Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tricks of the Mind

Photo by Leenie

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with what I'll probably end up writing about tonite but I spotted it over at my friend Leenie's blog this morning and I found the colors and light to be so beautifully captured by her. She's an amazing photographer. And I have her permission to use her photos on my blog for which I'm very thankful. Even so, thank you once again, my Leenie Beanie!

What is it about women and weight and their own body image? I don't think I'll ever figure myself out, let alone the rest of my sisterhood around the world. While I was on hormone drug therapy for almost two years for a precancerous condition I felt as big as a beached whale. The doctor had warned me I'd retain a lot of water and put some weight on. And I did tho it wasn't an alarming amount of weight by any means. Mostly mid-section belly bloat more than anything. But no matter which way I'd stand or suck in my stomach -- or attempt to suck in my stomach -- it seemed like that bloated soccer-ball sized belly of mine was just...there. Taunting me and so unattractive. Resting on my lap every time I sat down. Even so, my clothes continued to fit. I didn't have to rush out and buy any bigger sizes. The only thing I wished for was that tunic tops were still in style so I could 'camouflage' my distended belly. A note to clothes designers here: WHY can't you make the hems of knit tops and sweaters maybe 6" longer for us midlife mamas to help us cover up that belly bulge?!

After giving birth to a 12-pound baby and having a belly-button-to-pelvic-bone c-section, I have never been able to tolerate anything tight across my lower stomach. Or anything that rubs along the scar area, even tho it's long-faded. Even so, it's still there and the adhesions beneath it. Zippers are no longer a part of my wardrobe. Either are fitted waist bands. Every skirt and/or pair of pants I own are elastic-waist just for that reason. I spend a large amount of my day down on the floor with my grandson, playing with him or crawling along when we play a game we made up called "Little Doggy" that he just loves. I recently wore a hole in the knee of my favorite pair of jeans, which left me with only one pair of full-length jeans...I have a couple pair of crop-length for warmer weather. Crop jeans don't look so hot this time of year, especially with my sneakers and my wild red "Kiss Me!" socks my daughter bought me for Christmas that have kissy-lips all over them. I think I have the reputation of being eccentric enough around here without adding that to it. When Dear Hubby and I went to the Goodwill in Oregon City on Saturday, I looked thru the jeans and found a pair with an elastic waist in my size but 'Petite'. I stood there for a few minutes mulling over whether I should spend $4.99 for them without trying them on first...the place was packed...since I didn't think they'd really fit, being Petite and all. I hadn't bought any jeans since before my hemorrhage so I was going completely by blind faith that I even wore the same size as it was...I was sure the only reason my 'old' jeans still fit was because they were worn and comfortable and all stretched out. I decided to live on the wild side and bought the jeans. I brought them home and Dear Hubby asked me if I was going to try them on. I told him, "No, not right now. Later." I was sure I was going to be horribly disappointed. I just knew I was too big to fit in them.

Well, I finally tried them on this morning. And they fit perfectly, at least for me. Because they're even kind of BAGGY!!! I like my jeans loose and modest, not all sculpted and blood-constricting. And these are definitely loose and oh-so-comfortable. I even told Little Miss Chloe dog, who was lying on the bed watching me, "They FIT, Chloe!" She didn't seem the least bit impressed by the news but that's ok. I was impressed enough for both of us.

I'm not skinny by any means. But I'm not fat, either. Somewhere in-between. If I do feel a little 'pudgy' I'll cut back on foods. But I think I still have the image of the 221 1/2 pound woman I once was still lodged somewhere deep in my mind and I can't seem to dislodge it. Maybe that's a good thing because I will never allow myself to get to that point again but why can't I see myself realistically as I am now?! I've been at this stage a lot longer than I ever was at that stage. The brain is a funny, funny organ, isn't it? At the age of 54 I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, tho...I'll never have the body I had at 20 ever again. But I definitely don't have the body I had at 30 and I'm thankful for that!


Alaine (or Lanie) said...

Body image is something I struggle with. I was 130 pounds when I married Mike (only 7-1/2 years ago!) and now I'm close to 200. And I HATE it. My mom always warned me that I wouldn't be able to keep the weight off so easily and I didn't believe it. Well, now here I am struggling to lose it. I know I'm not HUGE but I sure feel it. And the funny thing is that when I mention it to my husband or my friends they look at me like I'm crazy. So then I start to think maybe I am crazy. HA. I think you are beautiful Kris. Even if you were 350 lbs I would think so. You have a kind and compassionate heart and that matters so much more than your physical appearance. And remember, when God looks at you he sees His son :)

Anonymous said...

Lanie is so right...what HE sees on the inside is what is important. Isn't it too bad our society has sold us such false information? But I too am struggling in the weight dept., never dreaming I would end up this huge. But though I never had a c-section, I have been like you for a very long time, Kris!! I cannot stand tight clothing!! Maybe it comes with our age!! I would be happy to have a decent head of hair!! I guess we all have something we wish was different. Well, ONE DAY we will once again have a great body, eh??

Liz said...

I have a pair of those socks too!

I bought - without trying on - a top last weekend. It was quite long and nicely-shaped so I thought it would be okay. I hadn't apprecaited the sort of material it was made from: clngy. To my belly! It's going right back!

Judy said...


I am fat.

(Hey, Lanie, we live in the same city!)

Jane Doh ! said...

I'm still way overweight, almost 16 months after having Marcus. I don't eat very often and I live on coffee which used to be enough for the weight to drop off but not now....I'm getting too old to just wish it away...lol.
Thank you once again for the compliments Kris...I'm struggling to be creative at the moment, I have so many other things that I need to do and I can't achieve anything. I loathe times like these...lol.