Tag Archives: weight

Not My Croissants

Ok, I have to confess something here, and I’ll totally, totally understand if you come after me with pitchforks for it: I’ve been holding out on you guys. I have been selfish and un-sharing, and I’ll turn in my Commie ring if I need to. I get it. Mea culpa.

See, there’s this blogger whom I ran across a while back. And by “ran across” I mean “with whom I survived Introduction to Practical Self-Loathing and Applied Fat-Shaming 101, aka high school gym class”, and by “a while back” I mean “approximately 1994”. We’ve drifted through each other’s orbits every so often since then, and since I’d recently decided that what I needed to do was take up bellydance (this is also a thing that drifts through my orbit every so often, so don’t start marking your calendars for my grand dance debut anytime soon or anything like that) and I was given to understand that she had also done bellydance and perhaps would have some Helpful Resources for People Looking to Shimmy Their Jiggly Bits, I did a bit o’ googlin’. And found her bellydance videos (she’s got two of ’em! SCORE), but also found her vlogs.

Which I have been watching for like the last three days straight.

And not telling you about, until now.

/hangs head in shame, sends self to corner forever

But here’s the thing, y’all: I found this video of hers today, and … well, look, just watch it, ok?

/blinkblink

/notices hand is numb, looks at it, realizes it’s been raised to Jeebux for the last 5 minutes

/notices tongue is dry, realizes jaw has been hanging open for the last 3 minutes

For those of you who couldn’t watch it right now for whatever reason, here’s the jist: Krista was eating her breakfast and noticed her husband’s savings-club-sized box of croissants on the table. Without really paying much attention, she opened it and started eating from it…then realized that these were her husband’s  croissants. They weren’t her croissants–she didn’t pick them out–and she didn’t even particularly want one. But they were there, so she was absentmindedly eating them, because that’s what you do when there’s a Tasty Foodstuff(TM) right there in front of you. And it hit her that she was participating unconsciously in someone else’s habit–that she was letting her day’s diet include a choice someone else had made–and that maybe she didn’t need to do that. Maybe she could just, y’know, not eat her husband’s croissants.

/goes fully Shug Avery walkin’ to her Daddy’s church and singin’ “Maybe God Is Trying to Tell You Something”

Here’s the thing, y’all: how many times (lord, lord) have I eaten someone else’s croissants? How many times have I let someone else’s choices become part of my day without it ever occurring to me that I had full control over whether I wanted to be part of them? How many times (glory, hallelujah) have I let old versions of my own self determine what I would do today (you better preach, sister)?!

I get antsy sitting at stoplights, because I used to have a car that in its final days would just, y’know, up and die sometimes. Particularly at stoplights. And since my then-fiance had failed to pay the bills for several months, taken all the money I’d given him for said bills and spent it on god knows what, then run off with a 19-year-old voice major, I couldn’t afford to do anything about it. Eventually the car completely died for real, and we sent it off for scrap and I was on foot until I could (with my parents’ assistance) get another cheap beater lined up. Stoplights made me nervous because if the car died there, there wasn’t a dang thing I could do except push it to the side of the road and pray that it started again. But now my husband has a good job, and I have a good job, and we both got raises within the last 6 months and have roadside assistance and reliable vehicles. If the car dies at a stoplight, we can afford to get help. But somehow I’m still antsy about them because I useta couldn’t afford to fix the car 10 years ago? A decade later and I’m still eating the same old croissant?

My father was a smoker. There were always cigarettes in our house. When I became an adult, I started smoking, because smoking was a thing adults did. To be fair, there’s an element of addiction here…but at the core, 18 years later I am still smoking my father’s cigarettes (fewer now than before–I’m babystepping to being nicotine-free). 18 years of eating the same smoky croissant? Really??

