The Last Ten Pounds

I am a certain age, older than twenty-three, younger than dead. Most of my friends are too. At this age a lot of us spend a lot of time, more time than we’re even conscious of, thinking about how to “get back to” how we looked when we were twenty-three. Not the real way we looked at twenty-three, but the imaginary fantasy ideal way we looked. Tight, cut, fit, lean, healthy, are the slightly more politically correct ways to say model-y.  Who are we comparing ourselves to? (See, “More That,”

Bella Hadid and whosie whatsis Jenner?

Kate Moss is too old now, she’s got some jiggle for sure. Skin mileage. I am a longtime Jennifer Aniston fan too, but the felony-airbrushing in her skincare ads is annoying even me. I don’t begrudge her making a living, but does it have to perpetuate the “I’m not okay unless I look young and thin” thing?

I’m not sure what I’m saying. I know I’m probably not going to buy skincare stuff from a company that shows pictures of crows-footed flabby folk. Then again I mostly buy skincare stuff from my friend Allegra who makes it in her kitchen so perhaps I’m not the target audience for all these big ads anyway.

I ain’t gonna look like these model folks unless someone follows me around with a klieg light, and I get some surgical and quasi-surgical enhancements, and I do body improvement as a full-time job, and I only wear custom-tailored clothes. So the groovy part is I could just stop having that fantasy 23-year-old look as the comparison point. I could just live in this body, this face, the way they are and have a nice time, as me looking like me.

My grandmother Joanie, who was a beauty and a larger-than-life kind of character who taught dancing into her seventies, in one of the last conversations I had with her, she told me, “My whole life would have been better if I’d just let go of trying to lose the last ten pounds.” She was a chronic dieter, sometimes thin, sometimes curvy, always ambitious for improvement, always more gorgeous than she knew.

So I’m going to go to the beach this weekend, and I’m going to wear a bathing suit in public and I’m not going to suck it in. I’m going to get sandy and possibly wet and I’m gonna eat what I want to eat and move as much as I want to move. I’m going to take the advice my grandma gave me and make friends with the last ten pounds, love my body, love my family, love this world.

Let my shoulders drop, breathe in deeply, let my belly expand.  Breathe out deeply, let my shoulders drop, let my belly drop, let my face drop.  Drop it all, soften, and breathe.  Yay life.