious mantra held for far too many years.
Unaware in my teens and twenties, I fed this language directly to my mind every single day.
Understanding that physical health mattered was never a question ~
I lived a sports-bound and active way of life always.
as a teen on the way to a fateful (and later grateful)
5 feet, 10 inches and college-freshman-more-than-15 pounds,
the sense of being shamefully big felt oh-so-real.
I pulled myself in and said, "be shorter, be smaller".
Yes, shorter. Let's live in the humor of that for a moment; it didn't work for Peter Brady in the other direction so I am not sure why I thought it would work for me.
Yes, smaller. Let's relish in further laughter for an extra moment; smaller in the male-direction is ironically listed by society as not-so-great.
Looking back, it is so desperately sad; it led me to narrowness in other ways:
soften your voice,
wear black & flats,
don't stick out,
hunch your shoulders,
put your eyes down.
Wisdom in my mid-30s and early 40's flipped all of this on a dime.
Every single motivation for my physical body evolved.
I fell in love with life, the world and, more & most importantly, myself.
This, by the way,
was always the instinct,
it simply felt too scary up to this point.
I now know me; I know what I am about.
My thighs are big enough to take solo hikes in the trickiest of circumstances.
My gaze can lift, with enough space between my chin & chest, to own my presence.
I look down and the distance from my hips to heels feels uniquely mine.
The textured and touchable parts of my being remind me that I am brave and strong,
and the journey that got me here reminds me that empathy and love is THE ONLY WAY.
That shirt-stuck, dramatic moment I mentioned at the front of this post...
yeah, that happened; a cute shirt met my big lats and I almost didn't make it out.
Those lats, that match my thighs, and that come from a dad who taught me to love life & myself,
got me up a mountain last week.
I will never be small again and, ironically, I feel lighter than ever.