Doctors scare the bejeezus out of me–not because of the sticky-poky-pinchy part, but because of the judgey-shamey-belittling part. I got the Your Problems Would Go Away If You Just Lost the Weight lecture when I was being seen for a broken finger. I got the “you are clearly exaggerating for the sake of drama” response when I was underreporting how spectacularly bad my menstrual cycles could be. I threw my back out once, saw a chiropractor, then got a lecture from a General Practitioner about how chiropractic is straight-up quackery and how if I wasn’t going to make my situation better (read: lose the weight immediately, preferably via bariatric surgery) the least I could do is stop making it worse. So I have tended to avoid doctors, because I don’t need to hear again how I’m a horrible person…but I’m not a horrible person. I’m a mighty fine person, and my body is just my body, and if the doctors I’ve seen historically have had epic fat-hatred issues, that’s pretty much their own damn croissant to eat.

So y’know, it occurs to me that maybe I can do something about this. Maybe I can just, y’know, not eat somebody else’s croissants anymore. Maybe I can sit at the stoplight or go see a doctor or leave the cigarettes at the gas station and say “actually, those are somebody else’s croissants, and it is not my place to eat them”. I can say “I don’t even really feel like eating a croissant right now, thanks”. I can say “I am full and do not need this croissant”.

I can just not eat other people’s croissants.

Holy cow. I can not eat other people’s croissants.

Krista Kubie, you’re a genius and I love you. And to those of you who are just finding out about her for the first time, I am so, so sorry. You can pelt me with croissants later if you need to. And I can choose not to eat a single one.

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There

Buffalo Tantrum: The “P” Word

Ok, look.

Some of you have probably seen this image floating around recently:

jennifer lawrence

 

If you’re reading that and wanting to give Jennifer Lawrence a high-five or a hug or a pony, let me note for the record that I’m right there with ya. I love Jennifer Lawrence. I loved her when she tripped at the Oscars, I love her when she makes slip-ups and goofy faces in interviews, and I love her when she is utterly flawed and utterly human and leaves the house anyway despite knowing that everything she does is going to be on the tabloid covers tomorrow.

And if you followed the link by clicking on that picture, let me note that I love Upworthy, their compulsion to put popups on every page notwithstanding. They have some great stuff there (some schlock, too, but that’s forgivable), and I spend more time than I care to admit sniffling over their videos and fist-pumping about their commentary on the World These Days.

But because I’m me, and because words are really important to me, I have to take a minute and have a minor tantrum about something that really stuck out to me in that Jennifer Lawrence quote–specifically, the part where she says that “we see this airbrushed perfect model”.

I know, I know, some of you are going to accuse me of splitting hairs in 3…2…1…but it seems to me that referring to the airbrushed version as “perfect” undermines her message just a touch. And lest you think I’m going after Ms. Lawrence here, please let me assure you that I’m not–I’m actually aiming this tantrum at society at large.

Here’s what happens: we tell ourselves, our kids, and each other that we should accept ourselves for how we are, regardless of how we look. We say that people should love themselves in whatever body they have. We say that people are a soul in a body, not a body with a soul. And then–without meaning any harm by it–we turn around and, sometimes in the same breath, refer to these art projects (what else would you call a sculpture, like a doll, or a painting done onscreen with airbrushes?) as “perfect”.

In other words, we say “no, no, sweetie, you’re fine. That over there is perfect, but you…you’ll do. I mean, I love you, and that’s what really matters”.

The last part of that sentiment is great, sure, but could we maybe try not accidentally drawing the unattainable parallel as we go?

This horrifies me in ways I can't put words to.

This horrifies me in ways I can’t put words to.

I think this is what’s screwing us up, folks. We’re spending all our time going ’round and ’round in circles, trying to convince ourselves and each other that we’re all good enough, pretty enough, etc, while simultaneously holding up artwork as the ideal. But here’s the thing: art is art. People are people. They periodically have some things in common, but it’s certainly not frequent enough to make art a reasonable aspiration for your appearance on a random Tuesday.

And for that matter, why do The Powers That Be get to pick the artwork we want to resemble? Just because their voice is the loudest? Because they bought the most airtime? If I decided to live my entire life by the rule that He Who Advertises To Me Most Aggressively Wins, then I’d fall to pieces almost immediately just because I’d never be able to decide whether Coke or Pepsi was the best. I’d be like that thought experiment where you strap a piece of buttered-side-up toast to the back of a cat and drop it, since in theory neither side will ever hit the ground (note: do not do this, bananahead).

