One of my resolutions this new year, was to lose some weight. This has been my top resolution every year since... Well, probably for as long as I can remember. It is also THE MOST popular new year resolution in our culture. As this is weighing on my mind (no pun intended), I have recently made some very interesting observations.
First and foremost, I have noticed that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, I talk to complains about their body. Heavy people, skinny people, curvy people, newly post-partum people, manly people, old people, young people... Everyone. Where did this come from? How could so many people be so upset about their bodies? I feel sometimes like we have come so far in looking past differences, and yet, when it comes to weight, we are a land of Judgy McJudgers.
I don't think I need to go into statistics here, because we have all heard them. Yes, we are an obese country in general. Yes, if you have a lot of belly fat it can cause heart problems. Yes, being underweight can cause health issues of it's own. But, let's put all of that aside and focus on my main point. Why are we all so unhappy with how we look? I don't ever hear anyone say, "Dang, I am so unhealthy! I need to start eating right so that my heart keeps beating and my body works at it's best!" Nope. What I hear instead is, "Dang, I am so fat! My jeans are too tight and all my clothes look like crap. I need to lose weight to LOOK BETTER." I know that I am definitely guilty of the latter statement. Hmmm...
Does anyone here know what size the greatest sex symbol of the 20th century wore? Marilyn Monroe wore not a 0, or a 2, or even a 4. It is debated that she wore somewhere between a size 12 and 16. Women wanted to be just like her and men wanted to just be with her! Now, if we look for a size 12 or up, we need to go to the "plus-size" section and they have "special models" for the larger sizes.
Let's look at the flip side. Models are supposed to be tall, thin, and without many curves, so that when modeling clothing, it looks as though it does when it hangs from a hanger. And yet, when a model, or movie star, or otherwise famous person gets too thin, don't think we don't hear about it! The Duchess of Cambridge, has been fodder for tabloids because she is TOO THIN! Many models have been criticized for being too skinny and looking frail. Demi Moore was recently chastised for becoming too thin while she was struggling through the breakup of her marriage.
So, what is it, people? Are we too fat? Are we too skinny? Where does "just right" fit in?
Well, I, for one, have a plan. And it goes a little something like this...
I am done complaining about my weight. Guess what? I got here because I've learned to enjoy life. I've carried two babies in my belly. I have learned to cook good food, that isn't always low-cal, or fat-free, but my family likes it and it makes me happy to sit around the table, taking pleasure in eating dinner and sharing time with my husband and children. I have an affection for good beer and fine wine (ok, ok. More like box o' wine, but that tastes just fine to me! ba-dum-bum-ching!). When I am out with friends I don't want to pass up dessert. I love carnival food, french fries, and a deliciously crusty baguette, and I don't want to live my life being the one that looks miserable because she "can't eat it."
This is not to say that I am giving up and giving in and letting myself go. I went to the doctor for a physical not long ago and she said I was healthy. My heart is good, my liver is good (surprisingly!), my kidneys, my hormone levels (if you are ever around me during PMS, you will also find this shocking!), and everything else looked pretty darn good for a crazy mama in her mid-thirties. And, you know what? That sounded pretty good to me.
In short, my new theory is moderation. Do I have a poochy belly? Sure, but luckily poncho sweaters are all the rage right now. Plus, I have some rockin' legs (yes, it is ok to find the GOOD things about your body!) that I can show off in leggings. I am going to eat my fruits and veggies, and my french fries too. I am going to drink my 6-8 glasses of water a day, and still enjoy my beer with dinner. I am going to worry more about the number of hugs I give my loved ones, than the number that shows up inside my jeans or on the scale. I am going to learn to love my flaws and show off my strengths.
There is a quote I love from Hunter S. Thompson, that has been just a tiny bit modified...
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid
in broadside, martini in one hand, chocolate in the other, thoroughly used up, totally worn out,
and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
Those, my friends, are words to live by.