Remember being “double-dog dared” to do something?
A few months ago, I took a pole dance class.
During that class, I was confronted with what my body could/could not do and what I thought my body could/could not do… and it changed me.
Hell, I was changed even before I set foot in the door; for the week leading up to the class, I was brainstorming and talking with my husband about all the things fat men and women are told they can’t do or are too scared to try, and how I could help them face their fears. I was so fired up about facing a fear of my own – being sexy and vulnerable and moving my body in such a different way – that I felt unflappably powerful and capable of helping others.
Then life happened.
Unless you are the actual embodiment (disembodiment?) of Patrick Swayze’s role in “Ghost”, chances are you have a body. And you live in it. A lot of the time. Hopefully. (Oh, man… please don’t be a ghost.)
So, we’ve established that you are not, in fact, without a body… and that the body you inhabit is yours (no body-snatching, skin-wearing, or possession allowed, thanks). That means that you are highly qualified to participate in this conversation, as a human.
Now we can move on.
New Years Eve.
Whatever your holiday, chances are it has a close, personal relationship with food.
Well, this is embarrassing.
Here I am, this self-proclaimed badass, Super Mom, Do-All-The-Things chick, yelling “I don’t need no approval” just as much as I am yelling for cupcakes in the workplace (not really, but now I want to), and I find myself scared to post how I’m feeling, for fear that I will… I don’t know. Let my family and friends down? Lose readers? Be judged for being fat AND depressed?
What does that say about our society, that we fear being called fat AND that we fear mental illness in any of its forms as even worse?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
“A fat woman walked into a pole dance class…”
Even with all of my confidence and “GO, ME!” and fiercely held belief that the only person truly holding someone back is themselves… I still walked in to my private pole and exotic dance session at Dolphin Dance on Sunday afternoon with the echoes of 20+ years of self-doubt on my heels. Not only was I keenly aware of this injury (left knee, left wrist in a brace, only 9 weeks postpartum) or that insecurity (my arms are really jiggly, what if I can’t support myself on the pole?), but there was that loud, nagging, perpetuated falsehood ricocheting in my head that says that fat woman not only can’t look sexy while dancing, but pole dancing?
Out of the question.
Enter my friend, Emily.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Who thought up that little gem of a lie?
I don’t know about you, but some of the worst scars I carry are internal – sharpshooter-aimed insults and criticisms so cruelly delivered as to fund my therapist’s Mediterranean vacations well into my retirement years. Then again, I really didn’t engage in a lot of extreme sports… I was more the “read and pretend” type… but whatever.
Not the point!
Hey, guys! Look what I made!
For the past month, I have been snuggled up at home with my little girl… feeding, burping, changing diapers, attempting to sleep and rediscovering where all aspects of my life converge and just exactly who that makes me.
The serious levels of sleep deprivation had almost, ALMOST helped me to forget what would come next.
Now that the end is very much in sight, and I’ve gotten most of the whining out of my system, I should be sitting back and enjoying the last little bit of my pregnancy. I should be nesting and cooking and lounging and napping. I should be looking positively adorable in maxi dresses and teeny-tiny bikinis that highlight my very-there ‘bump.
So many “should’s”.