Today’s weight, 136 pounds. I am 5 foot three inches tall with very small bones, a lot of muscle, slender legs and butt , average sized boobs, and a bit of fat on my abs. At my thinnest, I ‘ve never had a flat stomach or a small waist. Abs are, in many people’s head, the measure of fitness. Rock hard, six-pack, ones without surgery, for me a genetic impossibility. My belly boasts a C-section scar that runs from the bottom of it’s button, vertically to my pubic bone. I have 16 percent body fat, and my BMI number is 24. The BMI is fairly meaningless, as far as I am concerned, but I am giving my stats here.
I am 52 years old, on July 28. I look good for my age, but I look my age. Once I tried to get Botox injections, and although I had a wrinkle-free shiny forehead, I also had a really bad reaction. Botox gave me a very serious case of dry eye. So serious that my eyes stung for months and didn’t move much. I do not look down upon people who choose to do this or any procedure. This is just not a path I will try again anytime soon. As far as surgery goes, boob jobs, tummy tucks, lipo, whatever, I have thought about it. My biggest fear being that I would accidentally die on the table from a procedure . People would say, “She died from complications of having the fat sucked from her abs!” Not the legacy I want to leave. This and tremendous fear of pain stop me.
Luckily, finally, this decade of newly found self-love and acceptance have rooted in my brain and in my heart, so no procedures. Someday for fun I may have abs spray tanned on me, just to see what they would actually look like. Now don’t get me wrong I have VERY strong abs! I am truly fit; just not blessed with the biological predisposition to look “totally cut” ! There are worse fates for a fitness instructor/Yogi. And my butt is tight!
When I feel insecure, I breathe. If that doesn’t work, I change my hair color. My natural hair is dark brown, currently I am “back to my roots” . I just came back, about four months ago. I was blond previous to this for two years. The other reason I went brunette again, blond is exhausting when one is this dark. At almost 52, brown really saves time 30 minutes vs. two hours. I will never be gray.
Recently a very dear friend of mine who lives out-of-state came to visit. She made the comment that I was not a “stick figure”. At the time I was teaching 12 to 15 fitness classes a week,( attended by women two or more decades younger than I who regularly said I worked them really hard) she knew this, so maybe her expectation was that I would be more “twiggy”.
Maybe MY expectation was that her statement would not even bother me, but it did a little. What I told her though, what I truly believe for me is this : When my weight is in the middle of my range, I am the healthiest. My definition of health is nutritional, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual realms, all in balance. My weight is an indication of my equilibrium. I have been there mostly,for twenty years or so. Except for a tragedy, which caused a weight GAIN and an illness which caused a weight loss.
At my heaviest I tipped the scale at 204 pounds at the end of my second pregnancy ( I went home from the hospital weighing 196 and maintained that effortlessly for a year or so.) The least I have ever weighed as an adult, was at age 20 when I weighed 112 pounds. Friends cooed and complimented me on my “tiny” figure. I achieved this weight, hitch hiking and Greyhounding around the country trying to “find myself”. I looked awful, dark circles, pale, tired, but even then society rewarded me with applause because I was skinny.
My gene pool is Swiss, German and English mostly. I am not one of those who knows or cares about all of that. My mom is short in stature, thicker boned and was voluptuous and beautiful in her day. ( Still is!) She was always, always, always, on a diet. So pretty, so young, in a time when Twiggy was all the rage, she experienced young motherhood and body confidence issues. As a young man my dad was small boned, thinner arms and legs, heavier torso, short-waisted, and handsome. I am built exactly like my dad.
My love affair with food has been with me since I learned to eat. Mostly sweets, sadly. If all health rules were out the window, I would exist on cookies and candies and cakes ( oh my!) unashamed. Good eating habits have been hard-fought and won for me. I was a medium-sized kid, with a bit of fat on her abs, there seems to be a pattern here.
At about twelve years of age, I noticed I was always a bit smaller in the summer months than in the winter months. These were the months I swam and rode my bike a lot. My idea of winter sports was offering hot chocolate to the kids in the neighborhood, while they participated in snowman building or sledding. If you gave me a hot cup with floaty marshmallows, and an I Love Lucy, or Andy Griffith Show rerun, I was set. The cold isn’t my favorite still, but I have learned to embrace it a bit since those days.
I was a cheerleader in high school and truth be told, I tried out so that I could get into the basketball games for free. Funds were tight in my household. I would have loved to actually play on the girls’ team, but couldn’t do a lay-up to save my butt. So I cheered for the boys. I also ran track. Running has been an off and on lifelong hobby, lost completely in my twenties. Today, I can run a 5K in under thirty minutes, when I am not training ,quite a bit under, when I am. My high school boyfriend broke up with me because I gained 30 pounds my senior year, a combination of late night munchies and “getting my woman body”a term used by my daughters and me.
I work really hard to look this average! Teaching fitness, I have been ten pounds thinner than this ( last year) and twenty pounds heavier. I am such an open soul, people have felt compelled to comment on all of my sizes. Customers and fellow instructors alike. This is a lot of yammering on about weight and size and activity. This thought pattern plagues many of us constantly, others of us less. I am in the less camp now, but have served some serious time in Camp Constantly too.
What I have to say about this, your life is what you make it. My comfort zone includes but is not limited to, cooking good food for my family, continuing to nurture my children. This started at my breast, and then gradually grew into many other ways as they have developed. ( I now have a one year old grandson and another grandchild of unknown gender, on the way). It is important for me to also offer love with words and deed to family, friends, and clients. To encourage those reading this very blog. I am a lover and a friend to the wonderful man in my life, Chris, who inspires me to be, well, me. I am a risk taker, in a good way. Most times I am open to hear what I need to hear and do what I need to do.
In my profession , I offer education, information and motivation. My belief is that I also offer love and strength by listening with compassion and meeting clients where they are. I had a friend long ago who said “Happiness is a by-product of doing what is right.” My hope is in this next few months of rebuilding my career, I will do enough of it right.
Blessings, Love, and Namaste’!