So to heck with them, I say. This is my life and my body and my sense of aesthetics shall rule the day. They don’t get to tell me that blonde hair is more “perfect” than brown, they don’t get to tell me that French manicures are more “perfect” than the natural unpolished look that I’m rockin’, and they don’t get to tell me that the artwork on the front of magazines is more “perfect” than the artwork I resemble.

220px-Willendorf-Venus-1468

This one, thankyouverymuch. And I think she’s perfect.

And from here on out, I’m going to pay close attention to my language. I will try with all my might to avoid using the “p” word unless it’s in a clearly indicated statement of opinion (“Personally, I think this cheesecake is perfect”) or in reference to an objectively, scientifically measurable phenomenon (“That photograph is centered perfectly above the sofa”).

Human beings are not perfect, y’all. That’s all I’m saying. And the sooner we can strike that word from our vocabulary and decide collectively that the advertisers don’t get to buy our sense of aesthetics anymore, the sooner we can maybe start making some progress away from fat-shaming and skinny-slamming and people having surgery on their eyelids.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go look at some more pictures of Jennifer Lawrence. That gal is not perfect, but she’s certainly aesthetically pleasing to my eye, and besides, she’s a hoot.

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, General Musings and Meanderings

The Dress

So. Tomorrow is Moon Man’s Fancypants Office Holiday Shindig. Having survived the holiday office party last year (and even kinda enjoyed it! Tell no one.), I’m actually going into this one feeling fairly confident and prepared–I know the rules, know the layout, know more-or-less what to expect and how I’m meant to behave–and whether I’d ever officially admit this or not, I’m pretty jazzed about the thing. I mean, c’mon, I get to dress up and go to a fancy place to do fancy things with completely normal people who just happen to also be doing fancy things in a fancy place. How chic and cosmopolitan are we?!?

Besides, Moon Man was on the planning committee this year, so I get to know in advance what we’re having during the Wee Foods on Sticks hour and the Plated Dinner With Treacherous Sauces, and it all sounds terribly tasty. But I digress.

Since I knew the party was a-comin’ (’cause, y’know, it’s an annual thing. I can say with a high degree of confidence that there’ll be another party next year too), and since, regardless of any shenanigans my friends may be trying to encourage, I cannot actually attend this thing wearing either my pajamas or nothing but Chanel No. 5 and a smile, I started the dress pre-shopping process months ago. I spent ages poring over various sites, bookmarking favorites and doing price comparisons and reading reviews. And then about a month ago, It Was Time and the shopping started in earnest…at which point I discovered that the clothing industry is a fickle place (no, really?) and about 70% of the dresses I’d bookmarked were no longer available. So I set a budget, picked new dresses, and settled in to watch for sales….

During which time most of the remaining dresses I’d bookmarked vanished into the ether, to be replaced with the Season’s Hottest New Looks. At increased prices, because holidays = price gouging. Or maybe fancier, more expensive material. Whatevs.

So I panicked, picked a Dress of Last Resort (lovely, if not what I was dreaming of, but available in a nice flattering forest green color), checked the calendar, and waited for payday.

And on payday, I went to order the dress, and discovered that the forest green had sold out in my size. The remaining color options were an unsettling gold, a startling silver, and (heaven help me) baby pink. There are many colors I can successfully wear, which I find both aesthetically pleasing and complimentary to my skin tone. Unsettling gold, startling silver, and baby pink are not among those colors.

Of course, there was also funereal black, which is my usual go-to color, but this is a Cheerful and Festive Cocktail Event we’re talkin’ about here, and the dress was a floor-length slip dress with a lace overlay. Totally acceptable in a cheerful and festive color; but in black, it would’ve been a bit…much.

So I panicked again, and spent the better part of two days looking (and re-looking, and re-re-looking) at every single dress, pantsuit, skirt/top combo, slacks/top combo, and festive pajama set available on the interwebs, because I am an extra-curvy gal and they almost never carry my size in stores. Even the plus-size stores–my size sells out first, so shopping online is my best bet.

