I don’t talk about body image much because I live at a very strange crossroads when it comes to the issue. My Wii console used to declare loudly “That’s Obese!” when I started up my Wii Fit session (which is super inspiring in case you were wondering) but this is not information to me and hasn’t been for quite some time. The thing is, the majority of the time, it doesn’t bother me. It remains in my consciousness as American society has demanded it do, but not in an “all day every day hate myself” sort of way. It’s more of a “If I have the choice between grapes and fried cheese curds, really give it some thought, fatty.”
A year ago, Carrie and I tried to do one of those month long challenges where you have to do planks, crunches, push-ups, and squats. Day one was easy because I swear that day one required us to simply imagine ourselves doing any of those things. We stuck with it until day 16. Day 16 was something in the vicinity of a two hour plank, 200 crunches, 80 push-ups, and 6349 squats. As we worked our way through the squats, one of us looked at the other and asked, “Really? Do you hate being fat this much?” The reply was a resounding, “No, really, I don’t.”
We did not complete the challenge.
Occasionally, though, I get a reminder that how I look in my head (which isn’t bad, honestly) is perhaps not the reality of the situation. Case in point:
Last weekend, I played in a softball tournament. We only played two games on Saturday, but it was 92 degrees and I am only in 78 degrees shape so I was very sore on Sunday morning. In particular, I felt like my lower left side of my back had been twinged in an irreversible fashion rendering me to feel as though I must ice before proceeding to day two of the tourney.
I grabbed an ice pack and found a comfortable position in our big plush chair, placing the ice on the spot that felt most sore. I stayed in this position for the requisite 20 minutes.
When my time was up, I stood up. Now, I’m not sure how I managed it, but the ice must have been specifically placed to touch one part of my back but just away from a small fat roll above it. Standing shifted everything so that the warm skin promptly rested against the cold skin.
“Oooooo….ooooooo….oooooo,” I declared, dancing around the living room, arching to my right to try to get the skin to stop touching. Then I began laughing at myself so hard that I started shaking which caused more skin touching which caused more gasping. Then I walked around looking like the old V8 commercials for the next 15 minutes until my skin warmed up.
I laughed as I imagined a scenario in which this event bothered me so deeply that I went on a workout, crazy health fanatic binge and lost 100 pounds. Then, when asked about my inspiration (as people do because everyone loves to talk about weight as though it is interesting), I would have to describe the time my fat roll stayed warm against icy skin and tickled me across the living room.
It would almost be worth it. Almost.