As another birthday has come and gone, I again use the event to reflect on the condition of my ever aging body.
As a 50 something women, I am in relatively good shape. My job as sportswriter keeps me working with young athletes and reflecting on the body I used to have. I knew I was never going to let myself go when I was their age.
But then life happened.
So one day I looked in the mirror and saw things on my body that belonged to someone else.
How did my upper arms develop those hangy down things? Those belong to my sixth grade math teacher, Mrs. Barnes. When you were caught not doing your work, she could stand over you with those dangley upper arms, ready to knock you silly if you didn't get back on task.
When did my rump become so prominent?
When I don't look in the mirror, I imagine it to be a cute curvy thing. Oh boy am I delusional. After a glance at my backside reflection I feel the need to back out of rooms so no one has to be subjected to that sight.
I remember watching MASH many years ago and hearing the character Henry Blake complain that his hips formed a rain gutter around his waist. I now, finally get the joke.
My stomach also didn't want to get left out of the act. So despite decades of crunches, it now holds a place of honor in the front of me.
Because my bulges are strategically placed at different levels of the body, getting a pair of jeans or pants to fit right is a challenge yet to be conquered. Men's bodies don't seem to give them the same problem. Their hips pretty much remain the same even when they put on weight. They just wear their pants a bit lower.
My husband still wears the same size of pants since I met him despite his gaining and losing weight over the years. I have so many sizes of jeans I could open my own store.
It is good to see that the fashion industry and Hollywood is getting a small handle on the skinny girl look. It is a hard image for our girls to try and live up to. On the flip side of the coin, we need to get a grip on our every expanding obese society.
I make fun of my body, but in reality I do not have to deal with the day to day issues of true eating disorders.
I will continue to try and find some balance between my aging self and the child within. It is not always an easy task. My grandkids help force me to stay young at heart. I have a whole new generation to keep ahead of.
But for now I think I need to replace my full length mirrored closet doors with something more calming to the spirit like bamboo screens. I don't think my heart can take much more shock of looking over and seeing that reflection of the stranger with the fat thighs sitting on the bed pretending to be me.