I am currently ensnared in a state of Skinny Fat. Normal amount of pounds, too many of them made of fat- not alarming yet, but worth my attention. I have no excuses. Gym memberships, perfectly paved roads, good sneakers… what gives?
I have worn probably every size from here, a well filled out medium/baggy large, to baggy small since being an adult. And let me tell you, well filled out is a much safer place, in my mind. When I was very thin, people would tell me I looked great, which always caused me to look at them sideways. How could I look great? I rattled around in my clothes, cheekbones jutting out of my face in a skeletal fashion. That isn’t great.
I felt afraid among the super slim: vulnerable, as though any stiff wind might knock me over. And no matter how skinny I became, my hip bones were still the same width apart. I was wide and terribly small at the same time. Skinny left me feeling weak, and my sickness showed. A man, who seems rather random from this vantage point, broke off dating me because he wanted a “healthy mom” for his children. I was certainly in poor health, but dang.
I had splitting headaches from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep for the night.
My legs ached, pin and needling me from the tips of my toes to my hips. My fingers were almost always numb, sometimes curling uselessly into loose fists in their ineffectiveness.
During The Sick Years, I would pray, and my prayers were promises.
“Lord, when you heal me, (somebody told me to pray as though it were already done. I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate any kind of mojo I could conjure…) I will walk everywhere I go. I’ll park at the edge of every lot, just to use my amazing legs. I will take good care of the body you’ve given me. I will dance.”
I wasn’t only praying for healing, though. I visited doctors, and naturopaths, and chiropractors. I changed my whacked out bar food diet. I walked every day, although I would always cry on the way home. It was so tiring, walking just two miles, that I would go extra early so that I could have a nap before work.
There were times I was so exhausted that I would lie on the floor between meetings to avoid fainting. One day a colleague saw me lying on the floor, and said, “That’s bad, isn’t it?”
I told him yes, and he said, “Well, I don’t want you looking lazy if someone comes by. I’d better lay on the floor with you.” And he did.
I still love the guy for that.
We talked over departmental goals as though nothing was wrong. Someone did come by, and because the entire meeting was on the floor, she joined us without even mentioning where we were sitting.
Walking back to our hotel that night, my colleague asked me if I wanted to hail a cab. “No.” I told him. “I’d better walk. I’m going to walk until I fall down.”
And so, what keeps me from the gym these days, now that I fight Fat back on a daily basis? The idea that I am healed and it will last forever? Thinking that I’ve had my share of pain and will not be asked by the Universe to go back? I think it is a short memory. I think that once the dust of hard times settles, it is simplest sometimes to pretend that everything is always alright, and always has been.
I remember the sick years, and I remember my promises from them.
I will dance the new year in.
Skinny or fat or skinnyfat, my body is amazing.