Liz Flaherty photo

NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE

My friend Nan and I were talking about weight the other day. Actually, she was probably talking about it and I was obsessing about it. Which I’ve been doing since I was in the seventh grade and was consistently bigger than Linda, who lived down the road. I’m fairly certain I still am.

I have lost the equivalent of several versions of myself over the years. Fifteen pounds for class reunion, 25 for our daughter’s wedding, an enthralling 40-some the year I retired. A couple of years in the 80s, I lost weight to wear a two-piece swimsuit in Florida; once it was to wear my favorite-ever black-and-white polka-dotted dress to our younger son’s graduation.

I’ve gained it back. Usually plus some. Every time. I do not, as my friend suggested, accept myself as I am. But I also do not eat sensibly or exercise enough. I don’t tell the truth about my weight on my driver’s license and I cringe at every doctor’s visit because there’s always that stop in the hallway between the waiting room and the examination room.

In all honesty, I hate being the size I am. I want to be the size I was when I first thought I was overweight. I also want to be able to eat a whole can of Pringles on a daily basis. Those things, as you can imagine, don’t go together. I can win against the Pringles by not buying them—but that doesn’t fix the fact that I’ve never met a carb I don’t like.

There are terms that go along with being heavy. Some of them are just what they are: overweight, heavy, obese, fat. Some are silly euphemisms: chubby, jolly, round. A few are kind: Windo over the Sink Logocurvy, voluptuous, big-boned. Then there are the others when someone says, “she has such a pretty face,” or “she let herself go,” or the even crueler “tub of lard.”

Then there is the issue of clothes. Like any other big girl, I’d like for my clothes to make me look like the size six I’m not. This isn’t going to happen, especially when people who create catalogs, commercials, and magazine advertising persist in having size zero models wearing plus-size clothing. Kudos to the retailers who have gone to the dark side and given us glimpses of fashion realism.

I blame no one for the extra pounds I carry on my woefully small bones; I have earned every ounce of them myself. But, blame or not, virtually no one who is heavy wants to be. Although many of them—me included—could maintain a healthy weight if they could also maintain a reasonable amount of willpower, that’s a much easier thing to say than it is to do.

Hopefully, I will lose some on my next foray into eating right and I will weigh less and feel better and never gain it back. I wish this not only for myself but for everyone else who has a daily struggle with poor self-image. If you need to gain weight and can’t, I hope a few pounds (preferably mine) come your way. If you have terrible hair, I hope you find the right cut or color or whatever it takes. If you don’t like your teeth, find a dentist who deals not only in dental health but in smiles. If you just don’t like what you see in the mirror, talk to someone who loves you; they have a much better view of you than you do.

On the days when you really can’t make peace with how you look, it’s much more important to remember that your weight and other physical things about yourself you may not like are not who you are. Acceptance is hard to come by when it comes to appearance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t like yourself. You can still laugh hard, love much, and make every day a good one.

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Liz maintains a blog that you can visit by clicking this link: http://windowoverthesink.blogspot.com/

Get her latest Romance Novel Nice to Come Home from Amazon by clicking on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Nice-Come-Home-Liz-Flaherty-ebook/dp/B0788PDJD4/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1531141953&sr=1-2&keywords=nice+to+come+home+to

Nice to Come Home To is the third book in the Lake Minigua series, following Every Time We Say Goodbye and The Happiness Pact.

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