I’ve always suspected that despite not being fashionably thin, I’ve got a pretty rockin’ body. Once I got past being curvier than my colt-like friends in high school, I figured I’d been given some pretty great assets.
Like my calves.
Once a petite Japanese woman said to me, I would kill for calves like that. I looked up and noticed that my calves were easily the size of her thighs. Let’s not get started on my thighs, but I got two words for you – gymnastics and ice skating. Three words? maybe that’s three words but I did both as a kid and my thighs still remember all that jumping and all that power.
My legs taper down and rest on delicate ankles and I’ve got the cutest pair of peasant gnome feet imaginable. My toenails are always polished. Because I love my feet, and also because I rarely cover up my toes. I wear sandals both for comfort and because I like to flaunt my feet the way those chicks from way back pushed up their boobs.
Speaking of rack. Perfect champagne glass boobies. Not too small, not too big.
Moving on, I always had a waist until recently (dang menopause) but even that may be more resilient than I thought. Since starting ballet and standing up straight it’s all going back to where it was when I was younger.
I’ve never had particularly strong arms. Visually it’s fine, but the pull-up and things that require upper body strength have been a challenge. But it’s okay because I’ve learned that you really use your back and core for a lot of upper body tricks. So there’s still hope, even though the junk in my trunk and lack of arm strength has made lifting up a little harder.
If you want to know what my body looks like, it looks just like a Rubenesque painting. The one in the middle, that’s me.
As far as aging goes, I may have hit the jackpot. My mom is almost eighty and she strolls around with no real signs of aging, despite having done zero exercise most of her life.
Of course there are the aches and pains. But my mother has trained me to keep moving and rise above them. She isn’t one to take to her bed. She’s much tougher than I am, but I am grateful to her for she passing along the get moving gene.
Yesterday I had so much energy. It might have been the two Red Bulls and afternoon coffee. Before you get all in my face I don’t usually do the Red Bulls but I had to stop for gas in the morning so I treated myself to that and two mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.
I hate it when I’m already running late and then I realize I gotta get gas. Dad, I should have listened. (He’s in heaven scolding me something fierce.) My dad only got mad at me about two things in my life: stepping in dog sh*t and letting my gas tank dip below half a tank.
Oh wait, there was one other time. The time he caught Jackie and me getting high. He was so mad but mad doesn’t even begin to cover it. He looked at me like I was Satan’s spawn. I forgot about that and if it’s ok with you I’m gonna repress it again, because I hate that memory.
My dad did not age as well. He had chicken legs and a huge gut and he died of Alzheimer’s in his early seventies. There’s a picture of him when he was in his twenties and he looked like a young Elvis. I think the fact that he didn’t cook and lived on Snicker’s Bars and Ritz crackers probably didn’t help. I miss my dad. He was so nice. Just the nicest man.
Okay, so I had great energy yesterday and then I remembered that I had forgotten to take my blood pressure medicine. Oh that’s why I felt so good!
About six months ago I got real about getting my blood pressure in check. It was 210/100 on a bad day. And the bad days were becoming more frequent. I already did some exercise and did my best not to weigh too much. I tried eating a lot of celery and garlic but in the end I settled on a combination of medicines, the side effect of which is that they tend to make me just exhausted.
I was dating Marc at the time and he was so energetic that it was really a struggle. I just wanted to flop. I think I complained, no actually cried, about how tired they made me. He was sweet about it, but I don’t have a very forgiving life. It’s pretty full. Overfull, if you ask me.
Eventually I became less aware of the fatigue, less conscious of it. I mean in winter it’s easy to blame the shorter days for that urge to hibernate. And I broke up with Marc, I think in part because I couldn’t keep up. It was too much pressure, even when we flopped together. In my head I felt like we should really be hiking, more.
So when I felt the rush of all the energy I used to have come flowing back, I was …. I was a little sad for myself. I really have been lugging around a monkey on my back.
Since January, I’ve managed to get off the ten pounds that I gained on those M and M’s. And I’ve done an amazing job of starting to resculpt everything, with only one or two ballet classes a week.
But there is still this little idea I have that maybe if I were very thin I would not have to take blood pressure medicine.
I’ve been very thin exactly three times, not counting when I was five. Once before medical school I slimmed way down and after each pregnancy I got very small. I think because I had gotten so BIG being pregnant, I was just over being bigger. I went over 200 each time, and gave birth to super tiny babies. Whoopsies!
I’m the girl in the middle, remember?
So asking me to change that, forever, it’s a big ask.
I get myself motivated sometimes, but then going against who you’ve always been (a curvy girl), for the sake of who you might become (a girl who doesn’t have to swallow three pills a day just not to stroke out) is an interesting challenge.
It’s one of those things where I often don’t know when to hold up or when to fold up.
Isn’t being as healthy as you can be and loving your body really the best thing to settle on?
Well, my blood pressure doesn’t necessarily agree.
And neither did that doctor I just fired, the one who had me pegged as a neurotic obese woman with a goiter. I didn’t have a goiter and I knew it. She was just being a snark or else had really bad clinical skills. And it cost me an ultrasound.
Normal! I knew it.
My favorite doctor is the German cardiac surgeon I saw who told me that I was fine, but that I really needed to get my blood pressure under control. I loved him. He said, “You look really great, but maybe try and lose five pounds.”
I eat well, I move….I’ve got some decent habits. A few bad ones too but we’re gonna all die someday. He blessed my indiscretions, in moderation, but just said – get your blood pressure down, right away, because that’s what will get you.
I’m still on this 2019 plan to woman up and accomplish some important things.
Last night I had so much fun making music with Monica and Jan that to talk about losing weight, again, seems entirely silly.
But it’s not about anything vain. I just went to great pains to explain that I like my body, a lot!
But I am going to have to keep asking it to slim down.
And I think it might listen.
Because, I’ve got a really great body.