Monday, May 13, 2013

new body

I don't always like to work out--in fact many days I hate it--but boy do I love the feeling I have after I work out. I breathe better, stand taller, and feel stronger, even if I've worked my legs hard enough for them to shake.

Heh. That never happens. I don't work my body that hard. But, my body is changing and I like that.

As a reward, I made a run into Banana Republic--or Forever 41, as some people like to call it--the other day because they were having a sale and I wanted to see what new clothes might look like on this new body. It's decidedly not local but it definitely isn't Abercrombie & Fitch, those assholes. (Does anyone remember Commander Salamander? I used to get BR and CS confused all the time. I'm curious to know what they would look like now. I just tried to look up Commander Salamander and came across this blog. The mission statement at the top is fantastic.)

I tried on everything. Shirts, skirts, sweaters, pants--I definitely jumped the gun. I'm still firmly entrenched in a Jackson fit, which is designed for the curvy girl. (I don't mind that little marketing lie. I'll take "curvy," but I was hoping for "curvy with a waist.") Jackson fit clothes are much harder to find at the outlet store, so no trousers for me. Instead, a kicky little linen skirt, a long sweater, and a new belt. Long sweaters aren't really the best idea when your butt creates a perfect shelf for light fabric, but I don't care. I'm not looking back there.

Have I worked out a lot in the past couple of days? Not really.

Have I been eating well? Mostly.

But, I bring up this quick trip to Banana Republic for a reason beyond my disappointment that losing almost 10 pounds didn't really change my body as much as I feel like it has. The parking lot was mostly empty and I was a little distracted because I was trying to decide whether I should get back out of the car to run over to Nine West--when I take a hit to the physical ego, like not finding any curvy girl pants, I tend to make myself feel better with a new pair of shoes.

What? Yes. I'm shallow.

I decided I didn't want to spend the money and since the parking lot was empty, rather than backing out of my space, I opted for the pull through. I released the clutch and hit the gas with authority, cluelessly confident as I pulled forward and CRUNCH. Completely disoriented, I tried to carry on. Nope. I put the car in reverse, but that resulted in spinning wheels and burnt rubber.


I had driven my car onto a median curb. And, not just on it, but ON it. That car was there for the duration.

Long story short, AAA showed up and hauled me off the curb. (Do we tip AAA nowadays? The guy stood there for a really long time, just sort of...looking at me. The last time that happened, I had gotten a flat tire at 6:30am on Route 26. The guy who stopped eventually asked me out for coffee or "whatever." But, the guy who asked me out for coffee was from Rumford and it was the middle of the winter. And, I was wearing a skirt. That I had hiked up. To get someone to stop and help me. So maybe I was asking for it.)

No damage to car. No damage to me, unless you count my ego, which got uplifted when I thought maybe the AAA guy was going to hit on me. Maybe that's a new service they provide.

"Listen, son. If you come upon a slightly overweight woman in her 40s outside of an outlet store and she doesn't have a bag full of new clothes, make sure you make her feel sexy and pretty. We're AAA. Let her know we've got her covered."

I don't know.

Another reason I bring this up. I saw an old friend yesterday--we had attended a wake for a high-school classmate and caught up over lunch. We went all Mad Men on that lunch too. I'll be honest, there was very little eating. She did ask me whether I've lost weight, and she told me I reminded her of the stoic, proper, and beautiful Claire Underwood. I remembered once again why I adore this friend so much.

Of course, in response to this compliment, I had to tell her that when I drove my car onto the median, I had immediately thought of her and a dinner we had in Cambridge many years ago. There were a bunch of us there and we had been waiting in the bar for a table. On empty stomachs, we had two, maybe even three drinks. I remember it was raining outside and this friend had her umbrella. She was also wearing an elegant, fashionable raincoat and I was wearing foulies. It was about this time I realized, after college, all my friends had switched from shapeless slickers to cute trench coats with belts. I'm pretty sure I was also wearing jeans, wet from the knees down, while she was wearing a skirt or dress with weather-appropriate boots. Even though she's six feet tall, she doesn't shy away from heels. I love that about her.

She was in the bathroom when we got called to the table and we were seated by the time she emerged. We all saw her notice us, pick up her belongings, and start to march over to the table. And, we watched as she marched with absolute confidence into the glass wall separating the bar from the restaurant. She had full-body contact with that umbrella in front of her like a majorette holding out her mace.

I know she was embarrassed, but it remains one of my fondest memories.

She calls me classy. I call her a klutz. I think I know why we fell out of touch for so many years.

I'll keep forging ahead, working out and eating right. I keep reminding myself, a new shape was never my intention. I keep reminding myself, a strong body is better than a skinny one. I keep reminding myself, what the hell, I'm middle-aged and this is just how my body wants to be.

Today, that last one is the only one I truly believe.

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