Talked to a friend today - one who I have known for at least 35 years! Wow. Can any of YOU guys say that? Today, well, today is HER 40th birthday. And, based on pics I have seen (because I haven't seen her in person in, oh, 15 years!), she is as strikingly beautiful as ever. Five wonderful children. Happily married. She sounded so wonderfully content and happy.
Somewhere in the conversation about how we can't believe we are 40!, dieting, aging, life...she said something that just smacked me in the face. "I have gotten to a point where I am okay with myself, just the way I am." Well, I have always been jealous of her beauty, her brains, her gorgeous straight blonde hair (when we were little) - but now, I'm jealous of her heart.
Not jealous in a bad way, but envious that I haven't quite gotten to that place. Here I am, STARVING myself, for what? A bathing suit. I have a wonderful husband, three gorgeous daughters, a nice home, supportive family, and a fun job. So, what do I do? I stress about my body. I am 5'10" and weigh 152. No matter how long I starve or workout, my body REFUSES to let go of another pound. I told another friend this week, "I'm thinking about just giving up." Not giving up on eating more healthy, but giving up on the notion that I might one time in my life have a bathing suit-worthy body.
I told her, I have realized that the whole weight issue, is really vanity at this point. I am at a healthy NUMBER. I am healthy. My blood pressure is 112/70 - every single time it is taken. My total cholesterol has never been over 115. The half of my thyroid that I have left, is dysfunctional, but under control and at proper levels. I can't fool myself into believing I am dieting for MY HEALTH! No. Vanity. Plain and simple. So, is it a sin? Probably. But, face it girls, admit it...this is a sin we Christian women would NEVER really bring up in small group. It is such an accepted slight - one we even kind of make spiritual in a way - by talking badly of ourselves, our bodies....takes the vanity away. Negates any bragging that might pop out. But, isn't it also vane to constantly worry about it?
So, hmmm....can I do it? I want to, but I know in my heart, three weeks from now in Aruba...there's gonna be a European couple on that dive boat. Never fails. Never. She? She will be a bronzed, dutch, blonde bombshell, not one ounce of fat, in a bathing suit I can fit in my wallet. He? He will be a middle-aged, balding, spindly, hairy dude in a speedo. Not fair. Charlie gets to look at THAT, while I am left with THAT! I swear there is the same type of couple on every boat. And, every time I try to tell myself, well....she hasn't had babies, she is all of 24 years old, she, she, she.
That's not me. And she's not me. She doesn't have my family. She doesn't have my wonderful children who account for those acres of stretch marks on my stomach and thighs. One sweet baby girl for each of the three wrinkles on my forehead. She doesn't have my laugh, or my smile, or my crazy fitted-sheet folding skills. Nope. Maybe I'll give up and just enjoy my husband and our trip ALONE. Hey, speaking of my husband! SHE doesn't have 24/7 access to Dancin' Jimmy's seriously strong dance moves! So, there!