My feet pound the pavement relentlessly.
It’s been an hour and I’m coming up on mile 6. Four more to go… I’m cold and sore. I need motivation. On days like today I have to dig deep for the strength I need to keep on going. But my damaged psyche doesn’t know the difference between inspiring and belittling. My footsteps turn into words:
“fat, fat, fat, fat.”
I can suddenly feel the eyes of every passerby on my enormous body.
“fat, fat, fat, fat”
I am mortified. I resolve to run faster.
Maybe if I push harder these thick legs will melt a little,
these strong arms with shrink a little,
these breasts won’t protrude so far.
I find myself apologizing to the sidewalk for the weight of my body. More than anything in the world, I want to disappear.
As I drag my tired body over the last few miles, my mind is full of images. What would it be like, I wonder, to grow too small for all my clothes? To take up only half of a chair? To blend right in with the crowd instead of standing out like a sore thumb,
or a black eye,
or a broken nose?
I don’t want to be a skeleton, just small enough to be ignored. Maybe without all these eyes on me I wouldn’t have to hate myself so much.
I reach my apartment at long last, thankful for the opportunity to disappear behind my uniform grey door. It is easy to ignore my little home, and that makes me feel safe. As I’m stretching, I stare mournfully down at my legs. They are short and stout from the bottoms of my shorts to the top of my wooly running socks. I imagine how they will look one day, long and willowy and narrow.
I reach down and grab my calves for deeper stretch,
.....and suddenly my daydream ends.
My legs are all muscle; completely solid from the knee down and only a little softness around my thighs. Reality hits me like snow ball to the face: startling, refreshing, and somehow exhilarating.
I am not a big version of someone else, I am a healthy version of ME.
Call me big-boned,
or plus sized,
it doesn’t matter. I need to learn to call myself Sarah. I cannot change my body any more than I can change who I am.
My body is muscled and curvy,
......just like my heart is strong and compassionate.
Like it or not, I will never be able to disappear.
I feel a smile creep across my face.
Could it be that I have already arrived?
Relief floods my heart as I realize the truth. My endless struggle for the perfect body finally over. My body IS perfect. Every unique inch of me is a reflection of who I am inside.
I am bold,
I am strong,
I am beautiful.
I am un-ignorable.