Happiness Challenge Day 7

My body has taken years to achieve the shape and form. I was not born with this body. But, it is the body that I have now. And yes, there are some things that I would like to change about my body. Not enough to actually do anything about it. I will sit and bitch and cry and moan about my jeans not fitting or my shirt being tight around my bat wings. But, I will not do anything about the shape of my body.

Much like the standard American, my diet sucks. I eat too much of things that are bad for me. I don’t eat enough of the things that are good for me. I have a desk job that requires me to sit for two sometimes three hours at a time. When I come home, I sit on my couch. I eat my dinner. And I watch TV.

This body that I have now took years of neglect to achieve. But, it hasn’t always been this shape. I used to be thin. Rail thin. Bone thin. Dangerously thin. I don’t know if you can call it eating disorder per se.. I knew in my head – at least the part that was talking right to me – it wasn’t normal to go weeks without eating. And yet, that’s what I did. I hit my height of five foot eight inches by the time I was fourteen. I didn’t hit a healthy weight for my height until I was twenty five and full-term pregnant. For the time in between all of that, I ate very little. I moved a lot. And, I felt like hell. I was always cold and tired.

I did what I thought was necessary in order to have people like me. I guess that’s the benefit of being middle-aged. You don’t give a crap about what anyone thinks about you anymore. I still have my anxiety. Most of my teens and twenties was spent wondering if people liked me. The older I’m getting the less that seems to actually matter. I’ve started asking myself more if I’m going to like the people that I’m surrounding myself with. This concept goes back to the whole make sure you don’t surround yourself with assholes theme.

There’s a lot of issues that go with body image. You want to be healthy, but you want to be happy, too. I’ll be the person to tell you happiness sometimes comes in the form of a hug. Sometimes it comes in the form of corgis and sloths. And sometimes it comes in the form of a junk food night with extra cheese and pepperoni pizza, Oreos, and milkshakes. I’m sure someone just read that right now and rolled their eyes as I rolled their stomach. That’s OK, because the train wreck diet and lifestyle is not for everyone. That’s an idea: the Trainwreck diet. That should be my next book.

There are parts of my body that I have grown to love. Even as parts of my body grow. The one thing that is come out of putting on weight has been the fact that I now have boobs. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I asked Santa for that when I was thirteen years old. Every other human being I knew that was female had boobs. There were even some guys that should have been required to wear a bra and shirt at all times. There I was. left looking like a pre-pubescent boy with a caved-in chicken chest. Thanks for nothing, Santa. It took me two full-term pregnancies and nursing for almost five years total to get the boobs that I have. No, they don’t stand at attention like they used to. Sometimes, I have to return them back to their bra cup with an admonition. “Ma’am, I’m going to need you to remain seated throughout the remainder of this ride. Thank you.” They’re still pretty OK. I’m not about to start asking random people of the internet for validation by sending the pictures of them.

When the Hell did that become a thing? I see too many of these girls on Facebook with their profile pictures that show nothing but cleavage. It’s like the Christmas card Elaine sent on Seinfeld.  I’d like to see your face but your picture looks like a Victoria’s Secret ad. If that’s the kind of attention you want, babe, go for it. I’m not going to judge you. I’m going to judge your boobs instead.

My legs are still pretty OK. They’re still strong even though my knees will pop every now and then. And it might take me a little bit longer to stand up if I have to tie my shoes anymore. I just figured that’s all part and parcel of having an active youth. We pay for it later in life. It’s almost like our joints and cartilage are put on credit. Enjoy them now; pay for it later, kids. It makes me think about the wise man, Baz Luhrmann, when he said, “Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss those when they’re gone.” You weren’t wrong, Baz.

I’ve started embracing things like turtlenecks and cowl neck sweaters. Those sweaters are extra bonus nachos if they cover my butt. I now understand the allure my mother found in her butt sweaters. It’s like they were made for leggings. But for the most part, I love my body. I’m learning to love my body more. Even the parts that I wish were a little less.

I have my moments of motivation. They are brief and shining, like a falling star. Maybe if I wish hard enough, the pounds will melt away. I suppose if I were given a diagnosis of something like diabetes, cancer, or cardiac I might take things a little more seriously. If something life altering in the way of medical issues came up, I might be a little more proactive with my with my weight and health.

