A few days ago, I posted a picture on Facebook of me completely crashed out, facedown on my couch. I can fall asleep anytime/anywhere, including, but not limited to: parking lots, carpool lanes, airplanes, dinner tables, plays, movies, heavy metal rock concerts, super expensive private helicopter rides over majestic waterfalls in Hawaii etc. etc. Anesthesia is proooobably more of a precautionary measure for me since I could just sleep through an appendectomy. My precious children think it is hysterical to take pictures of me zonked out in various positions and locations and then text them to me. Yawn. I super care.
An hour later, I was sitting at my daughter’s honor roll ceremony (she is just like her mama) when I received a text from a friend laughing about how “my booty pic” was now in the “ole’ spank bank” for some of my readers. I squinted at my phone and then softly nodded, “Oh bless her heart, motherhood has clearly began to attack her brain. The poor thing is going crazy. I am totally going to babysit her spawn for five to ten minutes so she can get a full night’s sleep.”
It wasn’t until we got home later that evening, when I happened to look at my Facebook wall. And there it was. Like a hippo emerging from the Nile in sub-Saharan Africa. With a spotlight shining right on it. So clearly visible, NASA could have landed a rocket on that thing with obstructed visibility….my ASS. I read a few of the comments before I started to feel hollow. Sort of like I do when I hear about those creepy promise rings dads give their little girls to remind them to preserve their virginity until they marry. Gross. I started laughing and closed my laptop.
Seven months ago these comments would have positively mortified and unnerved me. I had just joined a gym with the sole intention of becoming super skinny again since my knee was almost healed. I told the owner that I just wanted to be “toned”, but what I really wanted was a killer thigh gap. He assigned me to a personal trainer who apparently had a preference for working with superficial housewives, or maybe his boss secretly hated him and sought revenge by forcing him to deal with me, or maybe God spoke to him directly since he is a major Jesus fan and said, “Help this ignorant soul. I am busy with North Korea right now.” Whatever the reason, I ended up totally liking the dude.
Anywho, after I had been working out for a couple of months, I realized my body was changing, but not in the way I had anticipated. I was becoming stronger. My back was entirely pain free for the first time in 20 years since it had been fused, my knee felt normal again, I wasn’t taking 12 Advil a day anymore. My diet changed because drinking coffee all day and munching on a tortilla was not cutting it. I felt happier and more balanced. I decided my self-worth was no longer going to be determined by the numbers on a scale, so I quit weighing myself. And I signed up for another three months.
I began to realize that the very earthsuit I so callously criticized time and again had allowed me to take my first breath in this life, healed me when I was sick, taken me on adventures, fallen in love, traveled to beautiful places, brought lives into this world, endured pain and joy of extraordinary measure, had great sex (and tolerated some not-so-great sex), laughed until exhaustion, cried in heartbreak, danced at my wedding, held my babies, housed my spirit, snuggled my dogs, kissed my daughters, and forgiven me when I have treated it with utter disregard. To feel anything but humbled gratitude and the purest of love seemed positively incongruent with the path I was now taking.
You see, the woman laying there sound asleep in the picture, had just finished one of her hardest workouts to date. Soon she would wake up and take care of her family who was depending on her. She would help with homework, make dinner and lunches for the next day, offer counsel to the daily dramas, talk a friend through a breakup, negotiate squabbles, fold laundry, tuck in children, finish writing a blog and finally collapse into bed once she was fully satisfied that everything was handled to the best of her abilities. She now knows her earthsuit houses her spirit and that beauty is entirely subjective and of shallow pursuit in our fickle society.
And yes, in response to my emails, a billion squats done correctly will give you an ass. Go be kind to your bodies. Love to you all. XO