Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Baggage We Carry...

I’m convinced that for most of my adult life, I’ve been allergic to food. Every time I’d eat it, I’d break out into fat.

I kept trying to lose weight but for some reason unbeknownst to me, it kept finding me! Despite all my efforts to NOT become the prototype for the new BYU Barbie circulating around my high school (you put a ring on her finger and her thighs blow up), marriage, lack of finances and kids took a toll and even diets and exercise (that handle on my recliner does constitute as an exercise device,…right?) couldn’t help after twenty years.

I knew it was bad when even in my dreams, I was hiding behind muumuus and baggy sweats. I went from being the toast at my almamater to eating toast with butter and gobs of jam to drown the depression of lost youth and beauty.

But worse than my outward appearance was the baggage I continued to hang onto internally. Hiding behind a wall of fat was a LOT more comfortable than facing the demons of unwanted attention and the guilt I harbored and had strived to hide my whole life. Besides (or should I say butt-sides), the permanent cushion I packed around on my backside was quite cozy too!

But when I finally had to face those inner issues and resolve them, something interesting happened. I had a desire to exorcise (I still wasn’t sure about exercise) the chains that held my physical body at bay. I turned to surgery and pretty soon, my outer body began to reflect the lightness I was feeling on the inside.

This does have a point.

Recently I had the opportunity to return back to my high school so I could turn in enrollment papers for my son who has chosen to be sophomore there next year. Although I was not quite back to my former svelte self weight wise, I was back to where I needed to be emotionally.

Or so I thought.

I had just returned from the hairdresser who’d given me a sassy, springy, youthful do and was wearing a new outfit I’d had my fashionably literate sister help me pick out. I was feeling quite good about myself as I headed down to the counseling center until a shadow from a rather large Polynesian swooped over me. I started to walk a little faster and he did the same. It was then, as my history clashed with my present (namely thinner thighs which I was still uncomfortable with) that I thought of my first “Life Saver”;

Fat people are harder to kidnap.

When I saw the drinking fountain, I made a beeline for it and hoped that my large friend would pass on by. He didn’t. He stood right behind me and in a smooth voice with post-pubescent seductiveness said, “I haven’t seen you around here lately. What’re ya doing this Friday?”

I choked on my water and then smiled as I slowly turned around. “I’ll be spending it with my two teenage sons and my husband. But thank you for asking.”

He stuttered and said in a rather contrite voice that instantly shot up a few octaves, “Sorry, Mam.”

Feeling much lighter and realizing that a quick set of male footsteps does not have to mean disaster, I genuinely smiled and told him. “Don’t be. You just made my day.”

It’s nice to know that although the baggage of the past will still make me want to run and hide at times, I can face the future with optimism knowing that a sassy haircut, a new outfit and a lot less baggage will take years off (at least a couple of decades!!) one’s life….


Karlene said...

That was great! Loved it.

Karlene said...

I just read this on another blog and had to come post it here.

"If we ever have a famine, the skinny chics go first."