Flappy arms and back folds and I don’t mind

Why would I buy the lie I could look like I did at 16 when I’m 30? Like I do at 30 when I’m 50?

Bodies change. I have carried two babies, breastfed two children, gone crazy and come back, gone to hell and physical therapy, burned, birthed, loved, lived, changed how I ate and moved and carried myself through it all. I will never look the way I did at 16 (hot) again; I will no longer look the way I do now at 30 (hot) in ten years, twenty (probably still hot, but maybe I won’t care anymore).

There was nothing I did then that I could replicate now to have the body I did at 16; I was, simply, 16. I could do what I did then, stay up all night and sleep in and not eat until dinner and have sex five times in a day and flirt and flirt and fight and flirt and I still won’t look like me then, not even if, for a short time, I weigh like me then. Like a teenager. Like someone who doesn’t know better, hasn’t learned better, doesn’t care for herself better.

And that’s fine. It’s fine. It’s all fine, and it will be fine, and I have no obligation (though every permission) to love or even tolerate any part of me, but I find little point in believing the delusion I can be as I was, either.

Maybe you see that as fatalist, defeatist. I see it as radical acceptance, of who I am, how I am, when I am. I could waste my energy trying to be who I am not anymore, I could. Or — what a miraculous word — I could be who I am now, fully and freely, spend my energy figuring that out, fleshing out the possibilities of me-now.

I choose me.

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5 Responses to Flappy arms and back folds and I don’t mind

  1. YES.

    FWIW, you are beautiful, in every possible way. <3

  2. Pingback: Back fat remix | Raising My Boychick

  3. I am working on the whole radical acceptance of who I am, how I am, when I am. Trying to quit too the whole mentality of, “Well, I’ll love myself when I do/lose/become x…”

    You’re fabulous not just because you just ARE (and you are, just so you know). You’re also fabulous because you inspire this in all of us readers.

    (Truth be told, though, I’d love to find a way to be able to get very little sleep like I did when I was 19 and STILL function the next day. Meh.)

  4. Yes.

    Have you ever seen “The Same River Twice”? It’s a documentary about hippies who look back on their free-spirited nekkid days. There was this line where the filmmaker asks one of the now middle-aged folks something like, Do you miss your 20s? Do you envy the young? And he said, “No, that was my time to be 28, and now I’m this age.” I don’t know — it just struck me as so simple and so wise and so accepting. Why not just be who we are now, not in competition with who we used to be or with who anyone else is?

  5. Oh man. Now I have to tell you my mini-novel. Well, I don’t. But I really want to and this nice comment spot is here for me. And the internet loves me no matter how annoying I am–I tell myself.

    I’m 31. As an adult I have weighed between 140 and 218. I am currently hovering around 160. I have a four year old and a two year old. I will run a marathon in eight days. I’ve been training for ten months. Before that I had never really done what one might consider “running” unless people were chasing me to beat me up. I was beat up a lot. So mostly I learned to not leave my house. I have Complex PTSD for a laundry list of reasons. I stay home a really lot.

    Getting out and running has been amazing for me. It has taught me to think about my body in a very different way. I have always hated myself. But the past few years have taught me to think very differently about my body.

    I won’t let someone rape me again. I have a very different opinion of myself now. I am pretty sure I would rather die in the fight. I am a lot stronger than I knew I was. I learned that I had to be a victim. I don’t. I didn’t understand how they rigged the game.

    It’s been hard to train. Guys in my neighborhood shout at me. Dyke. Whore. Lesbian. Bitch. How dare I appear in public looking so unattractive to them–right?

    I’ve thought about killing myself nearly every day for twenty years. It seems marginally less likely that I will end my life in suicide by the year. Part of it has been how I have learned to think about my body. I don’t self-harm in a million tiny ways all day every day. Withholding food. Overeating. Only being allowed to eat one thing. Whatever. I can’t do those things and fuel an animal that has to run 26.2 miles. It just isn’t possible.

    It’s weird how thinking of myself as an animal has made me be kinder to myself. It took crying and realizing that I wouldn’t treat a dog the way I treat me.

    Your blog makes me think. Thanks.

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