I made it to the gym again today. And by "made it" I actually mean "whew, the car made it there and back." Amber's my lucky charm - I swear talking to her on the phone post-workout made it go.
Anyhoo, as I was on the elliptical trainer this afternoon, I started thinking - a dangerous prospect, in and of itself. But it was good thinking. About halfway through the workout, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt powerful. I felt like this little workout thing was a piece of cake, and I could damn well kick it up a notch.
It was an amazing feeling, especially considering how I've felt over the last week. Anyone who knows me also knows that I have this sort of love-hate relationship with my body. No matter what kind of shape its in, I can never seem to really dig it as it is. This probably explains the bulimia that damn near got the best of me in my 20's, the near meltdown on spring break 1997, my fear of bathing suits and the way my self-esteem seems to run directly inverse to my size. Trust me, I'm not proud of the way I've treated my body like Woodstock rather than the temple for which it was intended, but still and all I do what I can, and I try to look as good as I can.
For some reason, most boys are just too stupid to notice or care. Just last week, I got to spend some time with a fella I was kinda sweet on. It was great fun, until someone thinner and more beautiful walked in. Suddenly, the girl who isn't a perfect size six became invisible.
It was a horrible feeling. I cried a lot, and when I cry, it gets ugly. But eventually, I stopped crying, and started feeling better. There is only so much crying one woman can do, after all! And I started focusing on myself - how I feel about me, not how other people feel about me. It sounds selfish, but being invisible served as a stark reminder that, sometimes, it has to be all about me. There isn't a damn thing I can do about the fact that the boy behaved like a cretin, or the skinny girl garnered more attention than I. That's just life. But I can hang out inside myself, and figure out what's going on in there.
And today, halfway through my workout, it came at me like a flood. I love my body. It isn't perfect. It jiggles more than it should. It is lumpier than I'd like it to be. But it is also a work in progress. And throughout that progress, I am finding that my body is strong. My body is powerful. My body may not look beautiful, but it is. There is beauty in every curve, every muscle, and yes, every lump, because it's all me.
I am strong. I am powerful. (Sheesh, I'm starting to sound like Helen Reddy. Forgive me.) And yes, there is beauty here. Sometimes it hides, but it's always there.
Maybe you have to be kinda smart to see it. And maybe the boy in question is just a typical dumb guy. Poor sucker.