Acceptance: Women, Body Image and Dieting–Day 17 of Getting Dressed

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The first 2 months of 2017
My appetite–
Inside a broken body
Held captive by gym-less days
In bed and multiple medications
To treat a wicked lingering
Winter cough and damaged ribs
From a skiing accident–
Crouched down low
To reduce itself to a
Flimsy cardboard cutout
Of its former dimensions.

Valentine’s Day dinner
Starkly highlighted this phenomenon.
Set in a historic building
Bursting with taxidermic prizes
From extensive game hunting
Days of yore,
The dinner was notable
For my fork pushing of
A gorgeous cut of elk
And 2 petite, splayed quail
Prepared expertly with
Succulent execution but which
I left partially uneaten.
Amazing!

I also had only one bite
Of the alligator appetizer
That we tried for the first time.
Slightly rubbery and covered
With too much fried batter,
I couldn’t discern the meat’s taste.
He finished and enjoyed
The plate by himself.

Towards the meal’s end,
I could only sample the
Heaping apple pie wedge
Accompanied with cinnamon rum sauce
And a generous dollop of
Vanilla ice cream.
I wanted to eat more,
I tell you,
But simply could not.

Needless to say,
Weight loss
Accompanied these months.
I wasn’t trying to do that
And am fortunate to be one
Who doesn’t need to drop pounds,
But I did.

While I mostly accept my body
The way it is,
There was something nice
About being lighter,
About living out the
“Hara Hachi Bu” concept
Of eating only until
80 percent full,
While it lasted.

(No, I’m not Japanese.
Korean people love
Healthy appetites and
Encourage hearty consumption
Because it’s a sign
Of good health.
So I don’t come from
That kind of culture at all).

I remember leaving the restaurant
Feeling satisfied
But not overly stuffed–
A novel concept for me
Contrasted by other
Previous dining out experiences
Of polishing off a creme brûlée,
Down to the blow torched
Caramelized crumble
Long past my normal fullness
That resulted in me
Becoming sick and throwing up.
Nice.

At another point during this time,
I returned to my locker
After a swim to find
All my clothes and shoes missing!
Mayhem ensued as I,
In nothing but boy short underwear
And a sports bra,
Searched the locker room.
Staff and I eventually
Determined someone accidentally
Put her lock on my locker
Instead of her own,
Which was next to mine.

Amid the inconvenience and confusion,
I was oddly a bit pleased too.
There was something just shy
Of awesome in standing around
In the Women’s changing room
Waiting for the lock
To be cut
With the flattest stomach
I’ve had in a long time.

Now, mostly better
And returning to a fuller schedule
Of working and the gym,
Appetite roars up again
With full lion strength.
Weight gain
Accompanied this hunger and
Capacity to eat warm
Cranberry apple muffins
Piled with Greek yogurt and jam,
Peanut sauce stir fry and
To drink big, rounded
Fruit forward red wine
With renewed relish.

While I slowly slide back
Into a workout regimen
Promoting rock hard abs
And buns of steel,
(I can always hope, right?)
I know I’m lucky
To be where I am today
Healthy and getting stronger
After prolonged illness and injury
Even if that means
Gaining weight.

Still, a slight tweaking
Of food and drink choices
Appears necessary at this juncture
As my appetite may have
Rediscovered itself
With a bit too much force.

Familiar with extreme tactics
I’ve seen anorexics employ
To reduce caloric intake
Such as drinking more water
Or gobbling down apples
Or popcorn in quantities
Greater than what seems
Humanely possible and by
Skipping meals entirely,

I consider issues of balance
Of feasibility
Of setting realistic
Achievable goals that are
Small enough to be
Reasonable expectations for me
To actually execute
While remaining healthy,
Strong and happy.

So I have 2 goals only
Which are as follows:

Make a point of filling my plate
With more green and multi-colored
Vegetables for at least 2
Out of my 4 daily meals
Without even reducing
Portion size

And

Engage in a “detox cleanse”
By temporarily cutting out
Alcohol libations completely.
I’ve never been a huge drinker
But this is an “extra”
I can cut.

I believe acting on these 2 goals
Is already helping
Get me on my way to shedding
A few pounds to feel
Less bloated–
Slow and steady.

Acceptance

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