I read a lot of body positive/fat positive blogs, and Twitter feeds. It’s part of reclaiming my body from all the shit and labels layered over it, each word like an explosive device detonating the negative attached to the thinking connected with my body. Once, I looked at a classmate askance as she said, “I’m fat.” It’s a statement, and I tried to do the acceptable thing by saying she’s beautiful or mistaking it for putting oneself down.
As someone who got her masters in putting myself down, I can now say the women who say the word fat, like Lindy West, will say it’s a descriptor like someone of a certain height is tall or short. I am not a fan of curvy or fluffy, but I want to contribute another phrase: built for comfort. I am built for comfort. I am 46, built for comfort, and slowly trying to get to the point without spearing another person in the process.
The last two paragraphs describe the ideal, at some point, everyone will have a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is moment. Mine came on Thursday, April 6th, at 7:00 am.
I arrived at the Y, proud I got up early to get to the gym for a workout. I grabbed my stuff off the drying rack and headed out the door. I undressed and began to put on my workout gear consisting of the following:
Notice what’s missing? Unfortunately, haste not only makes waste, it means forgetting the grey, NOLA activewear shirt. Working out in just your sports bra happens to other women not…you know…for those ‘built for comfort.’ However, going to the Y a minimum three days a week, sometimes four, helped clear the cobwebs out of my mind so far. Perhaps this is one more cobweb to clean out. Pragmatically speaking, Thursday was my third day of my minimum three days a week routine, and I didn’t forget pants.
I put in my earphones and decided Sorry, Richard Armitage, I am giving you the day off from reading David Copperfield. I needed music, the kind with strut-enabling beats for the track. I pressed play and saw Mary Lambert’s picture pop up on Spotify. The track ‘Body Love Part 1,’ was part of a playlist I follow but always skipped over the track. Now synchronicity stepped in as if to say not this time sweetie as I walked up the stairs to the track.
My eyes darted around, wondering if someone will laugh at me. It’s the default position, honed thanks to indifferent gym teachers and laughing assholes in junior high. However, guys lifted weights, people talked to one another, you know, just getting on with their workout before getting on with the rest of the morning. I walked on the track for a half-hour with these two songs kicking off a soundtrack to that morning. At some point, a person must get on with their day, and mine consisted of taking my mom to appointments and errands. So, laugh all you want. Worry about my health all you want to stroke your own anorexic ego.
I have no room on my to-list for any of it.