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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Don't Wait 'Til You're Skinny

It started a little over a decade ago.

This wrestling with my midriff. This layer that covers me. That trims down or builds up depending on the season. And how much peach cobbler my husband makes.

I can remember the first comments a few people who love me dearly first told me, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to stop gaining so much weight.

I was a ballerina, dancing in rehearsals, classes, and performances upward of 20 hours a week. Sometimes more.

And like so many in arts and sports where we're judged on the extension of our bodies, the flexibility, the coordination there was a clinical side to what we were most passionate about. A diet that fit us into our tutus and leotards.

A diet that kept us in leading roles and secured us into our costumes. A diet and intense exercise regime that kept the whispers away.

When I stopped dancing and the, albeit inevitable, weight-gain earned its way on my bones, I could feel their whispers. I could sense their judgement. Their assessment of my growing body passive but present.

And I don't think I've ever fully processed the impact that has had on the decisions I've made and opportunities I've let slide as a result. I don't think I've processed what it's like to have a bride assume my larger-than-I'd care-to admit dress size - and be right.

I don't think I've processed what it's like to lose 10 pounds here and there only to gain it back after a stressful, sad or, heck, even joyful season.

I don't think I've processed what it's like to run at least twelve miles a week and still look out of shape. 

I don't think I've processed what it's like to be a writer and have a no-no subject. What it's like to sit in counseling appointments and never breach the subject.

Because, I'll be vulnerable. I'll write about relationships, the big

mistakes, career flops. I'll go anywhere but there.

Never there.

But it doesn't impact only the writing. Or the counseling. Like everything, it's fluid. It bleeds outside the walls I build up in almost every aspect of my life.

Instagram, blogging and book deals are for pretty, thin people.

I could never do that as a career.

She'd never want to be friends with me.

I'm not that good at this. 

Being noticed? Having talent? Having a dream-job? That's really more fitting for a size-four than a size-fourteen.

Best to stay where you are.

I can't tell you how many opportunities I've let pass, how many

friendships I've kept at shallow's end, how many clothes I haven't tried

on or leadership roles I've left for other people while I've waited to be


"I'll get to it," I tell myself. "Skinny first, though."

But for some reason, through prayer, perhaps, or an unusual season of confidence, I stumbled into a breakthrough.

Maybe we don't all struggle with our weight. But, I believe that most people have their own version of skinny. Their own trait or life stage they reach for. Their own ideal they'd like to achieve before they allow their real-life start. For some it might be marriage. Others it might be starting a family. Fighting depression. Anxiety. Faithlessness. Anything.

I've been fighting this battle for a decade and skinny has not happened. Anything close has
Whatever your version of skinny is:

Don't wait to be skinny to be a better friend.

Don't wait to be skinny to put yourself out there.

Don't wait to be skinny to date.

To try a new hobby.

To fall back in love with an old one.

To ask yourself why not? And do what you've been meaning to but haven't. Because of fear. Because of doubt. Because the costume won't fit. Because of how you might be perceived by others.

Or even by yourself. 

photo credit: Waiting for the guests to assemble via photopin (license)

photo credit: Rainbow 99s via photopin (license)


Anonymous said...

Preach it, sister. This still trips me up subconsciously off/on despite being so much happier (and now with two good hips healthier, ironically enough despite the number on the scale) than when I was two sizes smaller years ago where I look at photos, think "Huh. I looked actually pretty good" but I was MISERABLE and so self-conscious and nasty to myself back then when those photos were taken, after those photos were taken...(you get the picture. I won't turn this into my own blog post. ;) )

PREACH. And I love you.

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Girl, I hear you. I look back on pictures and I'm like, I look so fit and healthy! But I remember what sort of things I said to myself when I was smaller. Erg! Healthy choices in body, mind and spirit are hard to connect but when they do we're our best.

Glad you're back in the blogosphere and I hope you're healing well and watching many interesting Netflix series while you rest :)

Unknown said...

Awesome stuff Brett!!! Really encouraging!!!

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Thanks, Yanni! You rock :)

Sydni said...

Love you, gorgeous friend!

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Back at you, lady! Miss you. Hope you're enjoying your amazing travels! I'd love to hear about them and catch up!

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