Yesterday I went to dinner and a movie (Green Lantern–movie was meh, but Ryan Reynolds’ abs made up for it) and enjoyed one of my last gorgeous New York nights. If you need a catch-up, I’m moving from NYC to Western Massachusetts and this Thursday is officially my last day in the city.
Anyway, at dinner we snagged a table outside and of course enjoyed the people watching. My friend Jocelyn pointed out a girl with what our society would deem a “perfect” body. You know (and perhaps despise) the kind: the long, cellulite-free legs, flat stomach, perfect breasts, wearing the cutest summer romper that you could never wear. That kind. Jocelyn pointed out that genetics was probably to thank for that beautiful, slender body, and she just got lucky.
But it got me to thinking about my own genetic makeup. I’m what you would call a “pear” shape, although I just saw a magazine refer to it as a “dewdrop” (Not sure what that’s about, but it’s pretty and feminine and I like it!). I have a teeny tiny waste (which I must add is the envy of all friends), toned arms, and a beautiful collarbone and neck. Thank you, Mom. But what I also have are wide hips, a butt, larger thighs and calves which make it a pain in the ass to find high boots in the winter. I’m a bit disproportionate and finding pants has always been my least favorite activity.
However, take all my body parts together and you’ve got me. Whether I like it or hate it, this is the shape that I’ve been given in this lifetime. Sure I can eat well, exercise and change my weight, but I can’t change my core shape. After 31 years on this planet, I’m finally OK with this. In fact, after lots of self-improvement and therapy, I’ve become quite proud of my curves.
But I think back to my 20′s where I tried to fit a square peg into a round hole. I HATED my lower body. Despised it. Looking in the mirror I would immediately look down and shoot daggers out of eyes, hoping they’d pierce the mirror and magically give me long, skinny legs. I think of the dieting–ohhh, the dieting!—the creams, the lunges, hours upon endless hours of step aerobics, all with the sole purpose of erasing my ass and decreasing the circumference of my thighs by 1/2. I wish I understood that the shape I was given is beautiful…and that I would never have a supermodel’s body. But then again, perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate what my mama gave me if I didn’t go through those 10 years.
So, here’s my advice. Treat your body as the temple it is: eat a good diet (which included chocolate), exercise, moisturize it with coconut oil, and above all, RESPECT and LOVE your shape. Listen, the grass is always greener: I see girls with no butts who slip into skinny jeans say they wish they had more curves. I get it. But inner peace starts with loving yo’ fine self right here in this moment. And not to sound cliche, but it’s true: it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
So go on…shake what your mama gave you and embrace your beautiful self!