Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bare Bones

I was looking for a cool image of a running skeleton but I really liked this one because it looks so joyous and free. And light. Not that I want to be all bones, by a long shot. Just that I’d love to be free of all the extra crap I carry around. If there is something on my body that will weigh me down, I want it to be providing something useful in return. So I’ll keep my bones, and my muscles, as heavy as they are per volume (in fact I’ll take a few more of those please, makes it easier to move the bones). My brain is a bit heavy, but important, as are the rest of my organs. My appendix is useless but it’s probably not weighing me down a WHOLE lot.

And I don’t indiscriminately hate all of my fat. I’m a curvy chick. Being a curvy chick unfortunately contributed to my fear of exercise. There is nothing like being ogled by the entire 6th grade as you attempt to run in your new C cup bra. Ergo – running = humiliation and shame. But being a curvy chick is also who I am. And I must admit, I know how to work it. Although I’d appreciate a more manageable cup size I’d never wish the girls away completely. And the same goes with the whole hourglass thing I’ve got going on. Even when I’m strong and fast and kicking butt I’d like to be cuddly and soft when the mood strikes.

But believe me, that leaves plenty that I’d love to drop away. Wouldn’t it be lovely to collect it all in grocery sacks and then just set it down and walk away from it? To experience that relief when you drop all 27 grocery bags that you struggled into the house because somehow cutting off the circulation to your fore arms was a small price to pay to save you from having to make . . God forbid . . . more than one trip back to the car? What if we could do that with our bodies?

I started this process because I wanted to look better. I also wanted to feel better and the chronic pain issues were and are very real and immediate. But at the end of the day I must acknowledge the fact that every diet and fitness attempt I’ve made in my life has been primarily motivated by my desire to conform myself to an ideal image.

If I had the ability to just drop all the extra fat and walk away from it, I never would have discovered that, even after decades of stifling it, I could rediscover the joy of movement. I would have wasted the “accomplishment” on parading around in skinny jeans lapping up compliments. What I’m gaining now is so much more valuable. It doesn’t matter if no one watches me run. Just the fact that I’m doing it impresses the hell out of me. And the feeling I get when I find that little extra bit of power when I thought I was done can’t come from outside me. I’m thankful I didn’t find an easy way to get into skinny jeans. I would have missed so much along the way.

Happy Halloween!


j said...

you are an inspiration, Shannon.

Rachel said...

I am right there with you, girl! My 'girls' are not small either (G) and are going away just as fast as the rest of my weight is. It's hard to understand because they've always been there (always - as in middle school).

I'm learning, changing, and shrinking all over. But I'll never be less than curvy and I'm totally ok with that, too! :)