Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Spiral Continues Downward

I read this story in a woman's magazine years ago. It may have been short fiction, it may have been a true story. It doesn't matter. It's hung around on the back shelf of my brain for a good number of years. It occurred to me today with startling vividness in a dream. (Yes, I was dreaming toDAY. Stop being so judgy - you'd nap in the afternoon if you could, too.)

The story was about a woman who was hitting mid-life. She was chubby, but not fat. Not like me. Her husband was not turned on by her anymore. Not like me. (Or so I'm often told!) She went to the gym to become more attractive to her husband. And she liked it. And three times a week for an hour turned into five times a week for an hour turned into six times a week for two hours turned into - well, you get the idea. The weight fell off and her muscles began to develop definition. And she dug it. At first her husband was pleased to see the results. She was looking good. But he didn't like the time commitment that she was making to it. She didn't care what he liked, she was hooked on the intoxicating feeling of developing muscles. And develop muscles she did. Soon her muscles started becoming large rather than defined. She was spending several hours in the gym every day now. Hubs was not amused and did not find the growing muscles attractive. She started thinking about body building competitions. He started thinking about a divorce. She decided if it was a choice between her muscles and her man, she'd keep her muscles.

Do you suppose there's some deep seated fear that this would happen and I sabotage myself so it won't (on accounta adoring my husband)? Or do the FA folks have it right and I really just am what I am and it really is as hard to make a skinny person fat as it is to make a fat person skinny?

I am having an increasingly difficult time accepting myself as a fat woman. I want to be a slim woman. I would LOVE to be a muscular woman. When cooler heads prevail, I know I need to work on accepting who I am and making that the best me I can be. But sometimes... sometimes when I dream...

Stupid things. I would love to have a beautiful family portrait, but you can't have a beautiful family portrait with a fat person. You sure as HELL can't have one with a fat woman. It's such a stupid simple thing to want. I want to look nice in clothes and to buy them because I like the color and the style, not because "they'll probably fit". I'd like to show my arms. I'd like a visible clavicle. I'd like I'd like I'd like...

I don't WANT to exercise if I can't have all of that. It's not asking for the freaking moon!


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