January 1, 2008

Health & Beauty

Suits Me Fine

by Dena

My cherry-centered donut notwithstanding, I hit the mall this afternoon prepared to face the trauma and flourescent-tinged humiliation of swimsuit shopping.

Unfortunately for the reader, it wasn't that interesting an experience. At least, not in the psychological crash-and-burn I normally face when confronted with my own reflection. In fact, after a few failed attempts at squeezing my large ass into a too-small suit or two, I pulled on a Roots athletic suit that fit me perfectly. With relief, I stared into the mirror, hands on hips, happy with what I saw.

And then I thought "Holy shit, I have to continue this."

This: working out and eating well. I think after this turnaround I've made in the past year -- even if it is more psychological than physical, regressing into old habits now would have catastrophic effects on my emotional and general well-being.

I'm sad to admit this, but a year ago, I truly hated myself. Perhaps it was only a few inches ago. Maybe the pounds weren't that many. But the intangible effects coupled with the general improvement of my appearance has made a big difference.

I don't like sounding like one of those chirpy before-and-after sluts you'll find in Fitness magazine's monthly Fat Girl Makes Good column. Why? Well, because I still think I'm fat. But how can I avoid patting myself on the back when the fruits of my efforts are being noticed? I feel good about the small progress I've made. I am starting to feel like my old self again. I'm glad to be loving my body for what it can do rather than only what it looks like.

I'm not a cookie-cutter woman. Never have been, never will be. I'm too short, too big-titted, too ethnic, too something. But still, I like what I see. I like what I feel, too: muscles in my waist when I put my hands on my hips, a firm yet yielding layer of flesh, a slight movement and the movement of muscles that are designed to support me in everything I do.

So as I looked in the mirror, I barely noticed the things that I thought would horrify me once I got into a swimsuit -- the big boobs (I don't think I'll ever love being chesty), the thighs with no space between them. It didn't matter because I saw the things about me that, while they may not fit an ideal, I still like. My curvy butt, my shapelier waist, my child-bearing hips. It suits me fine.