Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Phenomenal Woman

176.4 lbs. Lowest it’s been in 20 years.


Okay, yeah, so I’m back on HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin. In fact, I found it in Chocolate Mint, I kid you not), but it’s working.

I took a good look at myself in the mirror (and there will be photos later. As I write this, my nose is peeling like I’ve had a sunburn – which I haven’t , I’m in my glasses (which are VERY thick), big floppy long-sleeved Buddha t shirt, sweat pants, fluffy socks and no makeup. No picture right now. Part of the HCG drill is no personal hygiene products with oils or creams and that extends to makeup unless it’s the mineral variety, which I don’t own. Well, not the stuff to put color in my cheeks and on my lashes. Seriously, I’m pale. Not Edgar Winter albino, but close) and stopped to look again.

I watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every year (GO, MINATURE SCHNAUZERS!!!! WIN IT IN MEMORY OF LILY MARLENE III  AND GREEN MOUNTAIN MAXIMILLIAN AKA MIGHTY MAX THE WONDER DOPE!!!!) and there is a saying: “A good groomer can carve a dog out of a pile of hair.” 9 months of cleaning up my diet (except for a couple of rages, but I may have a solution to that problem), 7 months of faithfully exercising and I realized that I have been carving a woman out of fat.

I see the beginnings of a waist. Not the barrel shape between shoulders and hips that was there, not a straight line from shoulders to hips, but the beginnings of an indentation under the bra line. That hasn’t been there since the 20th century.

I raised my arms and shook them. The upper arm jiggle is noticeably smaller. Huh. Dr. Best got the knots out of my back and shoulders and they are now responding to weight training. And I have collarbones. And a jaw. Not just the shadow of a jawline, I have an actual jawline and my neck looks longer without all the fat hanging around it.

Could it be…

Emboldened, I stood sideways and sucked in my gut. Doing this, it is nearly exactly where I want it to be. I can see where the bottom of my rib cage is (and feel it without pushing in too hard).

This is payoff. This is motivation. This is incentive. I finally feel like I look feminine. I look like the woman that I am (ironic as I am enjoying the beginnings of menopause aka the Hot Flashdance. I don’t need leg warmers, but the torn sweatshirt would be helpful when the internal furnace kicks on) and not some asexual blob with boobs. I’m a phenomenal woman, phenomenally.

I’ve been wearing my size 13 Calvin Klein jeans COMFORTABLY for days. I can pull the size 12 ones up on my ass. I can’t zip them closed, but we’re getting there (they’re boot cut and I really don’t care for boot cut mostly because the makers figure that all plus sizes have fat legs and therefore need boot cut jeans. I’ve been wearing boot cut forever).

If you saw me today, you saw me swinging my hips as I walked. Why? Because I am a woman, goddammit, and that’s just what we do.

I didn’t come to this realization in enough time to pull together a sexy costume for Halloween, but, wow, I can wear a sexy costume for Halloween and not feel ridiculous on some level (I wore sexy in 2003 and was told by someone I no longer trust that I shouldn’t; I was too fat and it was a joke and ridiculous and people were laughing behind my back. Fuck him). But, I can anticipate the next costume party and be sexy-eligible (film themed sexy. I have some time to figure it out).

I left the gym (weight training and elliptical) feeling powerful. Feeling feminine and powerful. This is self-confidence and not just the façade. Attractive guys in my age range (whom I’ve heard gigglingly dismissed as “Silverbacks” by girls who forget they will one day be the same age) are smiling in my direction, giving me a nod. Maybe. Phenomenal woman, phenomenally.

I leave you with Maya Angelou’s poem as this has been running through my head all afternoon.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

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