And glory of glories, joy of joys, happy Saturnalia and merry Christmas to all, I found a dress. A good dress. A dress I like. And–further proof that this season works miracles–it was on sale. I ran it past Moon Man and past my BFF for a quick “Am I crazy from excessive shopping, or is this actually as adorable as I think it is?” check, and got thumbs-up from both parties…and I bought the hell outta that dress. I pounced on it like…well, me, on a cake. Lion on a gazelle. Desperate panicked dressless woman on a dress that’s on sale. I gave them my credit card faster than I used to give out my phone number when I was still single.

And because that’s how I roll, I posted about this on Facebook as the story unfolded, and people laughed and “liked” my posts and demanded pictures of the dress, and I promised them that yes, yes, all in due time, my dears, your pictures shall be forthcoming.

And then the dress arrived, and I tried it on, and it fit, so I knew for sure this was what I’d be wearing…and I didn’t post any pictures.

I’ve been telling myself that this is because I wanted it to be a surprise, that I’d post pictures once I was actually all gussied up and wearing the dress. But the truth, if we’re gonna be real darned honest here for a second, is that I’ve been wanting to post pictures of it this whole time. It’s my Triumph dress. My I Snatched Victory From the Evil Clutches of Looming Defeat dress. My Have a Little Faith and All Will Be Well dress.

It’s not actually as cute as all that, but it’s kind of a big deal to me.

But I hadn’t posted any pictures of it because–back to the honesty part–I do not look like the model who is wearing the dress in the picture. We are not the same size. We do not have the same stylists (hers is a team of pros. Mine is…well, me). Nobody will be following me around at the Fancypants Office Holiday Shindig, airbrushing and Photoshopping me in realtime. 

/blinkblink

But y’know what? Screw that. I have nieces who deserve to have a confident Auntie BW. They deserve to see that I know that I don’t look like a supermodel but that I believe that that’s ok. They deserve to have someone show them that two people can wear the same dress, look radically different in it, and both still be drop-dead head-turning neck-snapping somebody-call-the-law gorgeous in it in completely different ways.

deserve to have that behavior modeled for me, and since neither the dogs nor the cats are volunteering and lord knows the media ain’t helping, I’ll just have to do it myself.

So without further ado, here, kids, is the dress:

patricia-dress-from-igigi

 

…and I promise to post pictures of myself in said dress once the Fancypants Party happens and pictures actually exist. Right now it’s hanging in my closet, where nobody is allowed to touch it, breathe on it, or look at it very hard.

Because while I’m all for modeling self-confidence and self-acceptance, I’m also all for not strolling into the party with a giant wrinkle across my butt. Especially not when it’s my Victory dress. My Delicious Gazelle on the Savanna dress. My Shut Up and Take My Money dress.

My Fancypants Dress for Fancy People dress.

The dress.

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Filed under Play Nicely

Buffalo Tantrum: Diagnosing Your Prejudice

Dear Doctors,

My husband said something that ticked me off this morning, and it is all your fault.

We were talking about how he’s made an appointment for a checkup because he’s out of refills on his diabetes meds and needs a new prescription, and he mentioned in passing that he was nervous about going to see his doctor because he “didn’t want to get scolded”. And I agreed with him, because I completely understand that–I haven’t seen a doctor in three years, because I didn’t have medical insurance until very recently and because I was not about to pay y’all’s ludicrous rates just for the opportunity to get lectured about my weight. And it took a second for the emotional response to set in, but now it’s here, with a vengeance.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know a blessed thing about medical law. Maybe there’s something in there that has led you all to believe that in order to protect yourselves from lawsuits (we’ll discuss my opinions on our sue-happy society some other time), you have to make a point of telling overweight patients just exactly how bad their life must be, y’know, on account of all that being fat and being at ZOMG INCREDIBLY HIGH RISK for all these ZOMG SO HORRIBLE DISEASES and how they are ZOMG ABSOLUTELY GOING TO DIE DIE DIE PROBABLY NEXT WEEK unless they change their lifestyle RIGHT THIS MINUTE NO I MEAN RIGHT NOW LIKE DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Maybe you’re just trying to cover all your bases.

