I’m sure most would agree that today’s media places a lot of weight on the physical aspect of being human. Especially the female version of human. The focus is not on how good you are or how peaceful you are, but rather how thin you are and how expensive/cool your clothes are.
The small part of me shrinks, feeling ugly, dowdy, fat, and out-of-style.
The big part of me (literally) laughs, and lets it all hang out! Ha HA!
Here’s the thing: it’s not how fat or skinny you are. My mother felt fat for her entire life. At 4 foot, 11 and ¾ (as she always worded it, feeling like “five feet” sounded even shorter), she would have had to be 100 pounds to be a thinny-minnie. As it was, she was beautiful, inside and out. And, in the grandma-phase of her life, I felt she had no business worrying about her weight. She wasn’t fat. She was just a normal person who ate mostly healthy but enjoyed herself. As Kevin always told her, “Ma, the kids don’t want a Hoochie-Mammow.”
But she worried. She walked. She bought a pedometer. She counted calories. She felt bad about herself. She obsessed and hated her body.
And then she got sick. And do you know what freaking happened? The pounds melted right off her. The damn freaking cancer ate her fat away, consumed her pounds, devoured her entire body. So. She was tiny when she died. She was thin, wasted away. But I preferred her plump – and alive.
It’s not about what we look like. When people complained about their ugly feet, my mom would say, “Feet work hard. Do you know how many miles your feet take you? Don’t complain about your feet.” And she was absolutely right.
Ugly feet, pretty feet – they all get us to where we want to go. I love my feet. Plump belly or tight abs – I love my belly. It works the way it should and it jiggles when I laugh. Long legs or short stubby ones. I love these legs. They walk me around the world and let me run with my children. And – my arms are not cut. But do you know how many pounds of baby I’ve carried in the last dozen years?
My 3-year-old is the cutest little bump of child you ever saw. She is one big smile with a little chubster belly attached. And does she worry that she didn’t get her work-out in, or that she went over her allotted calories for the day? No! She’s a kid. She is tuned into her natural rhythm. She eats when she’s hungry. She pushes the plate away when she’s done. She runs when she feels like it, dances at the slightest whim. And when she’s tired, she rests. I love her! Because she reminds me how to listen to my body and simply do what feels natural.
Of course, I don’t mean to say that I abuse my body. I don’t abuse it: 1) because I feel better when I’m healthier; and 2) because I want to be around for my grandchildren. I simply mean I don’t place the emphasis on appearance. So many people seem to focus on health to compete with others. These people make me cranky.
We won’t be around forever. I think it’s high time we start loving our bodies for all the good things they do for us. Hey, you might not like the way your boobs look – but at least the lungs behind them are pink and healthy and have no tumors stuck to them like bubble gum.
I often have to remind myself to stop obsessing about my appearance. It’s not how I look – it’s how I feel, it’s how I act, it’s how I love others. It’s not about wearing the latest Gap or looking super-model-thin.
The body is just the soul’s house, anyway. The body has nothing to do with who you really are, with your true essence. Love it for carrying you around.