I have always been very critical of my looks. I was a cute little girl. Until I was about 5. Then I got awkward. I was always tall and thin. And I looked like my father. As a man, a strong nose, a strong jaw, thick eyebrows . . . these are all handsome, manly features. On a young woman, I just felt like they looked awkward. And I developed late. And since boobs tend to be the primary focus of teenage boys, it was not helpful to my self-image to be lacking in them. And I knew I didn’t have the delicate, fine-boned features that models and beauty-pageant contestants had, and never would.
Fortunately, as men grow up, some of them actually come to realize they like boobs and brains. Or boobs and confidence. Or boobs and a good sense of humor. So when I finally got boobs, all of the other qualities were pretty well-developed and I had no problem getting dates with funny, smart, attractive men. But I still always struggled with the self-image.
Now I’m 39. The good Dr. and I have been married long enough that we’ve become accustomed to each other, so the 10 pounds I’d acquired after almost 13 years of marriage and 2 kids never seemed to bother him. Especially since we married for all the other right reasons. And I’m 5’8” – you can spread 10 pounds like peanut butter on a 5’8” frame without a hugely noticeable difference, particularly when fully dressed. But it bothered me. It wasn’t until I had those pounds that I realized how much I didn’t appreciate my body in college. I was in the best shape of my life, with not an ounce of unnecessary fat, a flat belly, and boobs that defied gravity.
Right before I came to Vegas, I had lost some weight. Partly from stress, partly from being sick, and partly from paying a little more attention to what I was eating. Certainly not exercise – I always have the best intentions, but haven’t done a darn thing in months. Well, years actually. Many years. Stepping on the scale before I went told me I was only 2 pounds away from my wedding weight. When I was very thin. And I could notice. I had hipbones again. I can feel a rib here and there. I have shoulder blades and collarbones. My clothes fit better. Looser. More comfortably. I felt like they looked better. And I found myself walking around with a different attitude. A little more confidence. I put on my jeans the day of the tournament, and I didn’t have to suck in my stomach. Yesterday, I wore a pencil thin black skirt suit and the waistband didn't cut into me at the end of the day. Today, my jeans are loose, and my stomach flat. And even dragging two kids in tow through the airport this morning, I’ve gotten a look or two.
It’s amazing how fragile a self-image can be. Or how little it takes to restore it.
It’s about time – DrChako’s been working out for over 3 months now and just sent me his most recent “after” picture. He’s looking pretty buff – he needs a hot wife to come home to.
Maybe tonight I’ll do a few extra sit ups.