Apologies for the absence here at eat me, drink me, bite me. As you saw in Dasha’s post, I got hitched and have been busy wedding planning/executing/honeymooning (which was much too short).
There’s a lot I could talk about in relation to the wedding–I could probably write a book about this wedding. But I’ll stick to topics related to this blog. Beauty and fitness, wedding and honeymoon style.
I think my wedding day was the first day… maybe in my life… that I’ve been in front of a number of people and not had a single worry about how I looked. I hadn’t lost the weight I wanted to–in fact, I’d gained ten pounds in the six months leading up to the wedding. But for some reason I didn’t even think about it that day. My focus was joy, surrounded by beauty everywhere. For also the first time in my life, I felt completely comfortable in my body. I feel lucky.
Looking back in pictures, I could nitpick the hell out of them. Just this morning I gave myself a quick admonishment for not covering up my shin bruise with makeup that day. And then I repeated to myself something I’d learned from the (fabulous) book A Practical Wedding and also a little from my own thoughts on wedding matters: the wedding day is not perfect, but ideally what it is, and was, is a perfect representation of what your life is at the time.
I had massive a shin bruise. Why? I have no idea, I’m a mother. I didn’t even notice the bruise until I saw wedding pictures later. My kids were pouty, wouldn’t wear their clothes right, and nearly didn’t make it down the aisle with me. It was so hot in our venue that sweat was rolling down my chest at one point, my hair was stuck to my neck, and my cover-up was stuck to my back. It was like getting married in fucking Costa Rica. Intentionally exotic, I told myself.
This is real life, here. It’s no “fairy tale wedding.” But my life isn’t a fairy tale. Nobody’s life is a fairy tale.
So I was complacent about the wardrobe malfunctions, sweat, and kid tantrums. I enjoyed my day even with family drama stirring in the background, mostly by ignoring it, to be dealt with later. That day it wasn’t my problem. This one day was for me.
It was perfect. And I looked beautiful. I feel funny typing that, like that’s very presumptuous of me to call myself beautiful. Who am I to call myself beautiful?
Why do we do this to ourselves? I’ve gotten to the point where I can call myself beautiful in my head when I see pictures, but to say it to the general public seems arrogant. I’m not sure why we’ve evolved, as a society, to scorn people who publicly admit they are beautiful. To tell ourselves we shouldn’t say such things aloud. But maybe that is a whole other blog post.
This introspection came to a head when we were on our honeymoon and I posted this status update:
“Off to hike to a waterfall. Then hike around a lighthouse. Then late-afternoon kayaking. Very thoughtfully, all the things I have never done because I never could before I lost weight. Exciting and new.”
I immediately felt guilty for posting it, like I was showboating the fact that I was fit(ter). Never mind that I lost 100 pounds to get to this point; this was still showing off. I began to wonder: would this update make people feel badly if they were overweight? Because when I was morbidly obese I certainly felt, at times, irritated when my fitter friends would make posts just like this.
I worried, but the reasons behind my update were earnest and without judgment. I had several moments on our honeymoon during which I realized that I wouldn’t have been able to have these moments had I not lost weight. And here I go again, feeling like it’ll seem like I am judging others, but I’m not. The fact is, I’m only speaking for myself. If I hadn’t lost the weight, I wouldn’t have been able to hike, to kayak, to walk up stairs without losing my breath, to have even better sex, to sit in chairs without worrying about them breaking.
I would have missed this:
I would have missed this.
I have been missing these things for years upon years. And the realization that I am able to enjoy them now, with a woman who is the love of my life, was transcendent. I rose above the pain of self-exclusion when it came to physical activities; I rose above the rejection of weight limits and the restrictions of my own body.
So my statement was as much a realization of this newfound self, this power I now had, as much as it was–perhaps–if I could be so arrogant for a second–to provide inspiration for others. Two years ago I couldn’t climb three flights of stairs and now I’m climbing mountains. If I can do this, maybe they can too.
I’m not where I want to be physically (is anyone, ever?). I’m using my desire to continue doing these activities as my own inspiration to get started on an exercise routine again.
I want to hike a lot more mountains in the days ahead.