Now that I’ve evoked images of a naked Gotye and Kimbra screaming at each other while covered in paint, I have to say that song is very poignant for me right now, but for reasons that are not related to this post. I’ll try not to digress in the very first paragraph; instead I’ll direct you to what I first thought when I saw that video– Kimbra’s back.
Long, lean, nary a fold or tuck of skin in sight. Now mind you, Kimbra is a mere child at barely 22, but I can remember a time when my back actually looked like that. Hell, I can remember a time when I still thought my back looked like that, just a scant 5 days ago. You see my reality was completely shattered last weekend when I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the small mirror across from the larger one in our bathroom.
There, caught between the reflections, was my mother’s naked back fat. I was so horrified that I locked the door to the bathroom and cried for twenty minutes while the boys were out walking the dog. The only thing that pulled me off the floor and stopped my sobbing was the reality that if the hubs caught me in such a state it would send the house into an unnecessary tailspin and that I was wasting water. I pulled myself up, forced myself to shower and only confessed the situation to my loving and accepting husband while laying in bed later that night.
Now, for those of you who’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting my ‘mamma’ I will say this: NO ONE calls her fat in front of me. Granted, my mother is 5 by 5 and wheezes like a tea kettle when she walks from the kitchen to the bathroom, but she’s MY mamma and you better be respectful. She and I have been round and round about her health, and at this point I’ve thrown my hands up in defeat. It is her responsiblity to take care of herself, not her child’s. I can’t force her, from 1,500 miles away, to take her meds and check her blood sugar, or to stop drinking sodas and get more exercise. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I may very well lose my mamma by the time I’m 40. Knowing this won’t make losing her hurt any less, but at least I’ll be some what prepared for this inevitability by her lack of action to take care of her body.
Even so, when I saw my mother’s back fat trapped in my own reflection Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but feel a tad bit hypocritical. OK a lot hypocritical, and for that I am formally apologizing to my mother right here and now. See, mamma, it’s in print: I’m sorry for nagging you all these years about your health while I’ve let my own fall to the wayside.
As I said on facebook today, I am getting ready to do something very brave here. No, callin’ my mamma fat on the interwebs is not what I meant, although I’m sure she will have a few choice words for me when I hear from her this afternoon. No, in my “back fat counter strike” efforts I am about to show my back fat to the world. Yep, you read that right: photographic evidence posted for the world to see of my nekkid back in all its folded and fatty glory.
Up until Saturday morning, even though I know I’m not at my prize-fighting weight, I had this grand delusion that at least my back was still sexy. That when I happened to be viewed from the rear my *ahem* assets were still trim and fit; that only from the front could my love of all things fried and yummy be seen. But this reality has been shattered. Gone is the illusion that my body has any resemblance to what it once was. I have officially let myself go.
I remember 6 years go sitting in my living room posing for a nude self portrait to prove to myself how fat I was getting. I remember shuttering at the image that popped up on the little screen when I saw how much my waist had grown and how much my hips had blossomed. Now when I look at that picture I think of how very beautiful I was then and how far I’ve let myself go. (please note I not calling myself ugly…I’m just making a comparison of body shapes- then and now)
Point of fact: Now I’m not saying I’m fat, y’all. I’m not saying I’m obese either, but I am saying who I am now is not who I want to be and if I’m gonna ever be who I want to be I have to get a handle on things now! My mother was once an aerobics instructor and was barely 100 pounds soaking wet at one point in her life, but somewhere along the way something slipped and here she is having to powder her thighs to keep them dry and “unchafed”. At least my mother had the excuse most women my age have- she had a baby, but even so she lost a great deal of weight after I was born and got back down to a very healthy size before she somehow lost the battle later on. I have no excuse. There is no reason to have been so lazy that I’ve allowed 20 pounds to creep up on me in 6 years.
On my wedding day I weighed 140 pounds at 5 feet 3 inches tall. The hubs doesn’t know this because he wasn’t there when I happened to see the scale in the restroom of the beauty shop while I was getting my hair done. He didn’t see the abject horror that erupted on my face as I watched those numbers continue to spin well above my personal perception. He had no idea that on what was supposed to be my perfect day that I was crying inside at how bad things had gotten. On that beach, that day, I didn’t just vow to love him forever, but I vowed to become a person we would both be proud of.
It has been a little over a month and a half since that fateful day. Even though I know I have lost a great deal of weight in that time, due to walking and eating less, my back fat discovery this weekend is just proof positive that I can’t become complacent. I have to keep shocking myself back into reality and always remember it only takes a little slip to fall.
So, ready for some shock and awe?
August 2006 pre back fat weighing in at around 120ish pounds.
April 2012 current back fat weighing in at 132.5 pounds
I can no longer be ashamed of this, cause this is who I currently am. I need to accept what I am right now and make the strides necessary to change if I feel it is so important. I can no longer harp on my mamma for being unhealthy if I am heading down the exact same path she’s trotted down. This photo is now my phone’s screen saver. Every time I see it, I am reminded of somebody that I used to know and forgot so long ago: me. I want to meet that person again and enjoy my life as her once more. Sure, she’s not gonna be the same as she was, but I’m hoping that she’ll be even better with a little hard work. Ultimately I want to slip into a pair of jeans and not feel like a bloated cow in the sun. I want to go shopping for cute clothes without having to strategically minimize all the curves that go the wrong way. I don’t need plastic surgery. I don’t need a “cure”, I just need to nip it all in the bud and get off the couch.