My body has gone through a transformation since I was 25.
Back then I was cute and tiny with a great little figure. Since then I my body has slowly morphed from tiny to curvy to really curvy to pregnant to post-pregnant fluffy to its now sorry state of lumpy, schlumpy and downright unhealthy. I am 50 pounds over a healthy weight. I know this intellectually but I haven’t stressed much about it, despite my family’s bad cardiac history. When Juan and I were together, I attempted at various points over the years to diet and exercise more–sometimes with great results, but often without much change. No matter, he loved me no matter my shape. One of the gifts this man left me with is an appreciation for and love of my own body–just the way it is.
When he left, I collapsed into all bad food habits. I would eat half a (small) ice cream cake in bed at 11 pm when I was feeling sad. We ate pizza and pasta and bagels for dinner because they were convenient and easy for a stresed out, barely coping mom on the go. Add on top of that a thyroid disorder and some other small health issues–well lets just say when I see pictures of myself taken recently it just doesn’t compute. I ask myself–“Do I look like that really?” For a moment my healthy, happy, body image starts to waiver. But then, I just shrug and move on with my day. I have more important fish to fry (so to speak).
Lately, for energy and health (not vanity reasons, really) I have made an effort to eat better. I recently learned I have a wheat allergy and have been wheat free for a week now. I am limiting (though not entirely eliminating) sugar and honey and have said goodbye to processed junk. Its good. After just a week I am starting to feel better. And I have told myself if I lose weight and inches–all the better but really, as long as I feel better, stronger and with more energy, that’s all that matters.
Until last night.
See I love cowboy boots. I mean I LOVE them. When I was 22 in Texas I bought myself a pair that lasted a good 10 years and would have lasted longer had I not gotten pregnant and changed foot sizes. When I had those boots I barely need any other pair of shoes. They were my casual, work and dressy choice and went with almost any outfit.
From the minute I realized my little feet would never fit in my pre-pregnancy boots I have been dreaming of a new pair. However for the bulk of the last 6 years I have just been content to dream. As a new mom, they seemed like such a silly luxury and besides didn’t really match my “new mom” persona. I let my cowboy boots become an icon of my past, crazy, dance-all-night, single irresponsible days and opted for comfortable, more respectable, mother/career woman footwear. A good chic sneaker, too-cute-for-words clogs, some fabulous heels and sassy Mary-Janes.
But in the last 2 years, as a single woman discovering her wholeness, my inner bad-ass has been dying for shoes of her own. I have been clipping Sundance catalog pictures, the Frye boots website is in my favorite places. I had found a pair that would be perfect for me and started saving my pennies. And finally, with my 38th birthday fast upon me I ordered the pair I have been dreaming about for 2 years.
I found the best deal at Zappos.com and they shipped the shoes to me overnight. All day at work I checked out the FedEx delivery status site to see if they had arrived. I ran home in joyful anticipation of trying them on and welcoming back that wild spirit part of me that clonks around in boots. Yee-haw.
But something awful happened. I lifted my beautiful pair of boots out of the box, put them on and found I couldn’t pull the shaft of the boot up over my calf. It just got stuck on the last tiny bit of my thickened leg. But that tiny bit was enough to ruin the look (not to mention make me feel like I had been squeezed into a toothpaste tube.) I was completely and utterly and truly sad. I had never, in my wildest dreams imagined that I had become too chunky for cowboy boots.
This sorry fact, more than photos, more than my doctor’s health warnings, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
My new roommate came up from downstairs and looked at me. “These are my new boots.” I told her trying to hold in my disappointment. “They will stretch. I just need to break them in.” She looked at me with disbelief. “Can’t you just get them in a wider size? They don’t fit” “No…” I moaned. “These are the boots I want and they are like this….Maybe” (I am murmuring now) they will stretch some…”
“Why don’t you just get a different pair–one with zippers?” She just didn’t understand.
I love Zappos.com’s return policy. As long as I don’t wear them outside and they stay in original condition I have 365 days to return them. So I am putting my beloved boots aside for now–I don’t want to stretch them out but I don’t want to send them back. I am not giving up. I am on a mission to lose a little bit of weight.
In all seriousness all it will take is a 1/8 of an inch on my calves and those babies will slide right on.
All day today I was able to smile in the face of all my cravings simply by thinking of thosel luscious brown boots. I walked by Ben & Jerry’s with nary a glance. I ordered a small chai tea with skim milk even though I really really wanted a large one with whole milk and a treat on the side. I turned down a glass of wine with dinner. I feel I am on a roll.
Its all fresh veggies and small portions over here at our house. I am motivated as I have never been before. I figure it will work one of three ways:
1. I quickly lose the tiny bit I need to lose in my calves and then with the momentum of quick rewards I sail through the rest of the year with motivation and come out looking not just like a girl in boots, but a mature curvy cute girl in boots.
2. My calves are the last to lose but the reward of putting them on propels me through a year of healthy eating which finally has its reward.
3. The boots never fit. But after a year of eating well it doesn’t matter to me. I am able to mourn the loss of the dream of the boots and send them back a healthier me.
Its funny what motivates me. These boots may be well worth it, even if I don’t get to wear them a day.