Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Here's a Thought

She's got nice abs. No denying this. In the not-all-that-distant-yet-most-assuredly-pre-preggo past, I pranced around the gym in similar getup. Before you start thinking I'm posting about this picture, which is making the rounds of Facebook and making me want to spork somebody's eyes out, because I gots mad envy...let me assure you that's not my problem with it.

Stop looking at the picture. Read the words. Once you're done with that, how about you take a minute to ponder a few ideas:

What was the first thing you thought when you saw the picture? Hmmmm. If you're like a lot of people (women) who've commented on FB, you're not feeling all that saucy about your own abs right now. This picture made you not like yourself - or at least the way you look - for a minute. You think you need to get back in the gym ASAP. You think this woman (who, if I may be so bold as to suggest it, may be a little *gasp* airbrushed) is the ideal to which you, normal non-freak-of-nature-or-photoshop woman, must immediately aspire.

Why is she ideal, and not you? Just because of her abs? Is there anything in this picture that confirms that the rest of her life isn't one big hot mess? But hey, she's got THOSE ABS so it can't be all bad. I've had the abs, as I've said, and let me offer the guarantee that abs do not a perfect life make. Granted, if you make your living as a fitness model, then you'll probably get more work with the abs...but I'm assuming that's not what's going on here so I digress.

Every second of every day? Really? EVERY? This is what I need to do to be somebody? Spend every second of every effing day to get me some brand-new abbadabbas? Been there, done that, got the sports bra. Taking that approach was pretty much my grand-scale fail at life. I'd gladly introduce you to several people I know who have had the same experience.

Going back and reading, it's sounding like Bitter, Party of One. Nah. Not really. Here's the thing, though: I've learned something. In my thirtysomethingsomething years, I've learned something, and while I occasionally have to work EXCEEDINGLY hard to remember it, it's stuck. Because it's important.

Here it is.
Right here.
Still here? Good.

It's this, and it's fairly simple: you may not like the way you look all the time, and you may spend inordinate amounts of time comparing yourself to people like the model in the picture, and you may think that if you could just get rid of those last 5 pounds/that gobbler/the end of the baby weight/your mommy flap (for those of us who have had c-sections that there ain't no crunches or pilates to help)/your what-the-hell-ever you don't like, your life would be shiny and glossy and sparkle like the mothereffing SUN.

Revisit this. It won't. Because changing those things won't change YOU. And why in the world aren't you enough for the people who love you, just as you are? My son couldn't care less that mommy's 6-pack is missing some cans. My husband hasn't left me because I don't look like that woman in the picture. I cry sometimes because I get sucked in, usually in times of stress, to thinking that "if I only had that body back"....yeah. The one I almost died to get. The one I never appreciated. The one that there is no end to the craziness to maintain. I mentioned death already.

I have this body. It's closer to 40 than I want it to be. It has been starved, and refed, lather rinse repeat ad nauseam. It has forgiven me. It carried my child. It nursed my child. It has run HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of miles. It has folded itself into the corners of friends' hot tubs, sweated in pain and come back for more on a Spin bike, walked through vacation cities, and been stronger than I ever knew I'd need it to be. I have no right not to love it.

What has your body - your REAL, normal, unique body - done for YOU? I promise you, the life it's carried you through is worth more than just a mirror full of abs.

Go be beautiful.


  1. I needed this today, more than you know. Thanks.

  2. Hey, look! You answered my question after all. Your body has done all that and more. You bet your boots. Love.

  3. I love you sweet friend. Thank you for writing this.

  4. Love this. Sharing many times with many women that I know who are starving themselves trying to get that perfect body by the end of the month.

  5. I feel fortunate to find your blog. Very encouraging!