I have a friend who, in my opinion, is almost perfect. A beach babe with a killer figure, she is tall, tan, blonde, and has blue eyes. I picture myself as her when I’m working out on the spin bike, my eyes burning from the sweat. Yes, I place my face on her body; she is my ideal body. I make out that I’m on the Jersey shore, strolling past the boardwalk barefoot like she does while sporting a matching top and sparkling white shorts, and that my hands are holding jeweled flip-flops.
As my friend, I enjoy a variety of activities. I picture myself in Greece, climbing the hills of the Acropolis without a care in the world despite the arid climate and 104 degree temperatures. Since my sparkling white shorts and matching top are perfect for me and I am in excellent shape. If she were alive, life would be good. How could someone have issues with a body like that? There wouldn’t be many issues. Okay, even if there were a couple of “problems”, they wouldn’t affect me all that much. How could they, if I looked that good I’d be feeling too good.
Last Saturday, I went out for the day with a friend. Ms. for the entire day Perfect. We were hanging out poolside, sipping one too may colorful frozen drinks when she blurts out, “I simply detest my physical appearance. I’d like to weigh just 30 pounds. skinnier, Mary, I’d be so joyful.” My wooden umbrella nearly caused me to choke. “30 lbs.?”, I said perplexed, “you don’t have 30 lbs. to lose.” “Are you kidding me?!” She glares at me with the intense focus of a cat hunting her prey, “Look at this!”, pounding a fist into her thighs, then pointing to her arms, stomach, butt, just about every body part except for her eyelids. “I could lose 10 pounds by looking at this huge thing, this huge thing, and this huge thing. here alone, look at this. It’s just disgusting.”
I immediately inform her that she needs to have her head examined. I said, “I’d be so content if I resembled you, Doreen.” She quickly retaliates, “I’d be so happy if I lost 30 pounds.”
Afterward, there was silence.
It was awkward.
It was pregnant.
I had a realization at that point. I questioned whether I even existed. I wouldn’t want to weigh 30 pounds if I looked like my friend. skinnier, too? Maybe, just maybe. See, it’s all about me now; it’s not about my size, my weight, how attractive I am, or even my health. You, me, and the friend I’ve come to know as Doreen made up the trio. It is a mindset; it is personal. And it’s called “miserable”. Yes, there are women who are unhappy despite having curvy, beautiful, glowing, healthy bodies. Complaining and a constant desire to change one’s identity She is there, flawless and miserable. Could someone else’s misery be my perfect? Could it be that someone else’s perfection is my misery? Then when do we ever feel content?
A woman in a bikini who is overweight suddenly passes us. She chases her 4-year-old while her cellulite flaps in the wind. Bikini bottom hanging over belly, hanging over belly, and hanging over belly. She gave her daughter a giant kiss while lifting her into the air. As they played, ate, and laughed. This woman was clearly having a great time. She was curvy, bordering on outright overweight, but she didn’t let that stop her in the least. Having a great time, she was joyful. My first thought was, “Gee, if I looked like her, I’d be so ashamed to walk around like that.” Her confidence and beauty, however, caught my attention when I gave her a second look. Oh my God, she was gorgeous. Her inner beauty shone through in every way; she was perfect. And then there was me and my friend; yes the friend I’ve come to know as Doreen, the friend with the 18% body fat, and me– me who works out
2 hours a day 6 days a week– we both are miserable–just having a pity party, complaining on life.
In that instant, there was a lot to learn. I came to the realization that there are two types of curvaceous: happy and unhappy. I came to understand that some people will never be content, regardless of their weight. I understood that some of us could be content no matter our weight. It’s you and not the weight.
By embracing your curves, you can live a happy life. Or you could be a miserable version of yourself who doesn’t like the curves you do. You remain who you are regardless of your decision. As Billy Joel sings, “either way, it’s okay, you wake up with yourself.” So why not choose happiness???
Yes, I have come to understand that happiness and self-love are choices. This realization came to me that day at the pool with the tiny wooden umbrella in my drink. All you need to do is select it.
I’ll go with Happy. He was also always Snow White’s preferred choice.
by Mary Dimino