Monday, September 11, 2006

Body, image

Body, image

We ate tonight at a new restaurant that had a full wall of mirror in the dining room. I haven't had a full length mirror to reflect in since we came to Las Cruces. As usual, I'd forgotten how solid my torso is.

I measure 42-38-42. Some ways off the designated 'ideal'. I do have trouble finding pants that fit well.

What I saw was not fat, but armor. Here's the layer covering my abdomen, shielding from the knife that has twice sliced from navel to bikini line. Here's the padding to cushion the impact next time my car gets rear ended. Here's this much distance from the cruelty of the world.

I live, as best I can, open to the world. Optimistic and ready to engage. Or so I thought. But here I saw, some part of me wants walls and protections. Some part of me is blocking and shielding and coating me in fear.

I've never dieted. My body stabilizes well, maintaining the same weight except under exceptional stress. I stayed, without effort, at the same weight for five years before that little car accident, then gained ten pounds, and have stayed there for the last four. The other period when I first went over my 'ideal' weight saw our family farm go bankrupt, my brother killed in a car accident, and more -- how can I see these pounds with anything but compassion?

Of course, I would like to be healthier. That is a separate issue.

All in all, I could only think kindly of that shape in the mirror. Yes, she's heavier than ideal. Yes, I could work on that. And yes, that's me and my history, my flesh, my choices.

Doug, bless him, said I looked great.

I think acceptance first, and change as it comes.

And may you all come to peace with your bodies.