Hissy Fit - November 2018
Not Just Any Body: My Body
It’s almost that time of the year when visions of sugarplums become reality and cookies and casseroles lay in wait to destroy diets across the land. A bah-humbug attitude sets in because everywhere you turn your will power gets a pie in the face—literally. You wake up with full intentions of “being good” and go to bed feeling overly full and despising the poor food decisions you lambasted your body with. Alas, this is not another article about dieting, willpower or “being good,” whatever that means. This is an article about honoring your body.
You didn’t see that coming; probably because in America we don’t seem to honor any body unless it looks good in small swimwear, and then, usually only if it belongs to a woman—a young woman.
I don’t know when it all went awry because when Renoir was painting nudes in the 1800s, the women were not stick thin, even though they had good reason to be stick thin—no drive-thru windows, no processed foods, no pizza delivery, and no monstrous portion sizes. Come to think of it, they didn’t have automobiles either, so surely their Fitbit registered at least 10,000 steps a day. Nonetheless, right here and now, as we slide into the holiday season, when baking pans are working overtime and eating rivals an Olympic sport, I am taking a moment to honor my body.
Now. Do I write a paragraph about how my body is far from perfect and how I have been dieting since the sixth grade? Do I tell you I need to lose 25 pounds, and I’m scared of overeating during the holidays, and on the flip side I’m also scared of missing out? Must I degrade my body in order to build it up enough to give it a compliment?
No. I think I’ll skip that part.
First of all, I would like to thank my body for showing up for me every single day of my life, so far. I honor it for being on my side during illnesses, such as strep throat, the flu, chicken pox, shingles, colds, and any other ailment I’ve had, as well as doing all it can to get better as fast as possible. I appreciate that it tags along even when I don’t give it the rest or time it needs to heal. I appreciate that it does it’s best to function properly when I am not giving it my best in return. Wow. My body sounds like a really good friend. (If it only heard the things I say about it.)
I would like to give my body an A for effort. I believe any little nugget of self-care I give it is received with appreciation. Basically, I have carried extra weight (sometimes way more than what’s considered healthy) for years, and the minute I shift to healthier habits my body responds. It’s not spiteful, nor does it hold grudges. Sure, it can be stubborn, but it’s just checking to see if I’m all right. Within a week, I usually feel less bloated, the scale begins to display lower numbers, and I feel better overall. There have been times when I believed my body wouldn’t cooperate, and quite frankly, I couldn’t blame it. But every time, it has done its part with the smallest of effort from me.
I can’t honor my body without praising it for excelling through two pregnancies. My body, like so many other women’s, grew two precious, amazing human beings. It knew exactly what to do and didn’t ask much of me in the process. I have to admit I would have preferred for it to figure out a different way to get those babies out—two cesareans. However, it showed up to help the surgical wounds heal, and it all turned out for the best. I have my son and daughter, who have enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. In writing this, I have to share my heart with the women who wanted children and couldn’t have them. I am sorry, and I hope you love and forgive your body.
Lastly, I would like to honor my body as we ‘tis the season by making a pledge to it:
Thank you for all you’ve done for me over the years. I truly appreciate you and how you have shown up for me, even when I have betrayed you. I know you get sick and tired and have to struggle when I eat too much, drink too much and exercise too little. If it’s any consolation, I get sick and tired of me sometimes, too. As I age, it is important to me for you to struggle less. My promise is I will do my best every time I can. In other words, I will not eat pumpkin pie for breakfast—well, maybe on black Friday—but no other time. I hope you will not hold that against me by sending special pumpkin pie-filled fat cells to claim squatter’s rights on my thighs. Additionally, I will not consider macaroni and cheese a vegetable this year, and if kind people bring goodies to the office, I will let my co-workers know and not just put them in my office. In addition, I will walk the beach almost every morning, so we can start the day with a calorie deficit just in case I screw up…which I’ve been known to do… sometimes before 9:00 a.m. All in all, my goal is to make you proud, especially by being able to fit in our clothes without ripping any seams as I lean over to get another ham biscuit. I mean a ham biscuit—just one! With all this said and duly pledged, I think we will be able to get along fine, unlike many families, during this time of year. One more thing, and this is a big one: I promise not to eat whipped cream—extra creamy—straight out of the can. Now that's love.