With summer fast approaching, I notice that the gym by our repair shop has been slammed ever morning and evening with everyone desperately looking to shed the winter weight amassed from comfort food, booze, sweets and other lusty treats! I too have taken to, what I jokingly call The Five Stages of Oh Shit Summer is almost here! 1. Sheer Panic, 2. Bargaining with my God, 3. Denial, 4. Cursing my poor food and beverage choices, 5. Hitting the ground running. No more excuses, what’s done is done, and now it’s time to pay the piper, so to speak! All of this became abundantly clear to me when I was on vacation last week in the Bahamas to celebrate my 50th Birthday, and I had to slip into swimwear. Yup! No hiding there! I rocked it and owned it! But all of this had me thinking if I had been born in the 1600’s. I’d probably be considered way too svelte by those standards. Ahh..if only!
In 2015, Sports Illustrated for the first time in the history of the magazine not only included a plus sized model, the beautiful Ashley Graham, in its swimsuit issue, and the best part was they featured her tastefully gracing the pages, stretch marks and all. Collectively women across the country cheered and were finally able to relate to a real woman who more closely resembled the average woman, one who has bared children, gone through menopause, and not some super freak of nature whose body ideal for many of us is just unattainable and unrealistic. I for one being just 5’2′ will never be a statuesque super model, I also realize I will probably never have rock hard abs, and a body free of a little bit of pregnancy cellulite and some stretch marks, although for having four children, and recently turning 50, I’ve fared pretty well all things considered and I am thankful I kept active for so many years! So why do you give a fuck about my plight? Honestly, I didn’t expect you would. But this revelation had me thinking about the fact that if history repeats itself, maybe waifish model types will go the way of the dinosaur and Rubenesque will be again be in fashion. What? It could happen!! Lest anyone believe this is not tongue and cheek! For those of you shaking your heads and asking yourself, what the fuck is she talking about? Let me clarify, I am referring to the 1600’s and the voluptuous, round women featured in the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens, the famous artist. (See my opening picture above).
Now I will be the first to admit that being healthy, having a toned body, and being physically fit are paramount, also having a hard body is sexually attractive on both men and women. However, there comes a time when you must get real with yourself and understand that in spite of your best efforts and unless you are going to devote hours to your workouts, which I assuredly am not, you may not be able to attain the rocking body of say Giselle Bündchen. Also, maybe you have an affinity for carbs and eventually you will need to have some good old, pure starch, semolina pasta. Or some lusty good chocolate cake, some wine, and a plate of banging Thai Chili Wings mine of course. Not all hope is lost. I have been on a health craze lately to get off my blood pressure pills and I am down 10 lbs., and I have plateaued for the last two weeks. I have the metabolism of a snail, and I am now suffering the effects of menopause, hypothyroidism and yo-yo dieting. (TMI I know.. but I keep my shit real if nothing else)! That doesn’t mean I am giving up, I am too stubborn for that, I just have to kick up my exercise routine and cut back on the booze. Carbs are seemingly easier than wine for some reason…wink, wink, but I want to get my blood pressure in the safe zone, so I will do what I need to.
But I started looking at women through the decades, and if you follow some pretty iconic women, they were not these tiny little waisted bitches with flat stomachs, fake boobs, and no ass, these were curvy, voluptuous women with real breasts, like Mae West, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, women with some junk in the trunk, who could fill out a dress and make it sing! It wasn’t until Twiggy turned up in the 60’s that women and men, started to idealize the long and lean model in female form.
Now I am not saying which body type is best, and many women are naturally lean and thin, like my beautiful daughter, and I assure you that is not her mother’s DNA, and obviously health and overall well-being are the most important thing. I just think that men have done women such an injustice, which has led to an epidemic of body image issues with women, as well as anorexia, bulimia, and cosmetic surgeries, by thrusting their unrealistic expectations upon us women, without appreciating the whole women, the total package if you will. Now not all this is the fault of men, because women themselves, have done just as much to sell the point that being a vapid bimbo, with fake tits and a kicking body, is the only way to get a man to notice you! Ladies, this assuredly is not, even though Hollywood is plastered with them. But lets face it men, a woman can look killer in a tight body con dress, with her perky boobs and stiletto heels, and be a crazy bitch when you get to know her, and yes you may take her home and sex her anyway, but the hefty price you pay in crazy, is going to far outweigh what she can do in the sack. Yes, I know most men will take sex over crazy any day! At least in the short-term. For I have sat and listened to men talk about women in terms of their bodies, and some men have such a distorted view of the ideal woman, I can’t help but think that these men must watch way too much porn and scour way too many magazines of playboy models, to seriously think all woman should look like that. To which I say, not so jokingly, men, when you get your beer belly ass to the gym and look like David Beckham then come talk to us! It’s so hypocritical of men to think this way, and I laugh when it’s usually the guy with thinning hair, a beer gut, who’s single or recently divorced, sounding off his laundry list of ideal qualities in a woman, none of which even vaguely include personality, mutual interests, intelligence, or a career. It’s purely aesthetics they are after. And yes, I know men are visual creatures, now, I am not saying for a one night stand, that you don’t set your sights high, but there are so many women who are sexy, beautiful, funny, and intelligent and aren’t a size 2. Maybe like a size 8!
Now I want to make perfectly clear that I have nothing against women who are thin, toned, and have a smoking body. Most woman who look like this work hard at keeping their bodies this way and I commend anyone who seeks to better themselves in all ways. What I am merely musing at, is that for the average woman, this ideal is a bit harder to achieve without the help of weight loss surgery such as Gastric Bypass, body sculpting surgery, time in the gym, and a strict regimented diet, which becomes less attainable with a busy lifestyle, raising a family, and working full-time, but truly, it is a sacrifice like many things and takes a commitment, that I honestly recognize I am willing to make, only so much! For one, I love to eat, for two, I despise most exercise, except Yoga, walking, and kickboxing. I also am more interested in building my blog and finishing my degree in Culinary Arts right now, and secretly, I am waiting for history to repeat itself!
Seriously though, I am blessed by the fact that I have a man who loves my body, has never made me feel bad about my weight, no matter what size I was, and am currently, offers support in all that I want to do, and calls me beautiful and sexy every day. So the pressure to achieve my perfect body truly lies in me. I am my worst critic really, and I will scrutinize every food decision I make, healthy or otherwise. I am learning to get rid of that bullshit though, because it’s not a healthy way to live and it’s really quite exhausting.
So I am slowly learning to make peace with my curves, to love the stretch marks that are thankfully very minimal, and all the soft, imperfect, perfect, parts of myself, that have served me well in the first 50 years, and will hopefully be serving me well into the next 50, God willing. Yes I will love every part of my sexy self, because lets face it, if I can’t be lovable to me, how can I expect to be lovable to anyone else? Self love is the key to making peace with your world, your soul, and your sacred self, and I can honestly say I am madly in love with myself! Now go out and love yourself silly!