Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Will I Ever Be OK With This?
My left hip is bothering me. It doesn't hurt or anything. It's just really fucking fat.
It's true. My left hip is fatter than my right hip. I know most of us live in bodies without complete symmetry, and I've dealt with this in other ways, but I still find this utterly annoying.
For some reason, this hip thing bugs me more than having one foot (I can never remember which) bigger than the other and a right boob that's heavier than the left. And I don't know why. It's almost like it's a symbol; a sign of something bigger and nastier in my brain.
This discontent isn't just about me losing 20 pounds, gaining back five and having it all, apparently, go to my left hip. No, I don't think so. It's about how I let myself go and kept myself there; way on the other side of the weight I want to be. How I started to back away, slipped and have stayed, cowering, on a rocky cliff. I'm hanging on for dear life to something I don't want. Again.
I've never been crazy about my body. That's not true. I probably didn't think much about it when I was five or six. But, that was before. Before I noticed that girls were supposed to be thin so they could be pretty. Pretty so they could liked. Liked so they could be popular and happy and successful. You know, before.
Before I saw Tamara in the second grade and how all the boys looked at her and talked about her all the time. And before I saw how the other girls asked about her hair and clothes and talked about her all the time. No one talked about me. I was chubby and kinda tall for my age, so if anyone talked about me it was because they wanted help with their math homework.
I don't blame Tamara for any of this. She was just being her thin, popular, really pretty self. The issues weren't immediate, anyway. There was just a realization that stayed with me. A realization that was there two years later when I got glasses, and two years after that when I started to get acne and...
BOOM! There's the problem.
I started exercising, but it wasn't like before, This wasn't roller skating in the park, swimming at the community pool or playing racquetball. Those were for fun. This exercise was work. I exercised to lose weight. I wanted to lose weight so people would pay attention and finally, fuck finally, like me.
They call it "working out" for a reason; if you don't like it, it's torture. And since it felt like torture, it didn't help. I didn't lose weight, I got bigger. I spent high school trying to be alright with being big, shy, acne-ridden and four-eyed. I wore long tops and stretch pants. I rocked short skirts with tights to try hiding my fat knees. Meanwhile I had to order a men's letter jacket and have my marching band uniform specially fit for me, all while yelling at my gym teacher, I'm just not athletic!
College was different. I lost weight; I wasn't thin, but after losing 60 pounds, I was finally not fat. I worked out every day. Sometimes twice a day or at 3 a.m. so I could always fit it in. I also cut way back on what I ate; and binged around the corners of my restrictive diet and crazy workout schedule. I never got any more popular, but I kept that weight off for years. Then, suddenly it seems, I was 35 and heavier than I'd ever been. And now I'm 37, a little bit lighter again, but with one super-fat hip.
One super-fat hip that shows me what a failure I've been my whole life every time my arm accidentally brushes against it. My left hip? That's my inadequacy in what feels like every area of life.
What I wonder now is if I will ever be OK. Not just with my supremely imperfect body, but with my imperfect life. Will I ever reach that pinnacle of human awareness where I can fully enjoy where I am while striving for something better?
Or will I always want more so bad that it hurts too hard to even try actually working for more?
Will something more or better always seem like it's for someone else and not me?
I don't know anything right now. Since I'm rounding the corner to 40, I'm not sure if that's freeing or terrifying.
Have any of you reached a point where you're fine with your imperfect bodies? How did you get there?