Lions and Tigers and Thighs, Oh My

Ever since I got back from Hawaii, my legs and I have seen the light. These burritos ‘o mine are now wearing running shorts. It’s somewhat liberating to make visible something I had intentionally kept invisible in the past. To let myself be seen. As is.

When I had it – at least I thought I had it at some point – I should have flaunted it. I took my young, firm skin for granted. But I was much more shy back then. Now? Yes, I’m still an introvert at heart, but I don’t look too bad for my age, so part of me wants to flaunt whatever it is I have left while gravity is still my friend. I have ab muscles. I don’t know where they came from, and they might look a little like a wrinkly four-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls during the rising process, but they’re there. I believe that they’re a product of my intense overthinking. After all, something good should come of overworking my brain in circles. Problem is, I might look good for 48 – we Asians hold together well – but not so good for 38. Get my drift?

[I can’t believe I just outed my real age. Oh, what the hell. I will display my age proudly. I just won’t display photos of it here on my blog. I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. Yet.]

See, I live in a small, coastal town. It doesn’t get warm enough to wear shorts very often, so people don’t see a lot of skin around here. Hawaii? No problem. Young skin, aging skin – what does it matter? Everyone looks like bronzed demi-gods over there. But here? People pull on their t-shirts, light wash jeans, sneakers, and their Patagonia jackets to go out on the town. They might even wear that outfit to the beach.

The sun is out and it is unusually warm. I am tempted to go for a run wearing less clothing than I ever have before. I want to feel free to do this. If I didn’t have to wear my glasses, I would absolutely wear sunglasses. That way, I could feel anonymous. I might mistake a fire hydrant for a dog, but if it makes me more brave, I will trade clear vision for shades. I’m sure I’ll be able to determine whether or not that object coming towards me is a car, right? Maybe I need a sacrificial running buddy.

Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my thighs anymore.

Love Me, Love My Burritos

I’ve been writing a lot about dating (and the idea of dating) lately.  But now that I don’t have much material to work with, I realized that I haven’t written much about being physically active.  When I checked to see how long it had been, I was horrified to revisit a post in which I described my body like a meat buffet.  I made it sound like my body was becoming toned and fabulous.  No.  Well, maybe it has gotten a little more toned, but I didn’t say I looked good.  I don’t like the shape of my legs, and my cellulite is most definitely not impressed by my exercise habits.  A friend said, “You won’t wear shorts because of cellulite??  Who cares?  You don’t have to look at it!”  Yes, but what about the poor people behind me?

Isn’t it ironic that most of us can be so supportive of our friends, but not so much for ourselves?

Self-acceptance doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen just because you say you will.  It’s a conscious practice of bravery, forgiveness, and patience.  So I’m going to try and show a little more love to the parts of me that I’ve labeled as less lovable, for example, my burritos thighs and my genetically-evolved calves.  Such sturdy things.  It’s important that I not take them for granted.

As usual, the Universe has chimed in, too.  I recently attended a memorial service in which the minister talked about the value of accepting yourself as you are.   Sono mama, he said.  Which, in Japanese, translates to mean “as it is”.  And I just read my horoscope from Rob Brezsny – I swear, I can relate to 90% of what that man has to say about my sign – and I’ve been asked to reject all forms of demoralizing words and attitudes, and try positivity.  It’s uncanny.  I get the hint, Universe, I get the hint.