Swimsuits, Stomachs, Stations… Renegades & Resolutions

This weight-loss-surgery-life-event has been a long lesson in introspection.  If you know me, you know I’m often ‘in my head’. So part of the constant KFKD station that runs in my head is the ridiculous negative body image station that plays over and over again.   I’ve always hated my stomach, probably since elementary school, maybe 1st or 2nd grade.  That’s over 30 years of self-loathing! After losing 85 pounds, my stomach is smaller and saggier.  My stomach will never be ‘perfect’. My stomach is sad that it can’t live up to my expectations.  It just wants love.  I’m going to try to love you. I’ve been trying for a long time, stomach. Don’t take it personally.

I was reading a book called Bread and Wine today.  One of the chapters was called, swimsuit, ready or not.  I’m never ready to put on a swimsuit.  I know I’m not the only one. This is the dreaded time of year where we start absorbing Slimfast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nordic Track and 24 Hour Fitness commercials ad nauseam.  I was at Chili’s today, with my girls, and I was bombarded with advertisements of hard bodied women perfectly tanned, glossed, and oiled.  While getting gas at Sam’s Club there was an advertisement on the credit card screen for, you guessed it, SlimFast. Gah!

“This is what shame does, though. It whispers to us that everyone is as obsessed with our failings as we are.  I want to dare to exist and, more than that, to live audaciously, in all my imperfect, lumpy, scarred glory, because the alternative is letting shame win.  I’m not going to give in to the cultural pressure that says that women’s bodies are only beautiful when they’re very, very small.  I’m not going to bow to the voice inside my head that says that I should be ashamed of myself for being so unruly and wild.” Bread and Wine, 230-231.

So in an effort to push back and ignore the many messages that bombard me this time of year, I was reminded of Anne Lamott’s Resolution Post. I read it every year and it makes me feel better.  Here’s a small excerpt, “Maybe some of us can try to eat a bit less, and walk a bit more, and make sure to wear pants that do not hurt our thighs or our feelings.”

Anne Lamott’s ‘Aunties’-Excerpt from Traveling Mercies   Read the whole piece, the Aunties is a comical way of thinking about the parts of ourselves we hate.  “I was not wearing a cover-up, not even a T-shirt. I had decided I was going to take my thighs and butt with me proudly whenever I went. I decided, in fact, on the way to the beach, that I would treat them as if they were beloved elderly aunties, the kind who did embarrassing things at the beach, like roll their stockings into tubes around their ankles, but whom I was proud of because they were so great in every real and important way.”

It’s not about the back fat!  This excerpt on body image from Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, forced me to think about the male perspective too.  It’s easy to get trapped in thinking about body image from a female perspective because I am a female, but there are other points of view.  This is one that resonated with me.

At first view of this video, you may think you’ve stumbled upon the wrong link.  Keep watching.

Every time I’ve heard this song by X Ambassador, there is so much heart, it makes me emotional.  As I was walking this week, I made a screenshot of the song as it was playing so I wouldn’t forget to include it in this post.  As I researched a bit about this band,  Casey Harris, the keyboardist for X Ambassadors is blind.  I’ve often thought that being blind in this world might be a huge blessing.  I know it may sound blasphemous and dismissive, but so much of my judgment of others if filtered through my eyes.  Watching the heartfelt video, it made me feel hopeful and challenged to have more courage.  I don’t often feel this way after watching a music video.  All hail the underdogs. I love this phrase. If you feel like an underdog, as I often have, I salute you.  Hang in.

Renegades by the X Ambassadors

Run away with me
Lost souls and reverie
Running wild and running free
Two kids, you and me

And I say
Hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

Long live the pioneers
Rebels and mutineers
Go forth and have no fear
Come close the end is near

And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

All hail the underdogs
All hail the new kids
All hail the outlaws
Spielberg’s and Kubrick’s

It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
Let’s begin

And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Leaving like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

So my resolution is a simple and not-so-simple one:  Go forth and have no fear.  What would 2017 be like without fear?

Until next Friday.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

I’ve managed to maintain my current weight during the holidays, even though I’ve been eating more chocolate than usual.  Thank you for the coffee nut M&Ms, and not just 1 lb, but 2lb, thanks for thinking of me my Middle, you always take good notes on what I love. (Oh gosh, what could be better than peanut M&Ms? Ones that have coffee flavor…)  I’ve decided that completely abstaining from all-things-chocolate, isn’t healthy for anyone, and abstaining is certainly not moderation, right?  I need to moderately engage in a chocolate indulgence, thank you very much.  That’s just what I’m doing.

Another thing I’ve discovered recently, my temperature gauge has changed.  I am now cold, all the time.  I’ve always felt like I run at least 10 degrees hotter than everyone else in the room, and now, I’m 10 degrees cooler.  The true test will be summer.  Will I sweat when temperatures reach 80 degrees?  Tune in again in July.





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