Tomorrow is my birthday. I am going to be 42 years old. I have spent far too many of those years saying really horrible things to myself, about myself. So, for my 42nd birthday, I am giving myself the best present possible: I am giving myself a break.
I have spent so many years being so blinded to the facts of my life, of the body I live in.
And the facts are these:
- No man that I’ve been with has ever turned around and run screaming from the sight of my body. Now, that’s not to say that any man’s reaction should dictate the way I feel about myself – it’s just that when I pause and THINK about it, the fact is that I’m obviously not a monster…no woman is. I am way harder on myself than anyone else is.
- When I am taking care of myself (getting regular – not excessive – exercise, and eating well), my body will be the shape that it’s going to be. I refuse to view it as something that needs to be beaten and pummeled into something that I cannot naturally or reasonably maintain.
- I am perfectly healthy the way I am. My blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol are all at (direct quote from my primary physician) “ridiculously normal” levels. In fact, they’re at the very same levels that they were when I weighed 120 pounds. This is me telling the Body Police to kindly stuff their “concern” that I need to worry about my health because I’m now carrying about 15 pounds more than some chart says I should. That number takes virtually nothing into consideration, like my activity level or my age.
- I am TIRED of beating myself up because I am almost 42 years old and don’t wear the same size skirt that I did at 18, or 25, or even 37. It is exhausting to be constantly obsessed over what I can and cannot eat. It is a colossal waste of my time and breath to APOLOGIZE for eating something, or to let everyone know that I’m going to the gym so it’s okay for me to eat this cookie. NOBODY FUCKING CARES, and if they DO, I’m going to have to wonder why I hang out with them.
- Whenever I equate food with character, I will always fail. Eating is not weakness. Food is sustenance, not something to be demonized. Entire industries thrive on making me feel shitty about myself. The ads that run along the side of my Facebook page tell me that my current jeans size is something to “fix,” that I will be happier, and “healthier” if I am at least 4-5 sizes smaller. If I start on their plan(s) NOW, I could be a size smaller in a matter of DAYS. This is me telling those companies to fuck right off.
- A flat stomach and ripped upper arms are neither the essence of beauty nor an indicator of good health. I needed to write this, and post it, so I can look at it again and again.
So tomorrow morning, I am taking the scale out of my bathroom, and I am putting it in the basement with the rest of the trash. Happy Birthday to me.