It just seems like everytime I’m trying to be healthy, my family decides to have a birthday or Christmas or dinner. When I’m trying to eat healthy, they’re over there eating their popcorn with extra butter. I’m sitting in my sad little corner of the couch eating a salad. Salads are just crunchy water.

They say nothing tastes as good as as healthy feels. Have you had pumpkin spice Twinkies? Those things are freaking amazing. I don’t know what genius came up with pumpkin spice Twinkies but that individual needs to have a medal. Twinkies in of themselves are incredible. These Twinkies are amazing. Tennessee from Zombieland and I have it right. I’m telling you, if you’ve never had a Twinkie, go get a pack. Your taste buds will thank you. And then, Hostess made them even better by making them pumpkin spice flavored.

And yes, I realize I sound like your basic white chick. Ain’t no shame in my game. I am not wearing leggings right now but I do own several pair. I do not own a pair of Uggs. But, if you offer me some pumpkin spice anything I can guarantee you I will be all over that.

And maybe that’s part of the reason that I’m shaped the way I am. I don’t turn down much in the way of food  or drink. Unless it has apples or nuts. I prefer to live at that point. You can call me late for a lot of things but dinner ain’t one of them.

Today’s prompt, if you haven’t figured out, had something to do with bodies. Today’s prompt told me to work up a sweat. I jump to conclusions a lot. Does that help? I sweat when I’m nervous. I can work up a sweat really easy. Just tell me we need to talk about something and then walk away. Watch the sweat pour from me. There are very few things that I’ve done that I’ve ever actually worked up a sweat. That’s not to say that I’m a lazy individual. I have had sweat rolling down my face, back, and boobs before. I just choose not to do that on a regular basis.

And I understand that a lot of people get there endorphin rush or their adrenaline rush while working out. That’s awesome for you. I love you for doing those things that make you happy. Do the things that make you feel good. If you’re not hurting anyone, do the things you know bring you joy. But, that’s just really not my bag. I would like to say that I’m the person that loves to jump on the treadmill after work and walks or runs three. five, or ten miles a day. The most exercise I get is on my two fifteen minute breaks and my one thirty minute lunch. That’s when I walk around in circles which I’ve already talked about. If I’m on the phone with my mom at home, I will walk the length of my house. Back and forth through my house. It drives my family insane.

And I’m pretty convinced, because of my walks, that my cat is trying to kill me. She wraps herself around my legs. She’ll just jump out in the middle of the floor right as my foot is about to step down. I love my cat but I am pretty convinced she is trying to kill me. It doesn’t help that she’s black as well. She blends in with shadows and the little creepy parts of my house that we don’t really look at or see until it’s too late. Then I’m face-first in a wall, unable to walk. All because my cat is trying to kill me while I’m walking.

I can understand the sense in wanting to work up a sweat. I do I really do. It denotes that things got done. It says you’ve been busy. You can mark that off your to-do list. I’m over here checking off getting rid of the treadmill in the corner of my living room. It became a cat tree and coat rack. I just gave it to my sister-in-law. She’s lost twenty five pounds. I found them. I asked her in return for my treadmill to give me all of her fat clothes. Bonus nachos. She’s a Harry Potter fan, too. She may have lost the pounds but I found them. And a whole new wardrobe.

So while I might complain about my body, there’s not a whole lot that I’m actually willing to do about it. If you look on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram you’ll see there’s a bunch of us who are like this. We all complain about the way our bodies are shaped and formed but we’re unable or unwilling to do a damn thing about those flaws. We keep praying for someone to make a magic pill that will let us wake up in the morning and need a whole new wardrobe. I can keep wishing for that. I know eventually I’m going to have to do something more than just walking around for three fifteen minute clips a day. I’m not saying I’m going to start running or anything. And I’m not going to get swole anytime soon. But I would like to look at it maybe getting a bike. A stationary bike would be nice. Then I can still move and it will allow me to write when I get home. That’s multitasking, kids. That’s a mom thing.

I may not actually work up a sweat today, but I will start looking into taking better care of my body. Because the last time I checked, we don’t have the capability to fix things that go catastrophically wrong with our bodies. We have Band-Aids that we can put on as quick fixes. But, in the replacement of things with bodies, we’re just not really there all the way. We have parts like arms and legs. My brother has artificial valves in his heart. But there’s no bionic body waiting for me to put my consciousness into it. Yet.

So for today, I will not break a sweat or work up a sweat. I will work hard, and I will take better care of myself.

Today, I will care for my body.


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