Maybe you’re trying to drum up business for your pals in the bariatric surgery department.

Maybe you just think you’re being honest, in a “sometimes the truth hurts a little bit but it must be told nonetheless” sort of way.

Pro tip:

Feel free to add the word “medical”, as in “honest medical opinion”.

Look, I understand the concept of the Least Common Denominator. I understand that you probably deal with patients every day who actually don’t realize that being overweight can cause complications health-wise, and so you’ve just gotten used to assuming that every overweight patient needs to hear the lecture as a result.

I’m here to tell you that that’s not the case. Some of us are actually quite intelligent, and have done a lot of reading on our own; some of us get all our information from The Biggest Loser, which is of questionable authority but means that we have, in fact, already heard the litany of Weight-Related Problems That Kill Fat People; and some of us have heard it before, over and over, from every doctor we’ve ever seen, and are frankly sick to death of hearing it. We are sick of the part where you roll your chair right up close to us (or stand and look down at us), we are sick of the part where you lean in confidentially (or cross your arms across your chest and look stern), and we are sick of the part where you lower your voice (or sigh heavily) and start in on how we absolutely cannot continue doing these terrible things to ourselves because it is just all so very, very bad.

Lemme tell you a little story: Once upon a time I went to the doctor because I had an issue that needed medical attention. He examined me, made a diagnosis, prescribed treatment, and then gave me a ten-minute dressing-down about weight and exercise and nutrition and the boatload of problems I would almost definitely experience as a result of being overweight, ending with a very strongly worded suggestion that I get myself to a nutritionist immediately. The issue that led me to go see him in the first place that day? I had broken my finger.

So I dunno, maybe you can start including a little check box on the intake form, something that says “I am already aware of the risks of my weight and do not need your condescending lecture”?

Or here’s a better plan: maybe you just stop fat-shaming us. Maybe you stop trying to use fear tactics on us. Maybe you try approaching all your patients with equal courtesy, dignity, and respect. Maybe you drop the condescending tone, maybe you drop the judgement, and maybe you try asking us if we want your “Top 200 Reasons Fat Is Bad” routine instead of just assuming we need it.

Part of the problem, see, is that I’m a Very Nice Person(TM). The other part is that I come with a history that includes a certain amount of abuse. I believe in letting people speak their peace, because it is a polite thing to do; and I spent a lot of time being trained to believe that if you are being yelled at and you do anything other than stand there and take it, you get hit. Yes, I understand that I am a paying customer and therefore I theoretically have the right to speak up when something is not ok; and yes, I understand that the doctor is probably not going to beat me if I dare to defy him; but on behalf of all of us who carry this particular baggage, maybe you, dear doctor, could meet us halfway and agree to at least be aware that triggers exist, and that by lecturing us, you might be stomping on some of them.

Here’s the bottom line: it is just ridiculous that Moon Man, many of my friends, a lot of my family, and I should all be nervous about going to see you because we are afraid you are going to yell at us. We know that you can perform your job best if we don’t go out of our way to make it harder on you by damaging our bodies. We know that carrying excess weight is risky, and we know it can cause complications.

Now what we need you to know is that a lot of us are depression eaters and comfort eaters, so when you freak us all the way out by being rude, you are pretty much guaranteeing that we’ll be halfway through a pint of Ben & Jerry’s before we even realize what we’re doing. And that doesn’t help either of us, now does it?

So stop it. Stop being cruel, stop being patronizing, stop using fear and shame as tactics. We don’t need you to be our BFFs, but we also don’t need you to be a source of stress and anxiety. We’re tired of crying every time we come home from visiting you–and as you may have pieced together by now, a lot of us solve that by just never coming to visit or by self-medicating with the very addiction that got us into this obese boat in the first place. And I can’t imagine that’s what you want.

