I’ve been told I’m negative. I’m too self-critical. I need to cultivate a better attitude. I need to stop taking myself so seriously. So, I’m going to work on a fresh, new, more positive and healthy attitude, especially with regard to my appearance. Starting right now.
Tonight when I put on my favorite, garish, sulphur-yellow sweatpants from J. Crew, I noticed that they fit. Yes. They fit. Sweatpants are meant to be baggy, aren’t they? Yet, this happens year after year at this time. Just before New Year’s, I realize that all those buttery cookies and glasses of wine, combined with my complete cessation of exercise, have turned me squishy again. Normally, this is enough to send me into a downward spiral of self-loathing and bitterness. I find myself paging through Us magazine, drawing Sharpie mustaches on that skinny, miso-broth swilling Gwyneth Paltrow. I seriously contemplate the diet benefits of chain smoking and calorie-free soda. I stop showering and wearing make up because, well…why bother? Then I curl up in bed with my laptop and order some bigger sweatpants so the tight waistband on my current sweatpants stops causing me reflux after the big old tamale dinners I can’t stop ingesting.
Well….that’s what the old me would do. The new me, the one with the positive, healthy body image is simply thrilled about my softness and the new fit for my sweatpants. It means that I’m comfortable in my skin and know it’s okay to go through phases, just like the moon. I realize I am the only one who notices the extra plump on my frame, and that it’s not as bad as I imagine it to be. I will not use the word “fat” to describe myself because I truly am not overweight by any measurement. And, I’m just going to go ahead and remove the drawstring from my sweatpants. It mocks with with its superfluousness. I no longer need it, so I’m just gonna pull that puppy right out and repurpose it. Maybe I can use it as a hair tie? I could put it in the camping first aid kit in case someone creates a need for a tourniquet while chopping firewood. Better yet, I’ll give it to my son, Luke. He likes to tie things up. I’m sure he’ll find good use for it in Barbie torture.
My current roundness is nothing to fret over. It’s just a temporary condition brought on by a season filled with yummy cookies and fudge and too little time to hit the gym. In a month, my midriff roll will be greatly diminished and my pants will all be slightly loose again. I’m just going to repeat this mantra to myself over and over again: “Even that skinny Gwyneth Paltrow had cellulite in The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
Okay. Maybe old habits die hard. Might have to take this one day at a time.