Stray Dog Revolution
It was almost a year ago now that I fell into a full fledged tailspin about my life: my career, my body, the overwhelming feeling that there was so much more to this crazy ride and why wasn't I anywhere close to where I thought I'd be in my 40s? Call it a midlife crisis brought about by the depths of winter (or "winter" since I do, after all, life in beautiful California) or an identity crisis brought on by that hiatus from the self called motherhood- it doesn't much matter. What does matter is how stuck and hopeless I felt. So I decided one way out was to put health and fitness front and center. I mean I'd always had a passion for these things, but now I was serious. And I was gonna help others along the way. We'd transform together and it would be amazing. And in the end I would have a success story and be able to say, "See? I did it! So can you!" Fast forward.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite working out pretty much every day for the past year and eating in a way to support my goals, my body remains much the same. I still don't look like someone that eats right and works out regularly. I look like a middle-aged mom who's focused on other things in life and doesn't have time to give a flying fuck about what her body looks like anymore. I wish that was me. I wish I was self-evolved enough to be her, the woman who laughs with ease as she eats a brownie without the slightest sense of guilt or shame. The woman who has accepted her amazing body and all its faults with grace and love. The woman who passes on that confidence to her own daughter. Don't get me wrong: there are fleeting moments where I am her and feel at peace , at one with the universe. But they are few and far between.
I could blame society and the impossible standards of beauty it sets for us from the time we are girls, or patriarchy for making it seem as if beauty was the "be all-end all" to power and success as a female, or other women when we pick each other apart and compete for the scarce resource of good men. I don't, though. Because the only person I really have to blame is myself. Through all the years of eating disorders (nothing diagnosed, but definitely spent much of my life obsessed with food and calories and fat) the one thing I've avoided was doing the hard work, the soul-crushing work, that it takes to become that other woman. The one that loves herself completely: scars, cellulite, fat, bone, muscle, hair and all. The one that accepts what is and appreciates the very real fact that it could all be taken from her in a moment.
Maybe it's time to finally do it. Better late than never, right?
Does this mean I'm going to quit working out? Does it mean I'm going to stuff my face with all the forbidden food? Probably not. What I do know is that I'm no longer going to shy away from the hard, scary truths. I'm not going to avoid the discomfort, the awkward conversations, my inner voice that screams at me to listen to her. Because hopelessness and despair shouldn't be the result of not being able to get into a pair of pants in your closet: there are bigger fish to fry. So to speak.