Sunday, June 10, 2012

I've Got Legs, and I Know How to Use Them (now)


This just in: I can cross my legs.

At first, it surprised me. It wasn’t uncomfortable as it wasbefore. It wasn’t two pieces of sausage layered on top of each other, as it waswhen I had tried in the past. It was easy, like my right leg was born to layover my left, and the ease worried me at first, like somehow I wasn’t doing itright. As if you could screw up crossing your legs.

If you’ve ever had a weight problem, you know that crossingyour legs is one of those things that doesn’t come easily, like going down abra-size or making chocolate chip cookies without sampling the end product. Inever was much of a leg-crosser. My weight never made it easy, like those girlsin high school that could cross their legs under their desks during class. If Iever tried that, the motion to get to that point-struggling , going into theseat backwards, probably a grunt or two – would surely balance out the graceand sophistication I would be going for.

My legs are short by comparison, with thigh-bones that arequite long, but shorter calves. I have my dad’s legs, as does my brother. We’rebuilt the same, down to our stocky ham-hock hands. Calling us apple shapedwould be an understatement. We’re not just apple-shaped. We’re appletree-shaped, with our legs as the spindly little sticks that make up theslender trunk of the tree. As my brother’s girlfriend put it, we have a bellywith dancers’ legs.

And lately, my belly, and whatever meat I did have on myspindly little legs, has been disappearing.


Left leg, meet right leg. (By the way, try taking a picture of your own crossed-legs sometime. It was a challenge.)


I’ve lost 26 pounds since April 4th. I’m notdeprived. I’m not dieting. This is a life-style change, as much I hate readingthat phrase in popular women’s magazines. Yesterday, I had ice cream. It’s notsomething I have a lot, but it was hot and someone at the park was selling it.The difference is, I’m not going to bathe in it, nor do I believe it will solveall my problems. It was just ice cream.

In my 33 years on this planet, I would say I have beendieting for a good solid 17. That’s more than half my life.  This is not the time, nor place to get intomy background and why I spent 17 years dieting; the point is, I have spent thatlong dieting and still weigh what I do. Obviously, there was a flaw in theplan.

It’s all mental. There is not a doubt in my double-chinnedhead about that fact. It wasn’t until I did an inventory and audit of what wasin-between my ears that I could get to this point. I had to wrestle with themost unbelievable demon out there: me.  And apparently, that took 33 years to shut herup.

I have a long way to go, no doubt about it. There are goingto be set-backs. Not every day is going to be a win. But I’ve come further nowthan I ever have before, and that itself is something to celebrate. I’m downtwo sizes, almost three, and every day it amazes me that I am. It amazes me,also, that this won’t be the end of it.

But for now, I will sit on my porch, in my way-cute madrasprint dress from Old Navy (that never would have fit before), reading amagazine and drinking ice water.

All while crossing my legs.