Through Thick and Thin

    Allow me to wallow…and whine…

    I’ve always said that God didn’t make me skinny, rich or famous for a reason. I think in his own way, he created me this way to be able to fully experience true friendship. One can only appreciate real friends once they’ve seen you at your worst. It also happens that the world I currently inhabit, the immediate world I am surrounded by, is one in which superficiality is de rigueur. I can’t turn a degree without being bombarded by it.

    I won’t lie. Like 99% of women, I have body image issues. Billions of dollars are pumped into the health industry, and each year, the standard for health and beauty shrinks, literally. More and more, the poster child for what is in makes me cringe. And then I am overcome with self-loathing, for there is a part of me that wants to look like everyone else. Yes, it is an embarrassing thing to admit, but then again, we all have our skeletons in our closets. Mine? It’s just hidden under layers of Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (Google it).

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    How many times have I ever stood akimbo, hands on hips, and felt my thumb slowly get swallowed by back fat? Isn’t that an ugly set of words? What about when I lean back to catch some rays on my face, and there is something getting in the way – it’s at the top of my spine. It’s just an upper extension of the same dreaded back fat (what a hideous word).

    You would think that I was the ugliest human being to walk the planet. But I know that is not the case - because otherwise I’d be in the circus (or the Guinness Book of World Records), and I am not, so there. I am sure all the media frenzy and constant, daily barrage of images and constant pontification on being skinny, skinny, skinny has worn me down. I don’t actually spend a lot of time ‘obsessing’ about it, but it rears its (ugly, naturally) head every so often when I have an encounter or an experience wherein I feel the judged for something other than my mental capacity.

    Sometimes, it’s a casual comment from someone who has been a friend for a few years, or it’s from a friend who I haven’t seen in a while. But often times, it’s from the number of superficial people who unfortunately make up a big part of my world. They may be casual acquaintances, people I bump into on more than one occasion, and some are even friends I’ve known for years, who, after “coming into their own”, find themselves distancing from the old and not so pretty. Maybe I am bellyaching about nothing, as any smart person worth their salt would say, we’re all better off without such toxic people in our lives. But you know what those ‘salty’ people don’t say, and leave you to deal with? The hurt, or disappointment; the letdown – the heartache.

    One can be a perfectly wonderful human being with big hearts, generous spirit, amazing talents and all around excellent example of humanity – but if the package isn’t pretty, then it does not matter. It sounds like I may be surrounded by children who don’t know better, but face it, we all have our issues, and some of us never grow up. It could be a 61-year-old man with grown children and more ex-wives than you can keep track of, it could be someone your age – it could be anyone. Those are the kinds of people who pass judgment on others, and those are the people who we have to deal with on a daily basis. These are also the kinds of people whose presence in our lives need to be cut off, like a gangrenous limb. They are toxic, and unnecessary.

    I often tell my true friends that I hold a mean grudge. I don’t forget easily, if at all. Little things stick to you, and this, though not small, also sticks. It is a motivator; it is an excellent gauge for what true friends are. It’s not a matter of getting even, it’s a matter of appreciating those who have stood by, literally through thick AND thin. There are no compromises.

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