As I sit here with my white legs, white arms, white face, white body, white everything looking like a newly plucked chicken, next to my Hispanic granddaughter with beautiful caramel skin. I love caramel skin and in my next life perhaps I will have that gorgeous, flawless skin, caramel in color. But, today I am reflecting back to the days when we actually tried to achieve, and did, but not without a little (a lot) discomfort and pain. Continue reading →
As a child, my body was an absolute bean pole, skinny that is. I actually went to the doctor as a teenager to get something to help me gain weight. He, of course, thought I was nuts, but gave me some kind of a prescription (probably just sugar pills). He said, “Someday you will wish you were this way.” Boy, was he right!
Then there is my hair. I am old, so to speak, and I can truthfully say I have yet to find a hairstyle that I feel is me. I can only keep trying. I am still waiting for my prime. I think it has come and gone, but one can only hope. Some days, I can actually say “What the hell”, and then others it frustrates me. I think that is normal for most people. Well – it is for me.
There was a day when I enjoyed seeing my reflection in a mirror or in a store window. I think this goes back to when I was 15 or 16. I was swimming laps every day after teaching classes at the YMCA pool. I could eat anything and it never showed up on my hips or anywhere else. I felt great and loved wearing the latest styles. My friends said I was too skinny but I didn’t care.
There is an old picture of me with a skimpy two-piece bikini walking on a beach somewhere in Door County carrying a big log. Don’t ask me why I was carrying the log. I was probably 12. Long legs, barely there cleavage. I was confident and carefree. That was the last time I was that confident and carefree in a bathing suit.
As the years passed and my body changed, developed and expanded, I tried to stay in control by dieting and covering up with over-sized shirts. I would think back to the picture as an ideal, a goal and image of what was once was AND what could/should be again.
Not so! I would never be twelve again! What made me think that I could have a pre-adolescent body again??? Hello!?!
I’ve thought over the years as I’ve dealt with life’s ups and downs…depression, divorce, infertility…that at least I exercise. I’ve felt that the process of moving my body and engaging in the PROCESS of exercise has kept me sane and out of the loony bin. The emotional and physical energy that it takes to lose weight or start a diet would be overwhelming. When I walk my dog, jog on the treadmill, or go all warrior in yoga, I am investing in my body image–an picture of me that is in my mind.
How many years has it been since I’ve worn a girl’s large? Huhmmm…40 years!
I will always have big boobs and a fluffy tummy (not even the result of child baring). But my image of the perfect body remains as a picture of the 12-year-old me.