39. Today. I know it’s my birthday because I just finished leftover 7 layer chocolate cake for breakfast (or it’s just Tuesday). Truthfully and openly, it’s the first birthday number to give me angst. Leading up to this day, the beginning of the end of my 30’s, only a small part of my trepidation is about feeling old. Am I really about to become a mom for the second time at almost 40?
Mostly what takes up my mind space about having only 364 days left in thirtysomething is that IT is still a problem in my life. IT is the one thing I can’t seem to understand, the one thing I think about every single day. IT is the thing that I want to love, I need to love. But I don’t (maybe you don’t either?). In fact, instead of loving IT, I hurl some of the nastiest and most hateful insults in its direction.
IT…is my body. My sturdy, beautiful, ugly, ever fluctuating, non-baby-carrying, healthy-ish, wonderful body. This year, we make peace.
During the decade of my 20’s I had six different sizes of jeans in my closet. Six. It was in my 20’s though, that I finally came to understand and
embrace acknowledge the notion (and fact) that I do not have a body or metabolism that can’t work out. I must do it. Not just to lose weight, not just to feel good, I must work out to maintain. Other’s don’t. And that’s not fair. But whining isn’t pretty or productive.
To my dismay, the closet of my 30’s hasn’t looked any different. I’ve had jeans in 6 sizes. Adding salt to the wound, the end of the decade brought the cursed skinny jean. Shut it Jen Aniston. With your Carrie Underwood legs at 50. Nobody cares. Except me, evidently. I moved my body more in this decade, but not consistently enough or with enough fervor to outpace that horrid nuisance called slowing metabolism.
Clearly, I haven’t figured it out. How to be (and stay) a healthy size in a body I don’t lament and one that I embrace. But this is my year. I have no idea how I’ll get there. Well, I have some ideas. More days working out than not working out. Sadly, more kale, less butter cream. With much restraint and some gnashing of teeth, I cancelled my US Weekly subscription. Comparison is a mean, spiteful hussy y’all. There will be some passionate Tony Robbins halftime speeches given by me, to my rear end, -to get out of the bed and out on the pavement. And then there surely will be some conversations with the Creator of this body. They’ll probably be like this:
I’ll be all,
“Why doesn’t Salma Hayek have to work out?”, “Why did you give me these gigantic child bearing hips FOR NO REASON?”, “Why did you even create doughnuts?” and “Are you sure Satan didn’t come up with the idea of hormones?” and one last thing, “Why does Parenthood have to end??.” (with 3 episodes left, I am panicked)
And the Creator of the Universe will be all,
“Why don’t you love the healthy body I gifted you?” and “Self Control is one of the gifts of the Spirit, check it out” and “You’re so very beautiful to me”, and “Talk to Eve about the hormones” and “Doughnuts are pretty amazing,” and finally, “Why don’t you celebrate, grieve and pass time with me instead of food.?”
So there’s that.
I wonder how many other closets have as many sizes as mine
does. Did. I watched the Barbara Walters special, Most Fascinating People of 2014 , a show where Barbara interviews 10 of her picks for most interesting folks that year. A list on which Oprah landed. Barb asked Oprah, arguably the most successful woman on the planet to finish this sentence, “Before I leave this Earth I will not be satisfied until I…” Oprah, who we all know basically runs the world, without hesitation said, “Make peace with the weight thing.” Me and Oprah. We can’t be the only ones.
364 days to make nice with IT. I’m not announcing a number, or a size. I’m not committing to a marathon or to be Cross Fit Champion of the World. It’s not really about those accomplishments for me this time. And because if I have to flip a tractor trailer tire end over end more than one time, I will certainly pass out. I will, though, proclaim on this day to you faithful people who read my ramblings that at the end of 39, I will love my body. I will be healthy-ish. I will not think about my body’s shortcomings every single day. I will, in whatever shape and density of dimples, make peace with this temple.
40, I’m comin’ at you like a spider monkey. Bring it.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”
Song of Solomon 4:7