Too Wordy for Instagram...
So, I took the top 3 pictures last Thursday, the day before #Harvey hit us. Obviously, I was soon too busy prepping, and then worrying, and then watching in desperate terror as my hometown was devastated, to post this. We spent days being deluged, watching helplessly from our windows, wondering if the rains and wind would ever stop before everything we knew was gone, and whether we'd ever see the sun again.
Now, a week later, the rains have finally stopped, although rampant flooding continues, and we're all enjoying seeing the sun again. Those of us fortunate enough to stay high and dry throughout the storm are now consumed with heartbroken empathy for those who lost loved ones, homes, possessions, and pets; and we also feel a twinge of guilt for coming through it unscathed, when so many in our town have lost so much.
Through the eyes that have now seen and lived through the worst rains our country has ever seen, the reason I took those pictures now seems so unimportant...so trivial in light of the rampant loss all around me.
Inspired by all the body positivity posts I'd been seeing, reminding women everywhere of what "real" bodies look like, and assuring them of the beauty and value we so often are blind to in our own selves, I had been annoyed by an article I'd read the night before. I clicked on it because the headline said something like, "She weighs HOW much?" I thought it was going to show celebrities who had weights more similar to our own than we realized. HAH! Yeah, right!
What ensued was me clicking through the slideshow, rolling my eyes at the pathetic excuse for "overweight" and "healthy" they were showing. The first woman, the one in the article's picture, was an expectedly awesome-looking fitness model. What blew me away was her weight, that I was supposed to find surprising: 137 pounds! And she's SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT!!! I don't even know how that's healthy!! How in the world, with all that heavy muscle on your admittedly lean body, are you growing a child and only weigh 137 pounds at 7 months??!! And she said she'd gained 18 lbs with this pregnancy - meaning she started off at 119. So much for this article helping real women with their body image!
Now, I give that woman major props for the rock-hard body she's obviously worked her ass off to get. And, as long as her doctors say what she's doing is healthy for her baby, then more power to her! But the rest of the pictures just drove home the fact that this article would do nothing but hurt the body image of a vast majority of American women.
At least Hoda Kotb admitted she was 152 lbs, albeit with a promise to get in shape because of that weight. She wasn't loving her body at that weight, but at least she was sharing in the struggle so many of her followers live daily.
Then we get to Kylie Jenner: 136 lbs. Oh boo fucking hoo!! She said she enjoyed her "chunkiness" at this weight, over being a skinny 120. Yeah, 136 is skinny on my body, at 120 I look like a skeleton with flesh hanging off.
At least Amy Schumer, at 150, was giving women a realistic idea of what healthy looks like for so many of us.
Then we had Kourtney Kardashian at a whopping 116. And the next chick was 115. Are these people like 5 feet tall? Because that's the only way I can see these weights and think anything other than "skinny bitch."
I even weighed more than the GUYS in this article!! Although that doesn't surprise me, with all the slight, testosterone-deprived men in Hollywood.
Even Sofia Vergara, that loveable Latina, for all her voluptuous curves, only clocks in at 130!
117,107,115, 135 - the last one finally sounds normal, until you read that she said "I need to weigh 100 lbs!" Uhhh...it says you're 5'7" - my height. That would be beyond anorexic for my height. WTF is wrong with these people?!
130,137-138, 124 - any women out there feeling better from this article?? I sure didn't! The last one: 161 pounds. Ok, Tyra Banks, you earned a new fan with that one, although you do stretch that out, being 3 inches taller than me!
Anyway, I was quite disenchanted with those numbers - that article totally did not go how I thought it would! Before I went to bed, I vowed that the next morning I would weigh, and after doing my Pilates I would take pictures to show what a REAL weight looks like. And not a bullshit weight that they give to a magazine to make themselves feel better.
The next morning, I weighed in at 159 pounds. I did my Pilates before lunch for my 19th day in-a-row. I was trying to break my old streak from 2007 of 30+ days in-a-row, but I got distracted by that son of a bitch Harvey. After I ate lunch, I threw on some shorts and a bralette and took these pictures. My husband was...not happy...with this idea at all, but I told him I felt compelled to do it.
THIS IS WHAT 159 POUNDS LOOKS LIKE!!!
I'm not saying this is healthy or unhealthy, I'm just showing you real pictures of a real body, with a real weight, in the hopes it makes you feel better than the magazines do about your own weight struggles.
My husband thinks I'm perfect, despite my constant arguments to the contrary, and that's all I care about.
At my heaviest, I weighed 30 lbs more than this, about the time I broke my foot Christmas Eve 2013. At my skinniest, I weighed 30 lbs less than this, a little under a year ago. My husband thought I was WAY too skinny. He could feel every rib and bone in my spine when he rubbed my back at night, and my wide hip bones jutted out so sharply I surprised myself with their thinness every time I touched them. I couldn't believe I was 128 lbs. again, for the first time since I'd been about that weight when I got out of the hospital. But Scott really thought I was too skinny. He loves me at any weight, hell, he thought I was perfect at 189...but being under 130 was just too skinny, as far as he's concerned. And that's fine with me! I love that he finds real women sexier than Victoria's Secret models (although they, of course, are sexy in their own right), that he loves my curves and thighs, and that he sees sexy beauty in me that most often eludes me when I stand in front of the mirror.
When I look at these pictures, I see pale flaws and flab I want to get rid of. I see the girl that's been watching and battling her weight for the past 23 years. I'm trying to see what Scott sees - the hourglass figure, nice legs, and body that's perfectly normal for a woman to have.
I'm trying to join this "self love" movement, because I know I need to love myself better to win out over my depression. I'm trying not to care that I have stretch marks and no kids, or that my tummy jiggles a little more than I want it to when I'm standing in front of the mirror, under lights that don't do me any favors.
But, at the same time that I try to get back on track with my Pilates and develop better self love (both in the best interest of my mental health, more so than my physical), it's the love of my fellow man that consumes me right now. The love and compassion that I feel, and that I'm seeing displayed on such a grand scale to the hometown and state I love.
I don't have the resources to be able to donate money to the recovery funds, and I've cleaned out my closet to make donations so many times in the past that I really don't have anything left to give away. Maybe some pajamas?
I'm trying to come up with ways I (as a permanently disabled woman who doesn't move too fast, with one working arm) can help in the recovery effort. As a native Houstonian, born and raised, I feel I must find SOME way I can help. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. I've thought about if I can get enough people to see this, trying to get pledges for every day I do Pilates: $1/day or something like that. Then I'd be way more motivated to break my old streak, since every day I did them in a row it would be for #Texas. Let me know what you think, and if you or someone you know would be up for getting on board with cheering me on and raising money for my hometown and state! Maybe I can make this happen!
**Interested in trying Pilates, but think it's difficult, or don't know where to start? It's waaay easier and more fun than yoga! I'll put a link to the beginner's Pilates DVD I got started with in high school at the end of this. I'm very inflexible normally, so if I can modify the exercises and do them in my gimpy body, you can too (gimpy or not)! I had the VHS, but since releasing the DVD version, there appear to be bonus extras! Just scroll down!
#loveyourself but #loveothers more
Today is Day 3 of starting my Pilates count over - I started August 31st (a week from the last time I'd done them).