Respectfully yours,

–Mama BW

P.S.–This is one of the best quotes I’ve ever seen on the topic. Maybe print it off, laminate it, and put it in your wallet, and recite it to yourself before every patient.

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, General Musings and Meanderings

Debbie Down-But-Not-Out

So. Today happened.

Mom’s car shot craps last week, so she’s got my van and will be bringing it back on Thanksgiving. No problem, I figured, since I don’t usually go anywhere during the day, so Moon Man can take our car to work and I can just chill here at the house.

Except tonight’s menu calls for shepherd’s pie–got the lamb all defrosted and everything–and I realized I didn’t have any veggies except some sad old celery and the potatoes for the topping.

No problem, I figured; the grocery store is about a mile away, and a mile is a totally reasonable walking distance, and the weather is quite nice.

Except that somewhere in the last year I lost all my motivation to exercise and started eating everything that didn’t move out of my way fast enough. We did the Paleo thing for a while, with the idea that we would splurge on weekends, but it didn’t take very long for “weekend” to be defined as “starting sometime Friday and ending when the last of the leftovers were gone, usually on Monday or Tuesday”. Pro tip: diets don’t work very well when you only do them three days a week–especially when the diet in question says you’re free to eat protein and fats and only have to cut out carbs. But setbacks be damned; I was going to walk to the store.

No problem, I figured; I’ll just get my exercise clothes on and walk to the store.

Except that as a result of my “eat everything, exercise not at all” plan I’ve gained enough weight–and girth–that most of my exercise clothes don’t fit right anymore. I tried on everything in the closet and everything in the drawers and had a minor meltdown when I realized that the one thing that fit the best was my shoes, and even they never really fit exactly right in the first place.

No problem, I figured; I’ll decide to stride out boldly in my ill-fitting clothes, because if people want to judge me, then that’s fine–I know that these clothes will fit better if I keep at the exercise, and I’ve exercised five out of the last 7 days, so I’m on the way to something here, and if passersby are smart, they’ll be able to see that I’m wearing ill-fitting exercise clothes while I exercise, which is the only way to make them fit better, and they will applaud me.

Except that getting into said exercise clothes turned out to be a minor crisis when I discovered that I have gotten so fat and non-flexible that putting on my socks required weird yoga and tying my shoes involved a certain amount of hopping.

No problem, I figured; the people on Biggest Loser come from this exact place and get all healthy and stuff, and if they can do it, I can do it. Heck, that one guy started at over 500 pounds. He had to lose an entire person just to get down to my starting point. I’ve got this.

Except that they have trainers and stuff, and I have only my shame and my determination to get me going.

No problem, I figured; shame and determination have worked plenty well for plenty of people, so off I go.

…So off I went, and made it to the store in a very reasonable 20 minutes, and got the veggies, and made it back home in a very reasonable 20 minutes, and came inside and let the dogs out and got out of my exercise clothes and got some water.

…And heard dog tags jingling in the front yard

And went to the backyard

And discovered that the gate was open

Because we never did fix the latch when it broke a coupla months ago and the bungee cord holding it closed had finally given up the ghost

…So I went to the front yard, chased down the smaller dog while the larger dog started planning his escape route

And he’s a “flight risk”–we adopted him from a shelter where he’d been brought as a stray

And he’s never quite got the lure of the open road out of his system

And he’s not very good about coming when he’s called

And I don’t have a vehicle to go chase him down

And I was all tired from my walk to and from the store

…So I took the smaller dog inside and stood right inside the screen door and gave him skritches and loud praise, because the bigger dog is deeply jealous and cannot bear the thought of anyone else getting lovins

And it worked

And the larger dog barreled in the door

And got skritches and praise

…So while today technically counts as a victory, because I exercised and walked to the store and back and the dogs did not run away forever, it still feels a lot like a crappy, crappy afternoon

And Thanksgiving is in eight days

And we haven’t gotten a turkey yet

And right now I’m not feeling very thankful.

No problem, I figure; there’s always tomorrow, when I can try this whole damned thing again.

Thank goodness.

I heart Anne Shirley.

