Last week’s WW meeting was one of a rare breed. First of all, it was small. There were street closures surrounding the meeting which made parking more of a challenge than usual, and apparently deterred people from attending the meeting. Thus it was small. Small like when you go to classes the day before Thanksgiving when all the out-of-state students have already caught their planes, and the professor asks everyone to pull a chair up close and you feel special and uncool all at the same time. Small. And because it was small, I suppose there was some added intimacy and we had a great conversation. People throwing in their experiences from their pink plastic seats (word on the WW street is that the chairs won’t be pink for much longer – I might steal one and put it in a corner somewhere to remind myself how far I’ve come) and laughing and helping each other. Man, it was a good meeting.
“Do you have to be able to visualize yourself skinny in a bikini in order to successfully lose weight?”
That’s what started the conversation. And I say no! If you have pictures of yourself in a bikini from 5 years ago and looking at them motivates you, then great. Carry on. But at the time when I was crossing my fingers hoping to see 225 lbs on the scale, the only picture of me in a bikini that existed was from 1983 and I was 3 feet tall and in pre-school. I had no reference. I did visualize the way it would feel to be skinny in a bikini. Well maybe not visualize, what would the word be…feel-alize? Sense-alize? The distinction being that I never saw myself in a bikini from other people’s perspective, like in a picture. But I saw the beach as I ran along the water wearing a vintage-y red bikini while nothing jiggled and I felt cute and normal.
The thing is, even “feel-alizing” myself skinny in a bikini backfired. Because eventually I did put on a bikini—an almost vintage-y navy (they were out of red) halter top with white polka dots. Let me tell you, when I ran along the water, my shit jiggled. And it needed to be adjusted. And not in a subtle single finger bottom adjustment way. In a whole-hand boob-scoop way. With frequency. I did not feel cute and normal but for a brief, brief moment.
“What’s that saying,” I asked in the meeting, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?”
“Mentsh trakht, Got lakht,” said Miriam, who I chat with often while we wait in our pink plastic chairs. “Man plans, God laughs.” I love a good Yiddish Proverb.
Nowadays I am focused on self-acceptance. Looking in the mirror and feeling good about myself. Saying to myself, “This is my body and I love it’s unique and beautiful shape.” And I’ve made progress. I can still rationalize eating a cookie I don’t have room for, but more often than not, I feel alright about my belly and my hips and my thighs. Not crazy amazing, but pretty alright. I still put a bikini on. Flesh, flab and all. I even found one that doesn’t require constant boob-scooping. And when I put it on, I bring an attitude. Like, this is my body, world! This is my real butt, these are my real thighs and this is my real belly! I am a powerful woman, like the women in those Nike ads! Don’t just deal with it, get into it! Bam!
I’m being histrionic. But truthfully I sometimes choose the bikini over the one piece to remind myself that I am awesome. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it works for me. It’s not what I thought “skinny in a bikini” would feel like, but after I get over my initial squirminess and start to enjoy the sensation of my belly fat floating around in the water, I actually like the way it makes me feel.
Mentsh trakht, Got lakht. Even if it’s just a plan about a bikini.