You have to have a belly
to belly dance.
I'm stealing today's quote from Kathleen, who wrote eloquently about body image on her blog yesterday.
It's not new to any of us who are weight-loss veterans that what looks "good" in our society wouldn't have been attractive in, say, Rubens' time. Peter Paul Rubens was an Italian Renaissance painter who lived and worked in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He is known for his vast body of religious paintings, but his name also has given us the word 'Rubenesque,' which means "plump or fleshy and voluptuous" according to the American Heritage Dictionary. His depictions of women looked like … women, lumps, bumps, wrinkles, rolls, bulges, cellulite and all.
I would love to be able to accept my body as it is. I have a feeling that accepting it right now, as it is, might be the key to changing it. I've heard and read of a law of the universe which suggests if you give it up, you'll eventually get what you want. Meaning, give up the idea, the yearning, the neediness; learn to be okay with yourself and your life just the way it is, and your psyche will become open to change.
I've been able to apply it successfully in the area of unhealthy relationships. But it takes a lot of pain to get to the giving up part of the prescription. And it's not supposed to work if you have even a shred of desire. The acceptance part must be unconditional.
This relationship I have with my body is certainly comparable to some of the less successful personal relationships I've been able to endure and, finally, give up. This body, though, is here whether I want it or not; it's easier to walk away from a person than it is from, say, my thighs.
I might be too old to ever 'get it,' the acceptance that I am what I am, and it is what it is. I've had fleeting glimpses of it, but more often than not it's a constant, daily struggle.
I was a chubby child from the age of 10 or so. My high-school friends were all thinner and better dressed than I was. I gained weight rapidly with my first pregnancy and joined Weight Watchers – the first time – when I learned I was pregnant the second time. I was 21.
I've fought this battle for 35 years. It's never not there. Even 10 years ago – the last time I reached a normal, healthy weight – every day started on the scale to check the number. I spent as much time obsessing about how good I looked as I do now about how bad I look.
How sick is that?
My intent this morning was to write a funny little post called "Doofus: The Sequel," because I've been mixed up all week about what day it is and what training run I'm supposed to be doing. Today is the rest/cross-training day, not yesterday.
But since it's Friday Quote Day, and since Kathleen's words hit me right between the eyes, I guess this is what I was meant to think through today.
By no means have I gotten to that magical acceptance. But I'm also not finished.
Ninety-two days until race day.