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Filed under General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely

This Lady Is a Hero

Just in case any of you hasn’t seen this yet, I present to you the face of a hero.

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, Play Nicely

Star Stuff

Please look at this picture:

Comet near the Sun

 

And then please look at this one:

Sequoia and sapling.

 

And last but not least, check out this one:

“You will have to go around me.”

 

Now, show of hands: how many of you looked at that first picture and thought, “Ooh, Sun, you need to lose some matter!”? How many of you looked at the second picture and thought, “Ooh, Sequoia, you need to get rid of a few of those rings before swimsuit season!”? How many of you looked at the third picture and thought, “Ooh, Buffalo, you need to take a couple more laps around the prairie, baby!”?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that there are exactly zero hands in the air right now, because that would be a little ridiculous. When you look at the sun and a comet zipping by, you think about space and maybe Star Trek. When you see the trees, you think about wisdom and maybe your next family vacation. When you see the buffalo trying to figure out a prairie dog, you have a little chuckle. Maybe you noticed a “big things and small things” theme as you were scrolling through the images, but I’m guessing you did so without any judgment–some things are just big, and other things are just small(er), and that’s just the way the universe is shaped.

So why is it, then, that we can’t quite bring ourselves to view pictures like this one with the same objectivity?

I like their hats. 🙂

Sure, I understand all those things about the correlation between weight and health (I think some of them are a little overdramatic, but I get it). And I know firsthand that sometimes one’s size can stand between you and the things you want to do–for example, I’d love to go dogsledding, but I cannot do that until I get to a weight where it’s not just mean to ask some poor puppies to drag me through the frozen wilderness. It’d be convenient to be able to buy any clothing I wanted, right off the rack, at any store I happened to be in. It’d be nice to be able to kneel in the garden for a while, weeding and generally fussing over the plants, without my knees complaining.

So if you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking, “Ooh, I need to lose some weight, ’cause right now I am a serious threat to the seams in that dress I own and love”, then I absolutely support you in your endeavor to become a version of yourself that is better suited to the life you want to live.

But if you’re approaching the world from an “I need to be thin because that’s how I’m supposed to look” perspective, then honeychild, hold onto your nifty hat, ’cause I’m about to blow your mind:

When is the last time you thought, “boy, that star sure would look better if it was a little bit smaller”? When is the last time you said, “That star has a nice twinkle to it, but it could stand to go down an order of magnitude or two”?

When is the last time you thought, “Man, I bet Orion is really frustrated with his belt size”?

Here’s what I’m driving at: exactly how much star stuff, would you say, is the recommended size-to-star-stuff ratio for a celestial being? Reckon there’s a chart for that somewhere, and star doctors flit around out there telling some stars to lose some flare? Maybe there are some starparazzi that hide out behind planets and wait to catch a photo of someone with flabby combustion?

Look, if you want to be a comet, be a comet. Zip around. Have a tail if you want one. If you want to be a prairie dog, go for it–be bouncy and do lots of running-chasing-darting things. If you’d rather chill in one place and beam warmth into the universe, do that. If you’d rather be tall and ancient and unfazed, rock it out.

But gosh darn it, stop defining yourself in terms of size, and start thinking of yourself in terms of your verbs. If your current shape is the one that you need for the life you want to lead, then own that. Put some clothes on your star stuff and truck it on out the front door with your head held high. If your current shape prohibits you from living your dream, then change it–bulk up, slim down, increase your endurance, whatever it takes, as long as it’s all done with the “safe, sane, and stable” mantra in mind.

But stop letting other people decide what your life should look like. It’s your life we’re talking about here; if your shape is appropriate for the life that makes you happy, then strut it! And if the goals that you have picked because you find them interesting require some modifications to your current arrangement, then start making those changes, because you want to–not because someone else told you that you need to have less star stuff in your stroll.

Because you don’t. You don’t need to have less star stuff in your stroll. You need to have exactly as much star stuff as is necessary to hold the spirit that is uniquely, brilliantly You. No more, no less.

And then you need to let it shine.

 

 

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