I love this lady.
Like some women . . . not all women . . . but a healthy number of women . . . or maybe an unhealthy number of women . . . I was obsessed with my weight. I measured quarter inches, weighed ounces, exercised and denied myself until there was nothing left to deny. I thought about my weight, my body, my image until it crowded out all other concerns. I knew if I were thin there would be nothing left I could ever want.
That was where I was three years ago.
Then something happened, a baby. Then another something happened, another baby. Then another, another something happened, a pregnancy which will hopefully result in baby three in the late fall.
I don’t obsess anymore.
It’s not like I’ve worked through my issues and suddenly I understand the glory of a women’s body. I mean, there are moments spent day-dreaming of the time when my body stops fluctuating to accommodate gestating or milk-drinking humans and my body is mine to deny again. But those idealistic moments are fleeting because there’s cheese to slice for grilled cheese sandwiches or shoes to tie or sleep to catch. I simply don’t have time to think much about my body–how it looks, how it sways, how it appeals– although sometimes my husband reminds me. You know, in that gratuitous–look at how big your chest is getting!–excited sort of way.
And when I exercise it’s really for clearing my mind. It’s to allow my spirit to breathe. I am sure it helps my cardiovascular system, I just don’t think about it much. I love the wisdom in this: Care not for the body, neither for the life of the body. But care for the soul, and the life of the soul.*
I think the soul is the spirit plus the body. A healthy spirit will build a healthy body. But focusing alone on the body will destroy the spirit.
Mostly, I wake up, put on my house dress and work until the day is done. And when the work is done (it’s never done) and the day is over I look at my body and thank it for being so accommodating. At the end of the day that is all I can ask of it. It was never meant to fulfill day dreams of perfection. It wasn’t created for attraction alone. It was meant to do what I needed it to do. And it does.