“I discovered something about my body shape in yoga class”, I proclaimed while driving the other day, attempting to have a meaningful conversation with my teenagers.
“What…your flab?” one child, whose name shall go unmentioned proudly announced, hardly looking up from texting with their friend.
He was teasing, but gee, did he have to be so…RIGHT?
What I was GOING to say is I realized that some women have longer arms and torso’s than mine, which makes some yoga moves harder for someone with my body shape to achieve. And I also noticed the strength of my legs makes certain poses easier for me and harder for those long-torsoed ladies. So while I may struggle in some areas, I’m pretty strong in others.
Still, the “flab” comment (granted, it was said in jest, not with evil intention) reminded me that truth-be-told, I will never be a perfect size…well, you fill in the blank.
What is your “perfect weight and body size standard? Do you ever long to fit into those pre-baby-bearing sized jeans?
And what exactly should you say to someone who announces, “I look so fat in these jeans”. Sometimes women really ARE fat-looking and they genuinely want you to be honest with them – or at least empathize with the difficult plight of keeping unwanted pounds at bay. Other women tell you they are “soooo fat” and you just want to throttle them because they are skinny as a toothpick!!
Some of us need encouragement while others are fishing for a compliment. How do we know which is the case? We want to encourage the women who need encouragement, yet we don’t want to “feed into the addiction” of someone’s belief that they aren’t skinny enough when they are clearly a gorgeous size….well, you fill in the blank.
Girls are rarely happy with their figures. I found this to be universally true until I met a magnificent woman named Myrtle. She was a charming, Southern lady the tender age of 82 – although you never would have guessed her age unless she told you. A homely-looking woman in anyone’s book, she taught me a lesson I will never forget. She believed herself to be the most beautiful woman on earth; not in a prideful way, but in a ‘freedom-from-feeling-guilty’ sort of way.
“All my life my Daddy and Mother always told me, ‘Myrtle, you are beautiful. And I believe them. I’ve never felt shame about how I look a day in my life.” What beauty and grace she exuded. And she possessed a the greatest gift of all: freedom from Comparison. Guilt. Pressure.
I downloaded a GREAT song on iTunes called, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” – [ProTracks Pop Karaoke] The lyrics ring so true for we Mom’s: “…in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really look. You are not as fat as you imagine.”
That songwriter is right!! I took his advice and looked back at photos of myself, “back in the day”. I was thinner back then, thinner than I am today; yet at that time I remembered thinking even back then, “gee I need to lose weight. I’m not as thin as I’d like to be.”
Are we ever?
Most of us are at peace with the realization we inherited body shapes that will never allow us to be top model skinny – yet I suspect we’ll always be conscious of maintaining an acceptable weight ‘in the world’s eyes’ for years to come.
However there’s one ‘universal size’ every Mama is always proud to bear: the overflowing-with-love Size “Extra-Large” filled heart she proudly displays towards her babies.
And Moms, I’d say our love-filled hearts are the “perfect size” - on any scale.