Last week my 5 year old glanced at my butt and said, “Mommy you’re getting rounder”.
He’s right. My clothes have been on the Snug Side of Fitting for a few weeks. This comes after a few years of “divorce skinny”, the culmination of a year of Triathlon training, another year of working two jobs while also attending school, and another year of driving 600+ miles a week, then daily curling up into a little ball to cry in one corner of the camper I was living in.
Ah, the parts I never like to talk about. It’s much happier to chat about good food, thought provoking quotes, and the Sunny Side. The point is, enough of that pace and one ends up skinny. And maybe she didn’t mind too much because her clothes hung better. She got to hear people’s surprise that she had 5 kids and still had a figure. It all felt quite nice some days. But really…it was unhappy weight loss. It comes with a few unsightly companions…thin skin that droops, the “sad” empty belly stretched and baggy from those babes, an early aging of the face. Weight loss from stress and profound sadness is not really all that satisfying.
Love changes that. People in love eat very, very well. They relax. They smile. Lines soften and become rounder. Because people in love are not thinking about themselves or their problems or What Else Might Go Wrong, they don’t realize the bony places are becoming fleshy. Or, maybe they notice and they don’t mind. There’s pasta to eat. And Lamb Chops. Red wine, chocolate, and grilled steak. Kisses. Oh my word, the kisses. Plus, I don’t drive 600+ miles anymore, I have just 1 good job, and I no longer live in a camper. Life is good.
Anyway. I’ve been in love for long time now. Some of this story overlaps other parts. It’s the deep soul mate kind of love. The kind of love that brings a warm reassurance that even if something parts us on the planet, we are forever intertwined and imprinted on each others eternity. It’s precisely the kind of love that I thought was a load of elusive bullshit. Pretty songs and rainbows and Things That Happened To Other People. Not me. But one day (a day that is so ironically numbered the same as the symbol for infinity) my cynicism and brokenness was lacquered with balm. You know how good it feels to have blistery sunburned skin spread with cool aloe? That’s what meeting a soul mate feels like.
Becoming rounder came from being happy. This has caused a sort of confrontation in my mind. Our society definitely rewards thinness. I know I can pretty easily adjust my size with a few hungry days and some hard runs. In the past, that’s what I’d do. But it strikes me now as a form of self-abuse and punishment.
I’m not fat. I’m not overweight. I’m still in the same clothes. I’m a bit fleshier, true. The Love is excited by this: says I feel gooooood and he likes holding onto me. I’m very happy, I’m very peaceful (most days). I don’t really feel like getting up and punishing myself for that simply to attain a better fit in the seat of my pants.
I also write all day. Because of this I sit on my derriere much more than I’d like. If I’m up, I’m taking care of children and our home. And I love food. Sitting + Busyness + Gastronomy does not a firm, healthy body make.
I started praying for a solution a few weeks ago. I love my itty bitty amount of yoga I sneak in here and there to remove tension. I’ve been eyeballing a brochure in my therapist’s office for a yoga class. I also have a scholarship available to the YMCA and they offer daily sessions. But I’ve been sitting on this, chewing it rather than swallowing and taking action.
Lo and behold today I see one of my Tweeps has started a new community project she calls 21.5.800. What is it? It’s a 21 day project for writers who want to move. 800 words a day, yoga 5 days a week. I ignored the hashtags and tweets for a full day before finally getting bored and clicking on it just to kill some time while waiting on my shrimp to roast. (Yes, Dear Anyone Who’s Reading, roasted shrimp will take you to your Happy Place quickly).
Irony? Yes that’s often what we call Answered Prayer. I’ve got a Vision Board That Came True story to tell that’s along the same vein. But I clicked thru to the project and saw the mixture of writing and yoga and realized this was the calm path towards health that I’d been asking for.
Because I’d really like not to be quite so round back there. And I don’t really feel like running in Jacksonville’s humidity and intense heat. I am expert at starving myself but my being screams against retreat. I want to keep celebrating the joyful (and the yummy). I’ve worked towards peace and balance but want to keep the wine and pie and kisses and still get a firmer butt. I also took a step of bravery today in joining the project. I’ve kept this blog pretty much under my hat but to join, I added my link to the list. Then I downloaded the badge. We’ll see where it all leads.